Pittsburgh Penguins (29-11-1) @ New Jersey Devils (16-16-8)
Root Sports, MSG Plus, NHLN-CA – 1:00 pm/et
Prudential Center – Newark, New Jersey
The Penguins officially enter the second half of the NHL season with a game in New Jersey.
Say goodbye to 2013 everyone.
STATS, INFO & NOTES:
Penguins: Sidney Crosby (22G, 36A: 58P)
Devils: Jaromir Jagr (13G, 21A: 34P)
Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (22-9-1, 2.16 GAA, .920 Sv%)
Devils: Martin Brodeur (11-8-3, 2.31 GAA, .906 Sv%)
Penguins: Defeated Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3.
Devils: Defeated New York Islanders 2-1.
Sidney Crosby is the most dangerous player in the world and arguably the best in the world right now. The only thing he isn't top of the league in is in possession and even that has gone quite well for him. He leads the NHL in scoring with 22 goals and 36 assists in 41 games. Patrick Kane is five points back of Crosby and third place sits at 44 points. Short of a cold streak or an injury, Crosby has the inside track to lead the entire league in scoring again. But #87 is so dangerous because of his linemates. He usually rolls with Chris Kunitz, who's got 21 goals and 21 assists, and Pascal Dupuis. But Dupuis is injured. The answer? James Neal, one of the best shooters in the league. He's missed time due to injury and suspension but he's got 14 goals and 16 assists in 21 games. On Sunday, he was absolutely amazing alongside Kunitz and Crosby and was involved in all five of Pittsburgh's goals. The Devils may have the last change but it's really a case of hope to try and limit a dynamite trio like those three.
What Happened Last Time: December 13, 2013 – Pens won 3-2. [Our Recap]
The current top six is Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Megna, Jokinen and the remains of Pascal Dupuis. The defense is riddled with injuries. And yet they just keep winning games. A rather interesting trend developing is the Penguins surging out to large leads and then basically just playing with their food and hoping they don't choke. In this one, much like the San Jose game, they jumped out to a lead and hung on.
One thing that can't be disputed is the goaltending they are getting from Marc-Andre Fleury. He very well may be playing the best hockey of his career. It’s something no one could have predicted except maybe that sports psychologist. In previous years, maybethe Penguins lose this game. But Fleury stole the third. Every time it seems the Pens are going to collapse, he’s been steadying them.
Penguins Player(s) to Watch: Sidney Crosby, because he's Sidney Crosby.
Devils Player(s) to Watch: Jaromir Jagr, because he's Jaromir Jagr.
Gif that Seems Appropriate for Today's Game:
Pittsburgh Penguins lines from Daily Faceoff:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Joe Vitale
Chris Conner – Jussi Jokinen – James Neal
Chuck Kobasew – Brandon Sutter – Brian Gibbons
Tanner Glass – Zach Sill – Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Deryk Engelland
Matt Niskanen – Rob Scuderi
Robert Bortuzzo – Simon Despres
New Jersey Devils lines from Daily Faceoff:
Dainius Zubrus – Travis Zajac – Jaromir Jagr
Ryane Clowe – Adam Henrique – Michael Ryder
Patrik Elias – Stephen Gionta – Steve Bernier
Reid Boucher – Andrei Loktionov – Cam Janssen
Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador – Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas – Jon Merrill