The New Jersey Devils just can’t seem to stay off of losing streaks. Here’s what to watch for tonight as they try to halt their most recent skid at two games.
Evgeni Malkin sat out the Penguins’ Saturday slamming of the Columbus Blue Jackets with an injured knee that has nagged him for about the past month. The Pens may decide to rest him again Monday, particularly since he hasn’t performed particularly well against the Devils in the recent past. Over the past two seasons vs. New Jersey, Malkin has no points and carries a minus-four rating. Of course, Pens captain Sidney Crosby is more than making up for any player’s lack of production with 31 points over his past 15 games this season.
Fourth Line Fireworks
According to reports from The Record’s Tom Gulitti, Devils head coach John MacLean dropped Mattias Tedenby down to the fourth line at practice Sunday. For the most part it appears he’ll skate with Rod Pelley and Stephen Gionta, though Alexander Vasyunov also spent some time there during the skate. Afterwards, MacLean maintained that the Swedish spark plug would still get plenty of ice time. MacLean may also double shift Ilya Kovalchuk on the fourth line, as he did against Philadelphia over the weekend.
Johan Hedberg will get the start tonight against his former team. The Devils’ backup has played well while filling in for Martin Brodeur, though his last game against the Flyers was his worst in the past six games. Still, Hedberg flaunts a 1.94 goals-against average during that stretch. Against the Pens, he’s 2-2-1 with a 2.90 GAA.