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Preview: Devils at Blue Jackets

New Jersey seeks sixth straight road win; Markus Nutivaara returns for Columbus

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

DEVILS (21-21-10) at BLUE JACKETS (33-12-5)

7 p.m. ET; FS-O, MSG, NHL.TV


Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils will be trying for their sixth consecutive road win when they come to Nationwide Arena. New Jersey is 7-0-1 in its eight road games since the start of 2017. However, the Devils play eight of their final nine games this month at home. They've lost seven in a row at Prudential Center after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday. During training camp and an exhibition game for Team USA in preparation for the World Cup of Hockey 2016 in September, forward Kyle Palmieri became familiar with Nationwide Arena and the booming cannon that salutes the home team's goals. "We go in there, it's a tough place to play," he told "We've got to hear that cannon every time [Columbus scores]. I was lucky enough in September to be on the right side of the cannon. This time I've going to try to do my best to not hear it too often." New Jersey is 6-2-3 in the second game of back-to-backs.


Blue Jackets team scope

Forward Markus Hannikainen will replace ill forward Josh Anderson in the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup against the Devils. Rookie defenseman Markus Nutivaara will return after missing eight games with an injury. Defenseman Dalton Prout will sit. Coach John Tortorella is optimistic that the Columbus Blue Jackets' funk after their 16-game winning streak may be lifting. The Blue Jackets are 6-7-1 since the streak, but Tortorella was happy with his team's effort in a 4-3 overtime loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, a game Columbus trailed 2-0 and 3-1 before rallying to earn a point. "It's a good point, a really good point being down a couple [of goals] in third, but we're always trying to get the other one," said Tortorella, who was much happier Friday than he was following a 6-4 road win against the New York Rangers on Tuesday, a game in which they led 6-0 in the third period. "This was a better game than New York. We're going in the right direction," Tortorella said after the loss in Pittsburgh. Columbus is 6-2-3 in the second games of back-to-backs. The Blue Jackets have the NHL's top power play (24.6 percent) but have had no opportunities in three of the past four games. The Blue Jackets are 16-3-1 in their past 20 home games.


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Michael Cammalleri

Pavel Zacha -- Jacob Josefson -- Stefan Noesen

Joseph Blandisi -- Sergey Kalinin -- PA Parenteau

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Kyle Quincey -- Ben Lovejoy

Seth Helgeson -- Steven Santini

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Vernon Fiddler, Devante Smith-Pelly, Karl Stollery

Injured: Jon Merrill (upper body), Beau Bennett (lower body), John Moore (concussion)

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Matt Calvert -- William Karlsson -- Markus Hannikainen

Scott Hartnell -- Lukas Sedlak -- Sam Gagner

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Ryan Murray -- Jack Johnson

Scott Harrington -- Markus Nutivaara11

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Josh Anderson (illness), Dalton Prout

Injured: David Clarkson (back), David Savard (undisclosed)


Status report

Schneider will start for the third straight game. … Bobrovsky will start for the second straight game after Korpisalo played against the Rangers on Tuesday.


Who's hot

Cammalleri has five assists in the past five games. Palmieri had three goals in two games. Henrique has three goals and an assist during a three-game point streak. Zacha's point streak is at three games (one goal, two assists). … Wennberg has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past five games. Jones has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past five games. Jenner has five points, including three goals, in the past five games.

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