Gameday #12: @ New Jersey DevilsPosted: 09/02/2013
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS @ New Jersey Devils
Prudential Center, 1:00PM, Root Sports, NHL Network (local blackout)
Today marks the quarter point of the season. Hard to believe isn’t it?
Since getting dropped 5-1 by the Pens one week ago today, the Devils have very quietly gone on their own 3-game winning streak. At 6-1-3 they are still only one point behind the Pens for the division lead.
What this all means is that the Devils are (1) seriously overachieving, and (2) seriously still pretty good. The most impressive fact is that the Devils best players haven’t been at their best yet. Ilya Kovalchuk and Adam Henrique have yet to fully find their scoring touch. Instead, so far this year the Devils are led by the fossil Patrick Elias and the undrafted Dave Clarkson. Don’t get us wrong, good defense and goaltending have played a huge role in the Devils early success.
The Pens will play their second in a row without Kris Letang, we still haven’t seen a comprehensive story written about Tanger’s “lower-body injury” so we’re still assuming it’s nothing overly serious. Dylan Reese will be in the Pens’ lineup again today. Although we don’t have reason to view the injury as overly serious, Letang missing a pointless game against a horrible Caps team didn’t seem like a big deal, playing against the Devils with the Division and Conference lead on the line sounds much more serious.
MAF, who loves playing against the Devils, will be in net for his 3rd straight start today. The most that either Pens’ goalie has played in a row. Speaking of goalies, Martin Brodeur is expected to start for the Devils today, it will be his 1,200th career start for the Devils, that’s pretty impressive.
Spoil the celebration. Go Pens.