New Jersey Devils

With a win tonight, the New Jersey Devils can overtake the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

By Patrick Comia

Tonight, New Jersey has an opportunity to do something that they haven’t seen in three seasons: move up to third place in the Metropolitan Division.

And, the Devils certainly have momentum on their side heading into the Consol Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On Thursday night, they beat the defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago Blackhawks in their own building. With their win, the Devils swept the two-game season series and have to feel confident facing the firepower of the Penguins such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang just to name a few.

But, the Penguins have been struggling to find consistency with their game. Despite going 8-2 in their last 10 games, their home record is only two games above .500 at 5-3. It’s almost a little bit of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. You know when they are on their game, they are a juggernaut of a team to play with. Other times, they play like their own worst enemy.

That’s what may bode well for the Devils heading into puck drop.

They have beaten contending teams such as the above-mentioned Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, and New York Islanders. And, they have done it with a mix group of veterans and homegrown talent.

Kyle Palmieri and Mike Cammalleri are tied for the team lead in points with 14, with Palmeiri having seven points in his last five games. Last game’s hero, Sergey Kalinin, has three points in his last three games, including a two-point game against Chicago.

Watch for these three players to be factors in tonight’s contest.

Expect to see another dose of Cory Schneider in net for the Devils. He his past five games stated, he has not allowed more than two goals with a save percentage averaging .931. Against the Penguins, Schneider has as career record of 2-4-1 with a 2.25 goals against average, with a .923 save percentage. In his last meeting, Schneider shutout Pittsburgh 2-0, behind a 35-save performance.

Last season, the Penguins took four of the five meetings, including a 8-3 rout last October. However, this is a different Devils team from previous seasons.

New Jersey has shown a faster, up-tempo style under John Hynes through the early part of the 2015-2016 season.

If they are play to their game and get solid goaltending, New Jersey will keep passing teams by.

Gameday Tweets, @NHLDevils:

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