The Penguins are coming off yet another win, the latest in impressive fashion over the listless Blue Jackets 7-2 on Saturday night. The Penguins opponent, the New Jersey Devils are coming off another loss as their early season woes continue. They lost Saturday to the Flyers by a score of 5-3. A video shot of Jamie Langenbrunner at the end of the game could probably sum up the Devils year so far, bloodied by a high stick that went uncalled all Langenbrunner could do is plead his case unsuccessfully to the referees as blood gushed from his mouth onto his jersey. Things just are not going right for the Devils.
The last time these two teams met was under rather unique circumstances as the Devils only dressed 15 skaters because of injuries. The subsequent effect of those injuries made it so the Devils were unable to man a full roster because of their salary cap situation. This will obviously not be the case tonight as the Devils will have a full lineup.
The Devils are on the cusp of getting arguably the best goalie of all time back in the lineup, however that will not be tonight as a familiar face should get the start against the Pens, the Moose Johan Hedberg. Fleury looks as though he may get the start again tonight (leftwinglock.com). Hedberg has had his struggles since taking over the net for the injured Brodeur and the Penguins would be wise to continue their barrage of shots on opposing goalies. Especially since we all know the Devils play a heck of a lot different with the lead as opposed to playing from behind.
Before Paul Martin broke his goalless streak the other night it was the Devils who he last scored against back in October, perhaps he has some more offense left against his old team.
The good news for the Devils, Ilya Kovalchuk scored in their last game. The bad news, well it was only his 5th goal of the season so far and he is a -15. It is only 1/4 of one season but if this is any indication the Devils could be in trouble for another 14 3/4 years...
Bill Guerin has announced his retirement from the NHL and will be honored before the game tonight.
"We were only here a short time but my family and I developed such a deep connection to the city, the team and the fans," Guerin said in a statement. "It was amazing. From ownership and [general manager] Ray Shero to the coaching staff and trainers, from my teammates to the arena workers to the people in the stands, they all treated us in such a first-class manner. It was an extremely positive experience. We all agree that retiring as a Pittsburgh Penguin is the perfect thing to do."
Tonight will be Sidney Crosby’s 400th game.
It looks as though Evgeni Malkin will not be playing tonight as he was not on the ice for the morning skate. The lines looked like this:
Lastly for selfish reasons I do hope one Devil has success tonight, Stephen Gionta. He is another homegrown Rochester, NY product and I used to compete against him in travel hockey years ago. He is a good person and a hard working hockey player just like his older brother.
I will try to update any new information as the day moves on.
It wont let me use video in my post but here is a link that I think is appropriate for the game tonight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpeTXweJm6w