Devils Drop Two In RowA four-date road trip went 0-2-0 after the first two fixtures for the New Jersey Devils (17-23-7), who followed up Tuesday’s 7-4 fiasco against the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena two nights later. Wayne Simmonds (5 goals, 19 points this year) and Blake Coleman (19 goals, 27 points) made it a one-goal game after the Caps netted the first three markers of the contest before Washington buried two more strikes in the final third. New Jersey is 2-4-1 in its last seven outings after posting a five-game point run prior (4-0-1). It boasts a 10-14-0 record on the road so far this season.
Blackwood re-joined the team in Columbus and looks like he's ready to return. Louis Domingue, who left the last game with an injury, was also on the ice. Cory Schneider is also good to go.— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 17, 2020
What happens next?https://t.co/nayhTqTkrp
Goalie Louis Domingue (3-5-0 on the year with a 3.66 GAA and a .883 save percentage) allowed two goals on 15 shots in the opening frame before leaving the fixture with a lower-body injury. Cory Schneider (0-5-1 this season with a 4.42 GAA and a .859 save percentage) made 20 saves in relief. He is 11-9-3 against the Columbus Blue Jackets previously with a 2.27 GAA and a .919 save percentage. The Devils, meanwhile, are 7th in least goals scored per game (2.64), 2nd in most goals given up on average (3.49), 2nd from the bottom in power play (14.2%) and 17th in penalty kill (79.4%).
Jackets Win Third StraightThe Columbus Blue Jackets (24-16-8) recorded a 2-0-0 tally on their current three-game homestand after the first two matchups following a 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Nationwide Arena on Thursday. Nick Foligno (5 goals, 19 points this year) banked the winner with 1:41 left in the contest after Emil Bemstrom (5 goals, 12 points) and Cam Atkinson (10 goals, 23 points) gave the Jackets 1-0 and 2-1 leads respectively. Columbus has now won three contests in a row, going 5-0-1 in its last six fixtures and 13-2-4 in its past 19 games. The team has a 14-9-2 record when skating on own ice.
Goalie Elvis Merzlikins, who picked up shutouts in his previous two matchups, made 32 saves versus Carolina, taking his ongoing performance showing to 7-6-4 with a 2.50 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He has never faced the New Jersey Devils before, but is 1-2-0 against the Metropolitan Division historically with a 3.74 GAA and a .891 save percentage. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, are scoring the 8th lowest quantity of goals per game (2.65), while conceding the 4th lowest amount in their defensive zone (2.58). They are 23rd in power play (17.5%) and 10th in penalty kill (82.0%).
New Jersey (according to Covers.com)
- Devils are 0-4 in their last 4 meetings with Blue Jackets in Columbus.
- Devils are 6-20 in their last 26 meetings with Blue Jackets overall.
Columbus (according to Covers.com)
- Blue Jackets are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Blue Jackets are 6-2 in their last 8 home games.