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Preview: Devils at Avalanche

New Jersey captain Andy Greene could return after three-game absence; goalie Calvin Pickard starts for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DEVILS (25-29-12) at AVALANCHE (18-44-3)

TV: 9 p.m. ET; ALT, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

Devils team scope

New Jersey Devils captain Andy Greene will play if he feels up to it, coach John Hynes said Thursday. Greene has missed three games following the death of his father Saturday and was en route from Michigan during the morning skate. "In this situation we'll leave it up to Andy," Hynes said. "He's a veteran player and I think he knows what his body needs. We'll have a discussion with him back at the hotel and if he feels like he's ready to play, we'll give him the opportunity to play. If he's not, we'll give him an extra day and get him ready (at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday)." Goalie Cory Schneider will start for the Devils, who have lost eight consecutive games (0-6-2) and were shut out in the past two. Ken Appleby will dress as the backup after being recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League because Keith Kinkaid sustained a knee injury in the Devils' 2-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. "It doesn't seem real, real serious," Hynes said. "We'll probably know a lot more tomorrow where he's going to be at, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be very long at this time." The Devils have been outscored 25-13 during the losing streak. "When you're in a situation where you're having trouble scoring, when the emphasis goes to scoring goals it takes away from doing the right things to get there," Hynes said. "You have to do the right things to be able to score. We have to do them more and more."

 

Avalanche team scope

Goalie Calvin Pickard will start for the Colorado Avalanche after making 25 saves in a 3-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes that ended a four-game losing streak Tuesday. The Avalanche haven't won two consecutive games since defeating the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 4 and the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 7. They've won a season-best two games in a row three times. "We want to get some consistency going," Pickard said. "There's no reason why we can't do it every night. We know where we're at right now, and it's not where we want to be, but there's nothing we can do about it now. We just have to look forward and play our game and get some confidence going into next year." The Avalanche converted their only power play Tuesday after going 23 in a row without a goal. "We haven't been drawing a lot of penalties," coach Jared Bednar said. "We take our fair share and we're trying to cut that number down. It's been an issue for us throughout the course of the season. I think we'll start drawing a few more penalties if we get up in the offensive zone and take pucks to the hard areas."

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri 

Pavel Zacha -- Adam Henrique -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Nick Lappin

Beau Bennett -- Joseph Blandisi -- Stefan Noesen

Jon Merrill -- Ben Lovejoy

Dalton Prout -- Steven Santini 

John Moore -- Damon Severson 

Cory Schneider

Ken Appleby

Scratched: Andy Greene, Kevin Rooney, Karl Stollery

Injured: Michael Cammalleri (shoulder), Jacob Josefson (upper body), Keith Kinkaid (knee)

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Rene Bourque

Sven Andrighetto -- Matt Duchene -- Mikko Rantanen

John Mitchell -- J.T. Compher -- Blake Comeau

Mikhail Grigorenko -- Carl Soderberg -- Matt Nieto

Mark Barberio -- Erik Johnson

Fedor Tyutin -- Tyson Barrie

Francois Beauchemin -- Patrick Wiercioch

Calvin Pickard

Jeremy Smith

Scratched: Joe Colborne, Cody Goloubef

Injured: Nikita Zadorov (broken ankle), Semyon Varlamov (hip surgery)

 

Status report

Rooney was recalled from Albany on Wednesday, the day after being reassigned there. He was scoreless in his first three NHL games after being recalled March 1.

 

Who's hot

Palmieri has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past eight games ... Landeskog has five points (four goals, one assist) in his past six games ... Barrie has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past six games.

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