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Preview: Devils at Penguins

Evgeni Malkin out for Pittsburgh; New Jersey tries to win second straight after ending 10-game losing streak

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

DEVILS (26-31-12) at PENGUINS (43-17-9)

7 p.m. ET; SN360, ROOT, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils will look to win a second straight game after ending their 10-game losing streak (0-8-2) with a 6-2 defeat of the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. After starting goalie Keith Kinkaid against Philadelphia, New Jersey likely will turn to goalie Cory Schneider on Friday. Schneider is 19-22-10 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 53 games. He has lost his two previous starts against the Penguins this season, allowing eight goals on 67 shots. If he does start, Schneider will look to win for the first time since making 40 saves in a 3-2 defeat of the New York Islanders on Feb. 18; he's 0-5-2 since then. With a win, the Devils would climb past the Detroit Red Wings and into 15th place in the Eastern Conference. They are 14 points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with 13 games remaining. "We probably won't make the playoffs so we have to come to the rink, have fun and enjoy what we're doing and to get out of a funk," forward Taylor Hall said Thursday. "We have to go play and trust each other."

 

Penguins team scope

Forward Evgeni Malkin left the Penguins morning skate early and will not play Friday. Coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin has been dealing with an upper-body injury for some time and the decision was made to hold him out of the lineup against the Devils. Sullivan said he expects to have more information on Malkin's status Saturday. Malkin, who missed seven games last month with a lower-body injury, has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in his past seven games and is fifth in the NHL with 72 points and tied for fourth with 33 goals. Malkin is the latest Penguins player to miss time because of an injury, a list that now also includes defenseman Ron Hainsey, who is week to week because of an upper-body injury sustained in a 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. "I can't say we haven't gone through this before," forward Sidney Crosby said. "The teams we're playing against aren't going to feel sorry for us so we have to find ways to just hold on until we can get guys back." One prominent piece could return; forward Patric Hornqvist took part in the morning skate and said he is symptom-free from a concussion that has kept him out the past five games, and he would be a game-time decision. The Penguins, who have lost two in a row (0-1-1), are one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division and three points behind the first place Washington Capitals.

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Adam Henrique -- Joseph Blandisi -- Beau Bennett

John Quenneville -- Pavel Zacha -- Stefan Noesen

Miles Wood -- Blake Pietila -- Nick Lappin

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

John Moore -- Damon Severson

Jon Merrill -- Dalton Prout

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Steven Santini

Injured: Jacob Josefson (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (upper body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body), Blake Coleman (upper body)

 

Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Patric Hornqvist -- Matt Cullen -- Phil Kessel

Chris Kunitz -- Nick Bonino -- Scott Wilson

Tom Sestito -- Carter Rowney -- Tom Kuhnhackl

Brian Dumoulin -- Justin Schultz

Ian Cole -- Derrick Pouliot

Mark Streit -- Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Cameron Gaunce

Injured: Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Bryan Rust (upper body), Olli Maatta (hand), Trevor Daley (knee), Kris Letang (upper body), Carl Hagelin (lower body), Ron Hainsey (upper body)

 

Status report

Pouliot was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday to fill the void left by Hainsey's injury. Forwards Brandon Archibald and Oskar Sundqvist were sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday. Sestito can return from a four-game suspension he received from the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit against the Winnipeg Jets on March 8. ... The Devils did not hold a morning skate Friday.

 

Who's hot

Palmieri has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in his past 11 games. … Sheary has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games. Crosby has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past seven games.

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