The Winnipeg Jets and New Jersey Devils will do battle for the final time this season on Monday night, as the Jets head east for their longest road trip of the year. In their meeting on October 13, the Jets blanked New Jersey 3-0, putting the Devils at 0-3-3 on the year. Now, the Devils have gotten the ball rolling, while the Jets come into this match-up with a 3-game losing streak.
The Devils are coming off a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks, and the Jets faced a similar fate against the Minnesota Wild, both on Saturday. New Jersey returns back to the Prudential Center tonight after a 3-game road swing on the west coast, in which they went 2-1. The Jets are kicking off a 6-game, 14-day road trip, after a 3-game home stand in which Winnipeg picked up a single point.
Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was involved in a scary incident, in which a puck hit him in the back of the neck, and left him lifeless on the ice for nearly a minute. The freak accident had no long-term effects on the legendary goaltender, as he will get the start tonight. At the other end will be Ondrej Pavelec, who had a great 33-save effort in the Jets’ loss on Saturday afternoon.
The Devils will be without young defenseman Adam Larsson, who is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Stephen Gionta will also be scratched, after aggravating a previous ankle injury on the weekend. The Jets will be happy to get back their young defenseman, 2013 first-round pick Jacob Trouba, who will play for the first time since October 18, when he was taken off the ice after on a stretcher, after falling face-first into the boards. Trouba had this to say about his return:
I’m excited to start playing again, that’s for sure. It’s been a rough month… however long it’s been for me. I’m not used to not playing… It’s tough seeing us lose these last couple of games for sure. It’s tough to see some losses when you want to do whatever you can to help the team win.
Winnipeg will have to put a lot of pucks at the net tonight, as Brodeur and his back-up Corey Schneider have kept their team in the thick of things early on in the season. Secondary scoring could play a huge factor in the game, as the Devils’ banged-up blue line will be extremely busy if all three of the Jets’ scoring lines are generating offense tonight. Defensively, the Jets will need to continue to minimize turnovers, and use their big bodies to clear the road for Pavelec to make easy saves. The power-play could also be a focus on Monday, as the Jets allowed their league-high fourth short-handed goal against on Saturday.
The Jets are 4-1-1 against the Eastern Conference this season, while the Devils are 3-5-3 against the West. The Jets hope that tough lessons learned from their Western counterparts in the week previous have taught them enough to pick up a win tonight in New Jersey, and continue that on the entire road trip.
Puck drop in New Jersey is at 6PM Central Time. You can watch the game on TSN Jets, or listen live on TSN 1290.
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