New Jersey Devils vs Vancouver Canucks, 7:00pm
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: MSG+ Radio: WFAN 101.9 fm, 660 am
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Goaltender: Cory Schneider
1. What can the Gelinas-Larsson pairing bring? Eric Gelinas was called up after Bryce Salvador left due to a death in the family. After a strong preseason, he get's his chance. Gelinas has a great shot and showed a lot of promise in the defensive end as well during the preseason. Though it's likely that he'll be sent down once Salvador returns, a strong game could certainly work towards changing that. As for Adam Larsson, he's back in after sitting for a few games. He needs to have a strong game as well. The young Swedish defender must limit any defensive zone breakdowns and begin to show some of the progress he had made during last season.
2. Cory Schneider against his former team: take two. Schneider was good against Vancouver when the teams squared off in British Columbia just a few games ago. He did give up the goal in overtime and you have to expect that with the home ice, he wants to be even better. After a shaky performance against the Blue Jackets, the 27-year-old netminder has to be better tonight, especially with the Canucks scoring goals in bunches so far this season.
3. The new lines, will they work? Once again, the lines are switched for tonight. Though they have to find something that sticks at some point or another, Pete DeBoer is still trying to find the right combinations that will best suit his players. Andrei Loktionov with Patrik Elias and Jaromir Jagr is a tantalizing combination. Though Loktionov has had some gaffes in the defensive end lately, he still possesses creativity and speed in the offensive end. Put him with two hall-of-fame caliber players and he should be in an excellent position to succeed. Rostislav Olesz has almost silently been very effective this year, he's a big, tough forechecker who can bring some scoring touch as well. Putting him with Travis Zajac and Damien Brunner may elevate all three.
Prediction: Devils 3, Canucks 2
This is a must-win game for this team. 1-5-3 is already a tough hole to climb out of and any loss at this point makes it even harder. They looked good for about a period and a half against Columbus, but got outworked in the third period and it showed. Expect a very strong effort from this team tonight as they look to show that their win against the Rangers wasn't a fluke. Patrik Elias's return makes this lineup deeper and it will translate into some goals.