New Jersey Devils (4-3-1, 9 pts) @ Dallas Stars (7-3-0, 14 pts)
7:00 PM, October 29, 2011
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Stars have a chance to get back on track after suffering their first home loss of the season to the LA Kings on Thursday. The New Jersey Devils are a middle-of-the-road team in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Devils are on the final game of their four game road trip that has taken them across the country. They’ve gone from Pittsburgh to LA to Phoenix and now to Dallas. They’ve lost 2 of those 3 games and fatigue could be a problem for them. Goalie Martin Brodeur has a shoulder injury so Johan Hedburg is the likely starter in net for the Devils. He’s 4-2-1 on the year with a 2.31 GAA and a .926 save percentage.
Their defense has also had a lot of trouble, allowing four goals in 3 of their last 4 games. Dallas certainly has a chance to score a good amount.
NJ is not a good power-play team, ranked 26th in the NHL, and has gone 1 for 11 in its last 4 games on the PP. Despite their woes on the PP, the Devils have some very good offensive players in Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. If that line gets going, then the Stars could be in trouble.
Dallas is coming off a disappointing 5-3 loss to the Kings. They actually played well in the game but just took too many bad penalties (which has happened often as of late) and couldn’t re-gather the momentum that they had at the beginning of the game. The Stars need to play smart today or else they’ll have to rely too much on Kari Lehtonen again.
Dallas has no injuries of note.
New Jersey has a few. G Martin Brodeur (shoulder) and F Eric Boulton (hand) could play tonight if needed. F Travis Zajac (Achilles) and F Jacob Josefson (clavicle) are definitely out for this game.
This will be the Stars last game for a while. After this, their next game is against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, Nov. 4.