New Jersey Devils (28-29-11) at Arizona Coyotes (21-39-8)
|Date & Time||Saturday March 14, 2015, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Arizona Coyotes +125 / New Jersey Devils -138 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The New Jersey Devils look to finish their road trip with a victory, something they’ve been unable to record during their first two games. After getting a beat down at the hands of the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night the Devils tried to bounce back in Colorado against the Avalanche on Thursday. New Jersey came out flying, out shooting the Avalanche 13-3 over the first 20 minutes, but they were unable to solve Semyon Varlamov. Colorado gained the possession edge in the second period and jumped in front on a goal from Jarome Iginla early in the second period. Andy Greene would get the game even for New Jersey later in the frame, but that would be the only offense from either club in this one. The Avalanche again dominated the third but Cory Schneider was back to being fantastic after a one game hiatus in Minnesota. As is usually the case for the Devils they were unable to come away with the second point, losing 2-1 in the shootout. It has been a disastrous season for the Devils and they have a lot of questions heading into next season. Lou Lamiorello is still in the process of evaluating a lot of players, but he’s also evaluating Adam Oates and Scott Stevens, two coaches he brought back into the organization after Peter Deboer was relieved of his duties early this season. There could be an entire shakeup for the Devils this off season and with the way they’ve played on the ice it’s understandable if that does take place. They’ll get a chance to pick up a victory against one of the worst teams in the league on Saturday night when they travel to Arizona.
In Arizona the Coyotes have had a season that has been even worse than New Jersey. The club has only won one game in what feels like an eternity, and since they picked up that victory over Vancouver last week it has been back to their losing ways. Not only have the Coyotes lost three straight games since then, but they’ve only scored two goals during that stretch. The defense and goaltending have been much better, as they’ve only allowed six goals overall, but it hasn’t been enough to come away with a win. Thursday night they got a great goaltending performance from Mike Smith, something that we haven’t been able to say much at all this season, but it still wasn’t enough to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks. Tobias Rieder gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead early in the first period with his 11th goal of the season, but Arizona managed just 18 total shots in this one. Smith was under siege all night long, finishing the night with 42 saves, but he allowed the Blackhawks to snap a 1-1 tie with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation as the Coyotes fell by a 2-1 final. This might be one of the last opportunities that actually set the Coyotes up for a victory the rest of the way. If they can’t beat a Devils team that’s just playing out the string the wins are going to be even harder to come by the rest of the season.
These two teams don’t have a lot of offensive firepower. Arizona has been playing low scoring games of late and Cory Schneider has been a brick wall for the Devils in net despite not getting much help from the guys in front of him.