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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils 11/13/2018; lines, preview, how to watch

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A rematch of a loss last week for Pittsburgh

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (7-5-3; 17 points, 6th in Metropolitan Division) @ New Jersey Devils (6-8-1; 13 points, 8th in Metropolitan Division)

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: On TV locally in Pittsburgh (AT&T Sportsnet), New York area (MSG Network),

Opponent Track: Last week when the Pens and Devils met, NJD was riding a three game losing streak (to Tampa, Detroit, NYI). New Jersey looked like a million bucks against Pittsburgh, beating the Pens 5-1. Since that point, they’ve looked like $0 bucks, losing three more games (to Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg) by a combined scored of 18-6.

Pens Refresh: Won 4-0 on Saturday night against Arizona to snap a five game winning streak. Happy days are here again!

SBN Team Counterpart: All About the Jersey

Tale of the Tape

—If you’re a long time fan, it’s tough to imagine a Devils team near the tail end of the league in goals allowed, but this is reality now.

—From tracking the Pens over the year, their shooting % is falling. Was well into double digits and 1st/2nd in the league in the early weeks, they’ve been regressing back down as of late.

—NJ is not performing well at 5v5, but both of their special teams groups are top 10 right now, which always makes for a dangerous opponent, especially if the game plays out to include a lot of time with penalties.

Hischier hurt?

One important note will be the status of NJ’s #1 center, Nico Hischier. From All about the Jersey:

[Hopefully] Nico Hischier [will] be available for tonight’s game, or at the very least not be hurt long-term. The Devils’ top center left the game in Winnipeg with an upper body injury. Because the Devils were traveling yesterday, there was no practice where John Hynes could give the media an update on Hischier’s injury. If he is not available for the game, I would think Pavel Zacha gets called up for today’s game. But having Hischier back with the team would be great - as it would allow the Devils to follow their model against the Penguins of having Zajac run a shutdown line while Hischier centres the top line.

As of yet, Zacha has not been called up, though that could certainly change.

Wounded Devs

After a great start, NJ is just 2-7-1 in their last ten. As mentioned above, they’ve lost 6 of their last 7 games. They have to feel good enough going into tonight knowing that win in that stretch was against these same Pens, but Pittsburgh really should buckle down here. This isn’t really a very good NJ team, they’re currently last in the conference.

Strength vs. Strength

For their bad record, NJ is 5-1-0 at home on the season. The Pens have played better on the road (4-1-2) than at home so far. Something will have to give there.

Player stats at a glance

from hockeydb

—Pretty much looks the same as we saw last week, except Brian Boyle has three more goals since he recorded his first career hat trick against the Pens.

Lines (from their last game on Sunday)

Taylor Hall - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri

Marcus Johansson - Nico Hischier - Jesper Bratt

Blake Coleman - Brett Seney - Joey Anderson

Miles Wood - Brian Boyle - Stefan Noesen

Andy Greene / Sami Vatanen

Egor Yakovlev / Damon Severson

Will Butcher / Ben Lovejoy

Cory Schneider got just his third start of the season against Winnipeg and promptly gave up 5 goals on 28 shots in the loss. Keith Kinkaid stopped 35/36 shots against the Pens on 11/5 but then surrendered 6 goals himself in his only other start since then against Toronto, so it’s not like he’s playing great at the moment either.

And now for the Pens

Infographic courtesy of the Penguins:

Expected lines

(from Monday practice)

Dominik Simon - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Carl Hagelin - Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist

Jake Guentzel - Riley Sheahan - Phil Kessel

Garrett Wilson - Matt Cullen - Zach Aston-Reese

Jack Johnson / Kris Letang

Brian Dumoulin / Chad Ruhwedel

Olli Maatta / Jamie Oleksiak

Healthy scratches: Juuso Riikola, Daniel Sprong

-Nice to see Oleksiak getting back in after a healthy scratch last game.

-These lines and defensive pairings are new at least since the NJD game last week so hopefully that will spurn a fresh result

Social media post of the day

View this post on Instagram

По делам.. #LetsGoPens #ParmigianiFleurier

A post shared by Evgeni Malkin (@e.malkin71geno) on

Ok, so this might be an ad for a watch company (smooth!) but the translated caption is “On a business trip”. Give ‘em the business Gene!

The road ahead

The Pens have only played one game in the last five days, but that is about to change in a major way. Starting today the team kicks off their busiest stretch of the season so far, with seven games in the next 12 days, including the year’s first back-to-back games next Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. The next contest after this is home on Thursday night against the powerful Tampa Bay Lightning, followed by a one-game road trip up to Ottawa on Saturday night to meet the surprisingly strong Senators.