New Jersey Devils at Los Angeles Kings - 10:30 pm
Staples Center - Los Angeles, California
TV: MSG+ Radio: WFAN 101.9 fm, 660 am
With their recent hot streak, the Devils have cemented themselves as an opponent to be taken seriously. They've beaten quality teams and disposed of teams they should beat. Last night's win was the peak of this recent stretch. A win tonight will take that peak a bit higher.
They'll face a team they know very well in the Los Angeles Kings. This LA squad is essentially the same one they faced in the 2012 Finals. Friday's game was very reminiscent of Games 1, 2, 4 and 5 from that series. Great goaltending, a fair amount of chances for each side as well as huge, momentum-swinging goals defined those games. We should be in store for another great one tonight. Here are some thoughts for tonight's tilt:
Some thoughts on tonight's game:
1. First goal. Yes, it's the blinding flash of the obvious. Including last weekend's game and the Stanley Cup Finals, the team that scores first between these two teams has won the last seven games. LA is fourth in team defense and they haven't missed a beat since Jonathan Quick got injured. The Devils found out first hand a few days ago when they were shut out by Ben Scrivens.
2. Hold their own in the faceoff dot. Part of the reason the Devils stuck with the Kings the last time they played was stealing some faceoff wins, as they each had 28 wins and 28 losses. It may not sound impressive but going up against a Kings squad that is No. 1 in the league in faceoff percentage, that is a big deal.
3. Scoring goals for Cory? Yes, hopefully there will be #Goals4Cory. I fear the worst, however. Cory Schneider gets the daunting task of facing a tough group of Kings forwards while his teammates go up against a smothering defensive unit for LA.
Prediction - Kings 2, Devils 1 (SO)
I think we'll see another strong effort but the Kings are a level or two above NJ. There's no shame in losing to LA. The Devils have shown the last week or so that when they are on their game, they can play with anyone in the league. We'll watch a very similar game to Friday's contest in Newark. This time it'll be good enough to get a point.
Enjoy the game, everyone.