The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (29-10-1) vs. the Dallas Stars (18-12-11). This is the second meeting of the season.
The Last Devils Game: Defensively speaking, the Devils could have played much better but thanks to Elias, McAmmond and Langenbrunner's first Hat Trick, the Devils defeated the Wild 5-3
The Last Stars Game: They just couldn't seem to get anything going against the Canucks. Everything the Stars tried to do, the Canucks had an answer. The bright Star at the moment is Loui Eriksson, who netted his fifth goal in a three game span.
The Last Devils / Stars Game: It wasn't a very good game from the Devils point of view. Yann Denis got the start and quickly got the hook after 3 quick goals in the first by Dallas. NJ was able to regroup and tie the game at 3 but the Stars came out in the 3rd and pounded NJ for 2 more to give them a 5-3 win.
Tonight's Matchup: Better passing tonight would be a good place to start and maybe hanging on to the puck a little more instead of trying to move the puck too much. I thought NJ was trying to force too much against the Wild the other night. The Devils will also need to do a better job on the other side of the puck as the defense wasn't very solid the other night against the Wild and the Stars are far more talented with the puck than the Wild. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that in games Salvador has missed, the defense has looked worse and GAA has gone up.
Clarkson and Salvador will miss tonights game. It will be the fourth game in a row that Salvador has missed because of a lower-body injury—believed to be his right ankle. Clarkson will miss his third consecutive game after re-injuring his right leg on Wednesday night against Pittsburgh.
Tonight's game marks the halfway point in the Devils season (hard to believe) and the Devils have certainly gone above and beyond expectations this season but they can't start to fall apart now.
The Devils will also be celebrating the 2000 Stanley Cup tonight at The Rock. Later today I will be posting a piece about that great run in the Spring of 2000. Cole from The Other 6 Seconds will be sharing his thoughts from the Stars side of things as well, so I do hope you check back.