By: DAVID KOLB
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (10-7-5) @ CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (15-6-3)
ENDING ROAD WOES
The New Jersey Devils had their three-game points streak (1-0-2) snapped Tuesday and fell to 0-1-1 on their current four-game road trip, falling 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets. Despite their 10-7-5 record, the Devils are now 3-7-3 on the road this season, and look to steal a road win at the United Center in Chicago against the Blackhawks.
Tonight’s contest will mark the fourth game in-a-row in which Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews has missed. Toews is reportedly suffering from a back injury that will sideline him until at least Saturday. Despite skating without Toews, Chicago is still gaining points in the standings and is now 2-0-1 without their captain.
Without the injured Taylor Hall in the lineup, the Devils are truly missing the scoring punch he provided early this season. The Devils were 0-4 on the power play against Winnipeg Tuesday, and are now 3-17 (17.6%) over the last five games when on the power play.
KP GETTING BACK ON TRACK
Kyle Palmieri has two points in his past three games, giving him three goals and six assists for nine points. After potting a 30-goal season last year, Palmieri is underperforming this season. He looks to come alive tonight, as he has two goals and three assists for five points in his last three games against Chicago.
PK DOING THE JOB
New Jersey’s penalty kill was fantastic against the Jets Tuesday, killing all five power play situations. The Devils were also successful in killing a Jets’ five-on-three power play for 1:41 during the second period, improving the Devils special teams on going 3-for-3 when facing a five-on-three shorthanded situation this season.