Winnipeg Jets (4-5-0) at New Jersey Devils (4-3-2)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 30, 2014, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New Jersey Devils -150 / Winnipeg Jets +136 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
Peter Deboer must be losing sleep at night right now with the way his New Jersey Devils are playing. Add in the fact that his boss, general manager Lou Lamiorello, hasn’t had a very good history of patience when it comes to his coaches and you can understand the lack of sleep even more. After a quick start to the season the Devils have come apart at the seams. New Jersey has lost five of their last six games and they’ve been blowing leads left and right. It has been a problem for a while now for the Devils and it’s one they need to get figured out quickly or there could certainly be a shake up behind the bench. Tuesday night the blown leads continued in Pittsburgh and the Devils have to be hoping they’ve finally hit rock bottom so they can start moving back in the right direction. Dainius Zubrus opened the scoring just nine seconds into the game and early in the second period with the score tied at 1-1 the Devils used their fourth line to take a two goal lead. Jacob Josefson scored short-handed and Tuomo Ruutu added his second of the year to put New Jersey in front 3-1 before everything fell apart. Pittsburgh would score four times before the end of the period and add three more goals over the final 20 minutes as they defeated the Devils by a score of 8-3. Cory Schneider dropped to 4-3-2 on the season and his 3.15 goals against average and .901 save percentage aren’t going to cut it. The Devils believe in him as their franchise goaltender replacing the legend Martin Brodeur but Schneider has gotten off to a very slow start this season. It’s early in the season right now but with games against Columbus, Detroit, Boston, and a home and home with St. Louis coming up it almost makes Thursday night’s home game against Winnipeg a must win for the Devils.
The Winnipeg Jets come into this contest winners of two straight and three of their last four. The club got a huge victory in overtime against the Colorado Avalanche the other night and carried that momentum over into Tuesday’s contest with the New York Islanders. It was a slow start for the Jets who managed just seven shots in the opening period and trailed 1-0, but they took charge of the contest over the first half of the second period. Andrew Ladd evened the score with his third goal of the season coming on the power play and Paul Postma made the Islanders and Nikolay Kulemin pay for his game misconduct penalty by scoring another goal with the man advantage to take the lead. Jacob Trouba made it 3-1 for the Jets, but when Ondrej Pavelec is your goaltender no lead is safe. New York scored twice before the end of the period to send the game into the third period tied 3-3. Early in the third Ladd scored his second goal of the game to give the Jets the lead for good as they would hold on for the 4-3 victory. This is the second game of a four game road trip for the Jets that will take them to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night to face the Rangers and then off to Chicago to play the Blackhawks. A victory on Thursday night would make those final two games feel much less stressful for a club that needs every point it can get against these Eastern Conference opponents if they have any chance of making the post season this year.
New Jersey is a pretty heavy favorite in this one and with the way they’ve been playing and blowing leads lately it’s hard to trust them, but as mentioned their schedule is extremely tough coming up. This is a game the Devils absolutely have to win in order to settle things down a little bit.