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Up next: Martin Brodeur, Zach Parise and the New Jersey Devils

[SBN Devils blog - In Lou We Trust]

Record: 41-24-3 (4th in East)

Scorers: Ilya Kovalchuk (36g, 34a), Zach Parise (32g, 36a), Travis Zajac (21g, 37a)

This is it.  If the Penguins want to avoid being swept by the Devils this season then they have no choice but to show up for this game.  Buckle down.  Batten down the hatches.  (Insert your own phrase here).

To say the Pens have struggled against NJ this season is a bit of an understatement.  Actually, a lotta bit of an understatement.  The Devils have outscored the Penguins17-3 over five games.  Do the math, and you no doubt discover the Pens must've come up blank on at least two of those.  You'd be right.  Two consecutive games unfortunately.  Yes, safe to say it has not been pretty.

Last week in NJ we witnessed what was easily one of the more aggressive meetings between the two teams.  Legitimate or not, Craig Adams was sent off to the dressing room early after getting caught in a cross between a puck played with a high stick and/or icing.  The refs' own confusion on the play may have very well led to his game misconduct, but at least the Pens were able to kill off the 5-minute major.

Matt Cooke drew Rob Niedermayer into a fight, his first in over three seasons.  It's pretty obvious who the winner of the bout was, but I'd love to see Cooke draw him in again tonight.

The unfortunate outcome of Friday's meeting was, obviously, the loss.  However, if you want to extract a positive from the game then at least focus on the fact that Pittsburgh managed to keep it close, heading into the third tied at one a piece.  From there, of course, you know how it ended. 

I'm not asking for a blowout.  I'm not even asking for a shutout.  I'm just asking for a win.  But most importantly, above all, here's to hoping tonight's game is officiated a bit better than the last time around.