Tonight on the ice, a pair of teams from the Metro Division will square off as the New Jersey Devils Rumble with the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh. North Carolina. The Devils will be playing on no rest as they have a road game against the Lightning on Saturday, while the Hurricanes are off a 3-0 home loss to the Islanders. Goalie Probables: Eddie Lack is slated to get the call for the Devils in this one and he will be opposed by Cam Ward.
Devils Looking To Keep Pace In The East
The New Jersey Devils have missed the postseason in each of the last five years, but they are hoping to break that skid this year. They have been struggling of late, but are still well in the race for a playoff spot as they had a very good start to the year and are riding that start right now. Prior to their game against Tampa Bay on Saturday, they had won two in a row, but going back further and we note that they are just 7-14 in their last 21 games. Still, they hold down the 7th slot in the Eastern Conference and would love to come out of these two games over the weekend with at least a split as that would really help them keep pace in the East. Leading the team in scoring this year has been Taylor Hall with 23, while 2nd is Miles Wood with 15 and 3rd is Kyle Palmieri with 14. The Devils have gone 13-15 on the road and they have averaged 3.00 gpg and have allowed 3.21 gpg in those games.
Keith Kinkaid is slated to get the start against the Lightning on Saturday, so for this one, it will be Eddie Lack and he has gone 1-3 with a 4.55 GAA and a .833 save percentage on the year, including 0-2 with a 5.27 GAA and a .818 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 29-41 with a 2.76 GAA on the road and 11-22 with a 3.03 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Devils he has gone 2-3 with a 2.66 GAA.
New Jersey enters this contest ranked 12th in the league in scoring at 2.96 gpg, while also ranking 19th in shots taken (31.5 spg) and 19th in power play conversions, converting on 19.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit below average so far as they come in ranked 22nd in goals allowed, giving up 3.02 gpg, while also ranking 14th in shots allowed (31.6 spg) and 12th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.1% of their chances.
Canes Get Blanked By The Islanders At Home
The New York Islanders had no shutout all season, but have now had two in their last two games after the Carolina Hurricanes failed to light the lamp against them on Friday night in a 3-0 loss. The Canes have really struggled on offense of late as they have scored just 23 goals over their last 10 games, with seven of those goals coming in one game. They have failed to reach three goals in a game in 10 of their last 15 games and if they hope to stay in the playoff race then they will clearly need to get their offense on track. Right now they are in the 10th slot in the Eastern Conference, but just one point behind the Islanders, who are in the 8th slot. Leading their team in scoring this year has been Sebastian Aho with 21 goals, while 2nd is Jeff Skinner with 19 and 3rd is Elias Lindholm with 15. The Hurricanes have gone 15-15 here at home for the year and they have averaged 2.57 gpg and have allowed 2.70 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Islanders was Cam Ward, who allowed two goals on 22 shot attempts to fall to 17-11 with a 2.58 GAA and a .912 save percentage on the year, including 9-6 with a 2.24 GAA and a .920 save percentage at home. In his career, he has gone 183-150 with a 2.54 GAA in his home games and 35-37 with a 2.68 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Devils he has gone 12-19 with a 2.60 GAA.
Carolina has been a poor offensive team so far as they come in ranked 24th in the league in scoring 2.66 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (34.3 spg) and 18th in power play conversions, converting on 19.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been below average so far as they come in ranked 20th in goals allowed, giving up 2.95 gpg, while also ranking 1st in shots allowed (28.9 spg) and 18th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.0% of their chances.
New Jersey is:
- 19-40 in their last 59 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation
- 1-5 in their last six games playing on 0 days rest
- None Available
These teams played a few days ago and the Devils won that game by a score of 5-2. One glaring difference in that game, compared to this one is the Fact that Scott darling got the start in that 1st game and for this one, it will be Cam Ward, who has been much better than ward this year. We also note that the Canes were on the road for that game and they have another advantage in this one and that is the fact that the Devils will be playing on no rest. Both teams need this game to keep pace in the race for a playoff spot, but all the edges point to the Hurricanes and that is the way I will roll in this one.