By: David Kolb
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (0-1-0) @ TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (1-0-0)
PREGAME COVERAGE: 6:30 PM, MSG+2
The Devils head to Tampa to face the high-powered Lightning in an Eastern Conference matchup tonight. New Jersey is hoping to rebound after dropping their season opener, 2-1, to the Florida Panthers on Thursday, while the Bolts outpaced the Red Wings, 6-4, in a high-scoring affair in their season opener.
DEVILS KEY FOR SUCCESS
Taylor Hall closed out his first contest with the Devils with no points and two shots on net. Hall, along with former junior teammate, Adam Henrique, must kick start the Devils’ offense tonight.
The Michael Cammalleri–Travis Zajac–Kyle Palmieri line looks great on paper, but they have to make it work on the ice. Both Palmieri and Cammalleri could notch 20-goals this season, but their offensive skills will be needed tonight to match the Lightning’s firepower.
KEY TO STOPPING TAMPA BAY
The Devils will need great goaltending from Cory Schneider, following Tampa’s 36-shot, six-goal performance against the Red Wings on Thursday. The Bolts’ attack is relentless, so Schneider will have to find his groove early in the game.
The Lightning are deep and experienced, and any line can score — so any lull in the Devils’ defensive game could be met by sustained pressure and scoring chances. The Lightning trailed, 3-2, entering the third period against Detroit and then scored three straight goals in the third period to put away the Red Wings.
Andy Greene will be on the ice as often as possible against Steven Stamkos, trying to contain the Lightning captain. Stamkos tallied an assist with four shots in his first game this season, while the Devils captain skated a team-high 22:11 with two blocked shots in Florida.