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Preview: Devils at Ducks

New Jersey looking to extend winning streak to six; goaltender Jonathan Bernier to start for Anaheim

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DEVILS (9-3-3) at DUCKS (8-6-3)

10 p.m. ET; PRIME, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils will try to win their sixth straight game Thursday, despite losing left wing Taylor Hall, who will miss the next 3-4 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee on Wednesday. Hall is tied for the Devils lead in goals (five) and points (12), is first in power-play goals (three) and game-winning goals (two). "It's tough for Taylor, he came in and was playing well," Devils coach John Hynes told NJ Advance Media. "As a new player to the organization, he was really starting to feel comfortable. So it's disappointing from that perspective, but it is athletics, so from a team standpoint, we wish him well in his recovery and he'll certainly be an active member of our team moving forward." Defenseman Jon Merrill will make his season debut and replace Yohann Auvitu (upper body), marking the first time this season coach John Hynes has adjusted his defensive pairs. Auvitu participated in the morning skate Thursday and remained with the extras afterward, according to NorthJersey.com. Merrill, activated off injured reserve on Nov. 15, broke his finger in a preseason game against the New York Rangers on Oct. 1. Hynes said left wing Michael Cammalleri will not join the Devils during the remainder of this four-game West Coast trip for personal reasons, but may rejoin the team next week. The Devils winning streak is their longest since they won five consecutive games Feb. 3-10, 2013. They are 8-1-2 in their past 11 games, but are 0-for-21 on the power play in the past six.

 

Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks, who held an optional skate Thursday, have won three straight games at home, outscoring opponents 13-3 in that span. Coach Randy Carlyle sounded relieved the Ducks would not have to face Hall on Thursday. "I hope there's no ghost of Taylor Hall going to play tonight or somebody assuming his position," Carlyle told the Orange County Register. "Obviously I saw a lot of Taylor Hall through the course of previously watching him play and being in Canada. He's a dynamic young player. He has the ability to change the game on one shift. Not any different than what we saw the other night with [Connor] McDavid [of the Edmonton Oilers.]" This is the second of a season-high five-game homestand for the Ducks. Anaheim is 8-6-2 against New Jersey at Honda Center and center Antoine Vermette has 13 points (five goals, 13 points) in 25 games against the Devils. The Orange County Register reports goaltender Jonathan Bernier likely will make his fifth start of the season. In five career games against the Devils, Bernier is 2-2-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. The Ducks are 0-5-3 this season when the opponent scores the first goal.

 

Devils projected lineup

Beau Bennett -- Travis Zajac -- PA Parenteau

Pavel Zacha -- Adam Henrique -- Kyle Palmieri

Reid Boucher -- Jacob Josefson -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Sergey Kalinin -- Vernon Fiddler -- Nick Lappin

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Ben Lovejoy -- Jon Merrill

Kyle Quincey -- John Moore

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Michael Cammalleri (personal reasons), Blake Pietila

Injured: Taylor Hall (left knee), Yohann Auvitu (upper body)

 

Ducks projected lineup

Nick Ritchie -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Joseph Cramarossa -- Antoine Vermette -- Rickard Rakell

Ryan Garbutt -- Chris Wagner -- Jared Boll

Cam Fowler -- Josh Manson

Clayton Stoner -- Sami Vatanen

Kevin Bieksa -- Hampus Lindholm

Jonathan Bernier

John Gibson

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Simon Despres (concussion symptoms), Nate Thompson (achilles)

 

Status report

Bennett will replace Hall, as he did in a 2-1 overtime win at the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, on the Devils top line with Zajac and Parenteau. Schneider will make his 13th start of the season, and his third straight. He's 7-3-2 with a 2.14 GAA. … The Devils recalled Pietila from Albany of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. … The Ducks acquired right wing Logan Shaw from the Florida Panthers for center Michael Sgarbossa on Wednesday.Shaw was assigned to San Diego of the AHL.

 

Who's hot

Severson leads all Devils defensemen with 12 points (three goals, nine assists) and has one goal and two assists in the past two games. Defensemen have scored five of the Devils' eight goals in the past three games. … Kesler has nine points (six goals, three assists) in eight games in November; he is one goal shy of his career best during the month. He scored seven in November 2010.

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