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PRE-GAME REPORT: Devils vs Wild

Devils aim to build off Saturday's big win over Detroit with a visit from Minnesota

by Marc Ciampa / NewJerseyDevils.com

The Devils face-off against the Minnesota Wild tonight at Prudential Center.

You can watch the game on MSG+ within the Devils region, ESPN+ outside it or listen on the Devils Hockey Network. 

Video: DEVILS:60 | vs. Wild

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

INSIDE THE DEVILS

Devils practice notes from Monday and more news and notes from the past few days. 

>> READ MORE IN THE INSIDE THE DEVILS BLOG

PRE-GAME REPORT

NEWARK, NJ - After a successful team effort on Saturday against Detroit, the Devils plan to go with the same lineup tonight against the Minnesota Wild. 

The forward lines and defense pairings are expected to be: 

Hall - Hischier - Palmieri
Boqvist - Hughes - Simmonds
Seney - Zajac - Gusev
Wood - Coleman - Hayden

Greene-Severson
Vatanen-Subban
Butcher-Tennyson

In goal, the team will go with goaltender Louis Domingue once again. 

"(Mackenzie Blackwood's) had a lot of work. He's played in some back-to-backs. and we have a back-to-back coming up. We need two goalies that can play. The more we can do that, I think you're going to get the best of both goalies," said Devils head coach John Hynes when asked about the decision to go back with Domingue, who stopped 19 of 20 against the Red Wings. 

VETERAN SIMMONDS ASSISTS ROOKIES

One trio that has played together the last few games and is finding their stride is Wayne Simmonds with rookies Jesper Boqvist and Jack Hughes. 

"I'm loving it," said Simmonds of playing with the two rookies. "They're very youthful and have a ton of energy. They're great players and great kids. We have a lot of good communication going."

Simmonds has been very vocal on the bench, chatting with his linemates after most shifts. 

"It's important," he said of being vocal. "Not only that they're young guys but that we're playing together. I've got to corral them a little bit. We talk every shift about what we want from each other. It's been good so far."

Coach Hynes talked about Simmonds' influence and the blueprint for that which was set in the off-season.

"It's been big. One of the things talking with Wayne this summer is he likes playing with young guys. He talked about the relationship he had with Nolan Patrick." 

Boqvist has appreciated the leadership from his linemate.

"I think we complement each other pretty good. Jack is really good and Simmonds too has been in the league a long time. It's fun."

-- Marc Ciampa, NewJerseyDevils.com

PREVIEW

DEVILS (8-10-4) vs. WILD (9-11-4)

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

Head-to-Head:

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

Last season, the Wild won 4-2 in New Jersey and the Devils won 5-4 in overtime in Minnesota. 

Jesper Bratt led the way for the Devils with a goal and two assists in three games against the Wild. Marcus Foligno and Ryan Suter each had three points to top the Wild scoresheet in two outings. 

Devils team scope:

The Devils are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games and 4-4-4 through 12 home games this season. They are coming off a big 5-1 win this past Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings and look to build off that tonight. 

New Jersey is nine points out of a playoff spot but hold two games in hand on both wild card holders. 

Taylor Hall continues to lead the Devils in scoring with 20 points through 22 games (4 goals, 16 assists). In his MVP season of 2017-18, Hall had 24 points through his first 22 games (7 goals, 17 assists).

Wild team scope:

The Wild are led in scoring by 35-year-old Eric Staal who has seven goals and 17 points in 24 games. Jason Zucker is second with eight goals and 16 points. Former Devils forward Zach Parise has nine goals and 12 points in 24 contests.

Heading into tonight's game, the Wild have picked up points in six straight (3-0-3) and in eight of their last 10 (5-2-3) but they still sit second-last in the Western Conference with 22 points. 

Last night, the Wild dropped a 3-2 decision to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. 

By the Numbers:

In wins this season, the Devils have an 18.8% power-play rating and are 90.9% on the penalty kill and 45% in the face-off dot. In regulation losses, they have a 5.7% rating and 67.6% on the penalty kill but in the face-off circle they're a slightly improved 47.6%. Minnesota is 14.7% on the power play and 75% on the penalty kill in regulation losses and in wins are 20.6% on the power play and 92% on the PK. 

Last game was the first one all season where Taylor Hall scored a goal and the team won (it was an empty-netter). 

Minnesota is eight points behind their pace of last season through 24 games. Last season, the Wild had 83 points, finishing short of the playoff picture. But they are only three points behind their pace of 2017-18. They ultimately finished 2017-18 with 101 points. 

Injury Updates:

Devils - Connor Carrick (upper body) is out; Kevin Rooney (upper body) is out

Wild - Greg Pateryn (core muscle) is out; Marcus Foligno (lower body) is day-to-day

-- Marc Ciampa, NewJerseyDevils.com

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