New Jersey Devils (47-25-4-98) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (41-27-8-90)
The Penguins entertain the New Jersey Devils tonight in what may be a preview of a first round matchup between the two division rivals. If the playoffs started today, the Penguins and Devils would faceoff against each other. The Devils currently lead the season series 3-2.
There will only be one lineup change from the Penguins. In the morning skate forward
Craig Adams skated with Max Talbot and Pascal Dupuis. Defenseman Philippe Boucher will not return to the lineup and the main reason is because of his practice habits. I’ve seen just about every practice the past 10 days and he just doesn’t look game ready.
Eric Godard and Philippe Boucher will be healthy scratches.
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Cooke – Malkin – Sykora
Fedotenko – Staal – Kennedy
Dupuis – Talbot – Adams
Orpik – Gonchar
Eaton – Letang
Gill – Scuderi
Marc Andre Fleury will start in goal. Fleury has a 11-1-1 record over the past month with a 1.57 GAA
Patrick Elias missed today’s morning skate. Elias did practice yesterday but sources indicate he is expected to miss tonight’s game. The loss of Elias will be a blow to the Devils who are in the midst of a 5 game losing streak.
Line combinations without Elias in the morning skate
Parise – Zajac – Langenbrunner
Pandolfo – Madden – Clarkson
Rolston – Zubrus- Gionta
Shanahan – Rupp – Holik
Martin – Oduya
White – Mottau
Salvador – Havelid
Martin Brodeur will start in goal
The Devils worked on the power play in their morning skate for about 10 minutes.
Brian Rolston replaced Elias on the Devils first power play unit. Rolston – Parise – Zajac with Langenbrunner and Martin at the points.