DEVILS (27-23-13) at RED WINGS (28-21-13)
TV: RDS2, MSG PLUS, FS-D
Last 10: New Jersey 5-3-2; Detroit 5-3-2
Season series: This is the third and final game between the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings. The previous two were played at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Johan Franzen had the tiebreaking goal with 7:20 left as the Red Wings claimed a 3-1 win on Dec. 6, but the Devils responded with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday when Stephen Gionta scored with 36.6 seconds remaining.
Big story: With three teams directly ahead of them all losing Thursday night, the Devils could pull into a tie in points for eighth in the Eastern Conference with a regulation win. They are two points behind the Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets, who would still be seeded ahead of the Devils even if they win due to tiebreakers.
Devils: New forward Tuomo Ruutu, acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday, practiced Thursday on a line with Dainius Zubrus and Michael Ryder, while Ryane Clowe was moved up to the top line with Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr.
"It's always nice when somebody is interested in you," said Ruutu, who scored at least 10 goals seven times in his first nine NHL seasons. "I'm happy to be here."
Martin Brodeur started and beat the Red Wings on Tuesday in a game many fans believed might be his last with New Jersey. But the NHL Trade Deadline passed Wednesday with Brodeur still on the team that drafted him back in 1990. He'll be back in net Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes, but the Devils will turn to Cory Schneider for the start Friday.
Red Wings: Joe Louis Arena didn't provide much of a home-ice advantage for Detroit early this season; the Red Wings had an eight-game winless skid (0-2-6) and a stretch with just two wins in 16 home games (2-8-6) from Oct. 21-Dec. 17. Since that time, however, they have points in nine of 11 (6-2-3) at the Joe.
Deadline acquisition David Legwand debuted with the Red Wings on Thursday, playing on a line with Franzen and Gustav Nyquist. He posted two shots and a minus-2 rating. The Red Wings held a pair of leads on a night when they retired the jersey of longtime defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, but ultimately lost to the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in overtime.
"I thought we did a lot of great things tonight," said goaltender Jimmy Howard, who made 22 saves. "It's important to remember that we still got a point. [It] keeps us in the race here. It doesn't matter, every single night we gotta find a way to get points."
Who's hot: Devils forwards Adam Henrique (five goals, two assists) and Patrik Elias (two goals, five assists) have four-game point streaks. … Red Wings forward Tomas Jurco has three goals in his past five games.
Injury report: New Jersey defenseman Andy Greene left practice Thursday after "something just tightened up on him," according to coach Peter DeBoer, but he's expected to be available. … Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk (sore right knee) has been shut down for the next three weeks. Forwards Darren Helm (upper body) and Daniel Cleary (sprained knee) are also sidelined. Defenseman Jakub Kindl (lower body) and forwards Stephen Weiss (sports hernia surgery) and Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery) are on injured reserve.