Game Preview: Devils at Canucks

By: David Kolb

NEW JERSEY DEVILS (17-18-9) @ VANCOUVER CANUCKS (20-19-5)

SECOND AND FINAL…

Tonight the Devils look to make it two in a row in Western Canada, as they face the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. This will serve as the second and final game of the season series between the two teams, as the Devils edged the Canucks 3-2 on Dec. 6 in Newark. The Devils gained a big road win Friday, defeating the Calgary Flames, 2-1. The Canucks meanwhile have lost three straight, including Thursday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

HALL LOVIN’ IT OUT WEST

First-year Devils’ forward Taylor Hall scored the eventual game-winning goal on the power play in the first period Friday vs. Calgary. The marker was Hall’s 10 goal, and team-leading 27th point (tied with Travis Zajac). No. 9 has now scored two goals with four assists for six points in his last three games vs. the Canucks, including a goal and an assist in the first tilt against the Canucks earlier this season.

SCHNEIDER BETWEEN FAMILIAR PIPES

Cory Schneider will get the start against his former team tonight and is 3-1-2 with a .925 save percentage against his former team since skating with the Devils. Schneider has a 1.95 goals against average and .942 save percentage in his last three starts. However, he’s received little goal-support with the Devils netting only three pucks in those three games.

GRANLUND BRAKING OUT

Canucks’ center Markus Granlund has come on strong, scoring four goals in his past four games, including two vs. the Flyers Thursday. The 23-year-old is having a breakout season, potting 11 goals with eight assists for 19 points — already besting his career high season-total of 18 tallied in 2014-2015.

PALMIERI ROLLING AGAIN

Kyle Palmieri scored a goal and added an assist on Taylor Hall’s power play tally Friday against the Flames. Palmieri now has three points  (one goal, two assists) in the first two games of this four-game road-trip, improving his season totals to nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 42 games. Palmieri scored a goal and was a plus-1 in 19:01 of ice-time in the first game vs. the Canucks this season.