BY: DAVID KOLB
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (16-18-8) @ EDMONTON OILERS (21-15-7)
FOUR GAMES IN THE WEST
Tonight, the New Jersey Devils head to Western Canada where they start a four-game road trip against the Edmonton Oilers. This will be the second and final game against the Oilers this season, as the Oilers edged the Devils 2-1 in overtime at Prudential Center on Jan. 7. The Devils begin the night looking to snap a three-game losing streak following their 3-0 loss to the Florida Panthers. Meanwhile, the Oilers are hoping to rebound as well after dropping two straight, including Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
Devils forward Taylor Hall makes his returns to Edmonton tonight for the first time since being traded for Adam Larsson this past summer. Hall, who spent six seasons with the Oilers before being traded, was named to the Metropolitan Division squad for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. This will serve as Hall’s second straight all-star game, as he represented the Oilers last season. In his first season in Newark, Hall has nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 32 games.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid has five assists in his past five games. However, he is still looking for his first goal of 2017. The Pacific Division All-Star captain is showing no signs of suffering any sophomore slump in his second NHL campaign. He’s produced 14 goals and 34 assists for 48 points, including an assist in his first tilt against New Jersey.
HENRIQUE ON THE DRAW
Despite being held off the board for the past two games, center Adam Henrique has still been a contributing factor. The 26-year-old from Brantford, Ontario has been excellent in the faceoff circle, both eliminating threats in his defensive zone while creating offensive possessions in the offensive zone. Against Florida Monday, Henrique went 10-14 (71%) on faceoffs, and through 42 games he has 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points.
Devils rookie Miles Wood scored the lone goal and was a plus-1 in last week’s tilt against the Oilers. The 21-year-old rookie continues to steadily improve, having scored three goals in December. He then added a goal and an assist in five games for the start of January. Wood has collected five goals and two assists for seven points in his initial NHL campaign.