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Penguins at Devils preview

Pittsburgh 2-8-0 in past 10 games; New Jersey has won six of nine

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

PENGUINS (39-23-6) AT DEVILS (28-28-12)



The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to gain ground in the Metropolitan Division standings with a win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

The Penguins, who have been outscored 11-4 in two straight losses and are 2-8-0 in their past 10 games, are in third place in the Metropolitan, five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers and three ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Devils, 11 points behind the Hurricanes and New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, have won two straight and are 6-1-2 in their past nine games.


Players to watch

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has eight points (two goals, six assists) in a four-game point streak and is one power-play goal from becoming the second player in Pittsburgh history to reach 150; Mario Lemeiux had 236.

Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood is 7-1-1 with a 1.76 goals-against average, .953 save percentage and two shutouts in his past nine starts.


They said it

"There have to be five guys out there working cohesively in all three zones. We've got to help one another. We've got to have a collective effort. We are going to try to move by this, get back up and fight." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

"[Devils coach Alain Nasreddine] has come in with a lot of energy and he's been a huge reason why when you wake up in the morning you're really excited to go to the rink and practice. I think he's earned our trust. He's trusted the type of game I play, knows what kind of player I am." -- Devils forward Jesper Bratt


Penguins projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Patrick Marleau -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Evan Rodrigues -- Jared McCann -- Patric Hornqvist

Brandon Tanev -- Teddy Blueger -- Sam Lafferty

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Marcus Pettersson -- John Marino

Jack Johnson -- Justin Schultz

Matt Murray

Tristan Jarry

Scratched: Chad Ruhwedel, Juuso Riikola

Injured: Jake Guentzel (shoulder surgery), Zach Aston-Reese (lower body), Dominik Simon (upper body), Anthony Angello (upper body), Nick Bjugstad (lower body)


Devils projected lineup

Miles Wood -- Nico Hischier -- Kyle Palmieri

Jack Hughes -- Travis Zajac -- Joey Anderson

Jesper Bratt -- Pavel Zacha -- Nikita Gusev

Kevin Rooney -- Michael McLeod -- Janne Kuokkanen

Mirco Mueller -- P.K. Subban

Dakota Mermis -- Damon Severson

Connor Carrick -- Matt Tennyson

Mackenzie Blackwood

Cory Schneider

Scratched: John Hayden

Injured: Fredrik Claesson (lower body)


Status report

Bjugstad is week to week; the forward's injury is unrelated to the core muscle injury that kept him out Nov. 16-March 3. ... Tennyson was recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.


Stat pack

Crosby has 72 points (33 goals, 39 assists) in 65 games against New Jersey. … Murray is 4-1-0 with a 2.61 GAA and .910 save percentage in five games at Prudential Center. ... Gusev has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past nine games. … Bratt has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past 10 games.

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