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
—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.
Janne Kuokkonen - Jack Hughes - Yegor Sharangovich
Andreas Johansson - Nico Hischier - Marian Studenic
Miles Wood - Michael McLeod - Nate Bastian
Nolan Foote - Mikhail Maltsev - Nick Merkley
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
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
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.
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.