NEWARK, NJ -- After a red-hot start to the season, the New Jersey Devils are now on the outside looking in at a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.
With 49 points on the year, they remain in the mix but have struggled to gain consistency in January. After each of their three wins this month, they've dropped their next few games.
However, they are coming off a 2-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday and the atmosphere around the team remains very positive, despite the results over the last couple of weeks.
"I think overall, our coaches have come in and done a fantastic job as far as demanding a certain level of accountability every day from us and allowing us to try to play a certain way that allows us to have a chance to win every game," former Flame Michael Cammalleri said. "The players have done a good job with that level of commitment really.
"It’s been a really competitive group. It feels like we have a chance every night to be competitive. Whether that means a win or not, we’re not sure, but having that competitiveness in our room has been fun."
The Devils will have Cammalleri back in the lineup tonight, giving them an offensive boost. Their leading scorer, with 14 goals and 35 points, has missed the last eight games with an upper body injury.
Given his lack of practice time, he isn't sure what his first few shifts will be like but he is optimistic he'll be able to get back into the swing of things quickly.
"It’s been eight games, two weeks, and I’ve had one practice. So (I’ll) jump in with both feet and try my best to help the team tonight. I don’t know what exactly what that challenge means but maybe I’ll let you know at 9:30 tonight."
BREAKING DOWN THE DEVILS
Power Play: 17.7% overall (26 goals scored in 147 chances with the man advantage), 15.7% at home (11 goals scored in 70 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 82.9% overall (25 goals allowed in 146 times being short-handed), 83.0% at home (10 goals allowed in 59 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 0-1-0
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 0-1-1
Notable Injuries: Patrik Elias (knee), Jacob Josefson (lower body), Jiri Tlusty (upper body), Jon Merrill (undisclosed)
Who's HOT: Cory Schneider
The Devils starter has provided great goaltending for his team all season long and is coming off a 38-save shutout performance against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. He has allowed two goals or less in 24 of his last 31 starts since Oct. 29 and is 15-12-4 with four shutouts, a 1.95 GAA & .932 save percentage during that span.
The 29-year-old is 19-14-5 this season with a 2.03 GAA and a .929 save percentage.
Honourable Mention: Adam Larsson
The 23-year-old leads all New Jersey defencemen in scoring this year, netting one goal and 11 points in 46 skates. In his past five games, Larsson has four points and four shots on net. He's coming off a one-point performance in New Jersey's 2-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
Larsson, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, is averaging 22:05 of ice time per game this year, which ranks second among all Devils skaters.
Who's NOT: Travis Zajac
Travis Zajac has hit a dry spell in the month of January. The 30-year-old forward has just one assist and is a minus-one in eights games this month. He has also been stymied in the face-off circle in January, winning over 50 percent of draws in just two games.
Zajac has six goals and 19 points in 38 games this year.