The Devils (14-13-1) visit the Bolts (12-15-2), who are reeling in a bad way. This game should be an excellent opportunity for the Devs to get 2 points in regulation for the first time since Nov. 25. The last time these 2 met, the Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead, I was there and boy was it impressive! The last 10 minutes of the game however were not, as the Devils very nearly blew the lead with thanks to committing dumb penalties.
The Bolts cut the lead to one, and Carter scored a very lucky chance from a Roloson mistake to put the nail in the coffin. I see tonights game having the exact same score. Just in a different way of getting there. The Devils have been very competitive in their last 3 games, going 2-1, being just edged out by Montreal Saturday afternoon.
The Bolts however have just one win in their previous 9, a shootout win over the Rangers. Just as the Bolts have done in 4 of their last 5, they have scored 1st, I see that happening again tonight. This team starts off very strong, but squanders it rather quickly as of late. Without St. Louis, Tampa's powerplay unit takes a huge hit against the Devils league high 93.4% PK unit. In the last visit to Tampa, the Bolts had a combined 7 powerplays, 2 sets of 5 on 3's totaling near 2 minutes time together, and they laid a goose egg.
Volchenkov is out for tonight's contest and sent onto IR, a sure blow to the Devils already depleted defense. The Devils have committed 5 minor penalties in each of the past 2 games, they must get more disciplined. I realize our PK unit is best in the league, but we cannot afford being on the kill for 1/6 of the game! Face-offs have been a demon to the Devils lately as well, just another reason we need Zajac back ASAP!
I see the line of Zubrus-Carter-Palmieri causing the Bolts fits in the neutral zone and against the boards, while I see the Clarkson-Elias-Sykora line getting the points.
Moose is in net tonight for the Devils, Brodeur will start tomorrow in Sunrise. Roloson will be in net tonight, contrary to thought of it being Garon. The Bolts are also without Kubina tonight in addition to St. Louis.
Prediction: Devils 4 Bolts 2, Elias gets 2, Parise gets 1, and Clarkson with the empty netter! Hedman and Vinny for the Bolt's tallies.
Have fun watching the game tonight, its on Versus(HD) and TSN2 for our Canadian fans.
Last but not least, GO DEVILS!