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PRE-GAME REPORT: Devils vs. Red Wings

Devils look to bounce back from Tuesday's loss on the heels of a six-game points streak

by Marc Ciampa /

The Devils face the Detroit Red Wings tonight at Prudential Center.

You can get tickets to the game, watch it on MSG+ or listen on the Devils Hockey Network. 

Video: DEVILS:60 | Brick City Hosts Motor City

Read the game preview below plus lineup updates, our Pre-Game Report, videos and more. 


At 12:30 PM ET today, you can watch our Live Pre-Game Show as host Chris Wescott takes you through the storylines with interviews, analysis and more. 



Devils news and notes from the past few days. 



NEWARK, NJ - The Devils look to get back on the winning side of things tonight against a Detroit Red Wings squad that's struggled most of the season. 

In order to do so, Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine cautioned that the team needs to play better in front of its own net than it did against the Panthers on Tuesday in a 5-3 loss. 

"Our net defense was loose and our compete level in that hard area of the game was not good enough. A team with big bodies like Florida would make us pay," he said. 

The Devils will be going with the same lineup for tonight with the exception of Mackenzie Blackwood, who will be in goal. 

Bratt - Hughes - Palmieri
Coleman - Zajac - Gusev
Wood - Zacha - Simmonds
Hayden - Rooney - Anderson

Greene - Subban
Butcher - Severson
Mueller - Carrick


Blackwood had back-to-back shutouts before the team went with Louis Domingue on Tuesday night against Florida. 

"We had a plan. We talked as an organization," Nasreddine said of starting Domingue. "That's how it went down. I understand the frustration from fans and a lot of people. I was disappointed with our effort. That has to improve tonight."

Blackwood said he did relish the opportunity to work on his game since his last start. 

"When you're playing every single day, you don't get to spend extra time in practice because you're trying to conserve energy," he stated. "You can spend an extra 30 minutes working on your game."

As for the shutout streak, it's not something that Blackwood is worried too much about.

"I'm not really too concerned about getting another one of those tonight. All I want to do is play a good game, do well and winning," he said. "The goal is to come away with two points and play the best I can."

Nasreddine did add that it would be nice for Blackwood and the team if it continued. 

"It's something that's extra motivation, you want to keep the streak alive. Hopefully we do keep it alive for another 60 but competiing and playing the right way on the defensive side of the puck is most important for me."


Kevin Rooney scored again last game, making it three goals and five points in seven game since the all-star break. 

"I'm feeling more confident. It's nice to see the puck go in the back of the net certainly. First and foremost, I always want to be sound defensively," Rooney said. "Hopefully we can tighten it up against Detroit who's playing well even though they're below us in the standings."

In addition to John Hayden, his usual linemate, Rooney's been playing with Joey Anderson lately and he's found chemistry on that fourth line.

"He's a swiss army knife type of player," said Rooney of Anderson who plays in all sitautions. "I've played with Joey in the past whether it's Binghamton or Development Camp so we know him pretty well. He wins a ton of battles just like me and Hayds try to do."


Nasreddine had some positive news on the Nico Hischier injury front, saying that there was a possibiity he could return to the lineup tomorrow night in Carolina. 

"He's skated the last couple of days and looked very good. Inching closer and closer. Not going to go tonight but not going to rule him out for tomorrow (against Carolina). I'll need to talk to the medical staff after today."

It us unlikely, however, that Sami Vatanen plays in that game. 

"Nico (more) likely. Sami, I haven't had discussions with the medical staff so not sure on his status."

-- Marc Ciampa,


DEVILS (20-25-10) vs RED WINGS (14-40-4)

TV: 7:00 p.m. ET; Televised on MSG+


Tonight's game is the second of three meetings between the two teams this season. 

Previously, the Devils won 5-1 over the Red Wings back in November. Blake Coleman had two goals in that game to lead the way for New Jersey. 

Devils team scope:

The Devils had won every game since the all-star break until a 5-3 setback on Tuesday to the Florida Panthers. 

In the seven games since the all-star break, Kyle Palmieri leads the Devils with five goals and seven points. Damon Severson also has seven points with one point in each of the seven games. Jesper Bratt has six points in seven games while Kevin Rooney and Pavel Zacha each have five. 

Red Wings team scope:

The Red Wings have won two of their last four games which for a team that's 14-40-4 is a relatively good stretch. They had lost nine in a row prior to that (0-8-1). 

Dylan Larkin leads the team in scoring with 15 goals and 40 points in 58 games. Tyler Bertuzzi is right behind him with 38. 

Jimmy Howard has struggled in goal with a 2-21-2 record, 3.98 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. Jonathan Berner has 12 of the team's 14 wins and is 12-15-2 with a 2.83 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. 

By the Numbers:

Detroit's power play has only eight goals all season on the road in 80 attempts to rank last in the NHL. They have 18 on home ice. 

The Red Wings actually start games relatively well, with 48 goals allowed in the first period compared to 83 and 81 respectively in periods two and three. Devils have scored 62 goals in the second period this season compared to 43 in the first and 42 in the third. 

Detroit has yet to defeat the Metropolitan Division this season in 16 tries (0-15-1). When scoring first in a game, they still have a losing record at 9-13-1. 

Injury Updates:

Devils - Nico Hischier (lower body) is day-to-da; Sami Vatanen (lower body) is day-to-day

Red Wings - Danny DeKeyser (lower body) is on IR; Filip Zadina (lower body) is on IR; Madison Bowey (eye) is day-to-day; Robby Fabbri (upper body) is day-to-day

-- Marc Ciampa,

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