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Game 46 Preview: New Jersey Devils @ Pittsburgh Penguins 4/20/2021: lines, how to watch

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It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh!

New Jersey Devils v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Who: New Jersey Devils (14-25-6, 34 points, 7th place in the Eastern Division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (28-14-3, 59 points, 3rd place in the Eastern Division)

When: 7:00 p.m. eastern

How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in Pittsburgh, MSG-B in New York/New Jersey

Opponent Track: Since losing to the Pens on 4/11, the Devils had four straight games against the Rangers last week. They lost all four. By a combined score of 18-6 in those four games to make for a five game losing streak.

Pens path ahead: Five straight games of home cookin’ starting tonight for the Pens. New Jersey is in town for three straight, tonight, Thursday and Saturday. And then the Bruins coming to the ‘Burgh after that for games next Sunday (4/25) and Tuesday (4/27).

Season Series: It’s a 3-1-1 season series for Pittsburgh so far against Jersey (2-3-0 from their perspective). NJ took Round one on March 18th, 3-2 in New Jersey. The Pens returned the favor with a 3-1 win on 3/20, but the Devils won 2-1 in OT in Pittsburgh on 3/21. Pittsburgh won 6-4 on 4/9 and 5-2 on 4/1. The three games this week are the final PIT/NJD games of the season.

Recent History: Pittsburgh is 6-2-1 in its last nine games against New Jersey dating back to Feburary 19, 2019 and 3-0-1 against NJ in the last four games.

SBN Team Counterpart: Check out All About the Jersey for the latest news to know about the Devils.

Player Stats at a Glance

via hockeydb:

—In the four games against the Rangers last week, Kuokkonen has no points. Hughes has two assists. Sharangovich has a goal and two assists. This line was a key, particularly Sharangovich and Kuokkonen, who had been playing well with Travis Zajac prior to his trade.

—P.K. Subban is finishing strong, he’s got two goals and two assists in the last five games.

—As you would expect for a five game losing streak, the Devils goaltending has been cold as of late. Blackwood gave up 10 goals in the three games he played (.870 save%) vs the Rangers. Backup Aaron Dell got a game and wasn’t better, giving up four goals in a loss.

Possible Lines

FORWARDS

Andreas Johansson - Nico Hischier - Marian Studenic

Miles Wood - Michael McLeod - Nate Bastian

Nolan Foote - Mikhail Maltsev - Nick Merkley

DEFENSEMEN

Ty Smith / P.K. Subban

Ryan Murray / Damon Severson

Jonas Siegenthaler / Matt Tennyson

Possible Starting goalie: Mackenzie Blackwood

Scratches: Will Butcher, Scott Wedgewood, Pavel Zacha (injured), Jesper Bratt (injured), Jesper Boqvist

—Despite these teams just playing nine days ago, the Devils are a lot different. Hischier has returned from injury, but Zacha is still out from being hurt against the Pens and Bratt got hurt as well.

—On the backend, Dmitry Kulikov was traded and Sami Vatanen was lost to waivers, and Siegenthaler was brought in with a trade.

—Zacha and Bratt are with the team on the trip and might play eventually this week, but it won’t be tonight. As such, young players have gotten chances lately. 2019 first round pick Nolan Foote made his NHL debut last game, 22-year old former fifth round pick Marian Studenic has been in the lineup too.

Possible starting goalie: Mackenzie Blackwood

And now for the Pens..

Sunday’s game lines

Forwards

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Jared McCann - Jeff Carter - Jason Zucker

Zach Aston-Reese - Teddy Blueger - Evan Rodrigues

Radim Zohorna - Mark Jankowski - Colton Sceviour

Defense

Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

Mike Matheson / Cody Ceci

Marcus Pettersson / John Marino

Possible starting goalie: Tristan Jarry

Scratches: Sam Lafferty, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman, Frederick Gaudreau (injured)

IR: Evgeni Malkin, Kasperi Kapanen, Brandon Tanev

Taxi Squad: Juuso Riikola, Yannick Weber, Emil Larmi, Anthony Angello, Maxime Lagace

—The Pens got a little healthier as Friedman finally was removed from the IR and Angello is now available to play too, though he was on the taxi squad yesterday.

—Pittsburgh’s power play has feasted on NJ this season, they’re 5/11 in the five games for a 45.5% conversion rate. The Pens’ PK has given them a huge edge too, by killing off 9/10 of the Devils’ power plays this season.

Steady Teddy

Teddy Blueger is back and playing well. From the team’s PR department:

Teddy Blueger’s third-period goal on Sunday in Buffalo was his fifth tally of the season and 50th point (20G-30A) of his career. In the span since Blueger’s NHL debut on January 30, 2019, Blueger has made his impact on the Penguins lineup in a wide variety of ways:

Category Team Rank

Games Played 129 (3rd)
Goals 20 (T-7th)
Points 50 (7th)
Shorthanded Goals 3 (T-1st)
Shorthanded Points 7 (1st)
Shorthanded TOI 275:33 (1st)

Since returning to the lineup on April 11 after missing 13 games, Blueger has points in three of four games (1G-2A). Over his last nine games, Blueger has seven points (2G-5A) and the Penguins are 7-1-1 in those nine contests.