Preview: New Jersey at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 10, 2016
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
The New Jersey Devils attempt to halt their three-game slide when they begin a four-game road trip against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. New Jersey has scored twice during its skid while losing a number of regulars to injuries.
Leading scorer Mike Cammalleri landed on injured reserve with an upper-body ailment while Tyler Kennedy (upper body) and defensemen David Schlemko and John Moore (lower body) also have gone down during the losing streak. Minnesota extended its point streak to three games (2-0-1) with Saturday’s 2-1 triumph at Dallas. The Wild are hoping Thomas Vanek’s game-winning goal gets him going as it was the Austrian’s second tally in 12 contests and first not fired into an empty net. New Jersey and Minnesota split their two-game series last season, with each club winning at home.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
ABOUT THE DEVILS (20-17-5): Due to the team’s numerous injuries, the Devils were forced to summon three players from Albany of the American Hockey League to make their debuts with the club Friday. Paul Thompson appeared in his first NHL contest, Jim O’Brien played in his first game since April 2, 2013 with Ottawa and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani hadn’t skated in a contest since Feb. 26, 2013 with Carolina. Kyle Palmieri, who leads the club with 17 goals, has netted only one in his last five games.
ABOUT THE WILD (22-11-8): Former Devil Ryan Carter halted his 16-game goal-scoring drought Saturday with his fourth of the season, giving him one more than the total he produced in 53 games last campaign. Jarret Stoll finally got on the scoresheet for Minnesota with an assist against Dallas after failing to record a point over his first 11 games. Captain Mikko Koivu, who leads the team with 32 points, has gone six games without a goal and has tallied in one of his last 11 contests.
1. The Devils have not lost four straight games since opening the season with a quartet of defeats.
2. Minnesota G Devan Dubnyk has allowed fewer than three goals in six of his last seven games.
3. New Jersey C Travis Zajac is mired in a 22-game goal-scoring drought.
PREDICTION: Devils 3, Wild 2