Preview: New Jersey at Colorado
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 14, 2016
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The New Jersey Devils attempt to end their recent struggles when they continue their four-game road trip against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. New Jersey dropped a 5-2 decision at St. Louis on Tuesday to fall to 1-1-0 on its trek and 1-4-0 over its last five overall contests.
Despite their woes, the Devils are within four points of a tie for second place in the Metropolitan Division but also are only two ahead of seventh-place Carolina. Colorado looks to avoid a third straight defeat after being blanked 4-0 at home by Tampa Bay on Tuesday. The Avalanche are just 9-10-3 at Pepsi Center, where they have suffered three of their four shutout losses this season. Colorado is seeking a sweep of the two-game season series after escaping New Jersey with a 2-1 triumph on Dec. 1.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, MSG Plus 2 (New Jersey), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE DEVILS (21-18-5): Riddled with injuries, New Jersey could be without Jordin Tootoo as the right wing suffered an upper-body injury against St. Louis and is listed as questionable. It definitely will be missing Bobby Farnham, who received a four-game suspension from the league on Wednesday for interference against St. Louis’ Dmitrij Jaskin. Help is on the way, however, as defenseman John Moore (lower body) may return to the lineup versus the Blues and leading scorer Mike Cammalleri (upper body) could be back as soon as Saturday.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (21-20-3): Colorado made a number of changes to its defense corps Wednesday, recalling Nikita Zadorov and Chris Bigras from San Antonio while assigning Brandon Gormley to the American Hockey League club. Nate Guenin was placed on waivers and Erik Johnson (knee) on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 4, but the latter is eligible to be activated. Meanwhile, Brad Stuart, who has not played since Nov. 10 due to a back injury, is skating on his own and could return soon.
1. Devils RW Lee Stempniak is one point shy of 400 for his career.
2. Colorado C Matt Duchene needs one goal to eclipse last season’s total of 21 and six to match his career high set in 2010-11.
3. New Jersey is 0-for-12 on the power play over its last five games.
PREDICTION: Avalanche 3, Devils 2