To say the Pens are struggling against the Devils this season might be an understatement. In three regular seasons games this year (all at Mellon Arena) the Pens have been outscored 12-2. Most recently, just about a week ago, the Pens were shutout as Marty Brodeur officially set the new all-time shutout record at 104.
As Hooks mentioned yesterday as part of his link roundup, Devils forward Zach Parise recently snapped a 12-game goalless streak, notching two on Monday night against the Thrashers. He currently leads all Devils skaters with 42 points (17g, 25a), tallying seven over the last four.
Sandwiched between the shutout win over the Penguins and the 3-2 win over Atlanta Monday night, the Devils were on the wrong end of a 4-1 game against the Capitals. Or maybe from a Penguins perspective it's the right end. Either way, the loss is only Jersey's third of the month as they've put together what is no doubt an impressive 10-3 December record with two left to play out.
From where Pittsburgh stands we can expect to see Brent Johnson between the pipes tonight. Top off MAF's rough start against Buffalo last night with Danny B's suggestion earlier in the week that BJ will get a start in one of the two and it's more or less a foregone conclusion. To be honest it's probably for the better. Under normal circumstances I'd say you can't pin certain games on a guy who isn't getting any fire support from the rest of the team, but Fleury really hasn't played all that well against the Devils so far this season.
|Against the Devils||GP||W||L||GA||GAA||SA||SV||SV%||SO|
|2009 - Marc-Andre Fleury||3||0||3||11||3.67||66||55||.824||0|
So here's to hoping BJ can mix it up out there and maybe start turning things around in this lopsided season series against the Devils.
Also worth noting: David Clarkson is back in the lineup for NJ after spending some time on IR with a broken foot. He's the sort of guy who brings a strong Ryan Malone-like presence to the front of the net and isn't afraid to mix it up from time to time.
Puck and thread at 7:00.