New Jersey (19-12-3, 41 PTS, 1st Atlantic Division, 3rd Eastern Conference) vs. Atlanta ( 20-10-6, 46 PTS, 1st Southeast Division, 2nd Eastern Conference)
TV: MSG 2/FSNY 2 (Check MSG.com for Channel Listings)
Radio: WFAN 660
Last We Met:
Tuesday at The Swamp. Marian Hossa scores 2 shorties and a shootout goal, Marty is weak, Oduya gets 1st NHL goal, but Thrash win 4-3.
Next Meeting: January 12th in The Swamp.
#26 Patrik Elias 13-19-32
#14 Brian Gionta 14-13-27
#15 Jamie Langenbrunner 14-13-27
#9 Zach Parise 12-14-26
#23 Scott Gomez 4-20-24
#18 Marian Hossa 24*-22-46
#17 Ilya Kovalchuk 19-21-40
#13 Slava Kozlov 12-27-39
#19 Scott Mellanby 7-12-19
#9 Glenn Metropolit 6-10-16
#30 Martin Brodeur 19-11-2, 2.15, .923%
#40 Scott Clemmensen 0-1-1, 3.60, .878%
#30 Kari Lehtonen 15-7-6, 2.86, .908%
#1 Johan Hedberg 5-3-0, 3.01, .886%
This is a pretty big game for NJ. The second half of back-to-back nights at the rink, two in a row on the road, and facing the East's second best team, who beat them in a shootout in a game they could've easily won, make this a litmus test of New Jerseyan character. Make no mistake, Atlanta is very good, and can score from anywhere in the offensive zone, but NJ can beat this team. The problem is, they won't score 4 again tonight because they never do well offensively after they play well on the O the game before. So it'll be up to the defense.
Marty had a very mediocre game on Tuesday vs. the Thrashers. The 2nd Hossa goal to tie the game and both shootout goals were very stoppable shots. After a great tilt Friday where he shut down Ovie and the Caps, he needs to kick it up a notch for his 2nd try at Atlanta.
The Devils have 6 players with 3 or more power play goals (ATL has 4) and can come at you from a number of different angles on the power play. The Thrashers defense, despite Lehtonen's brilliance at times, can be very porous. Vitaly Vishnevski, like on Tuesday, we'll be key in stopping New Jersey from racking up PPGs.
Prediction: Devils 3, Thrashers 2
Rangers are in Tampa on FSN and HDNet. Expect Gameday from Derek. Do you really think it's fair to the Devils and Islanders that the Rags get FSN, and the Devils and Isles fans are forced to search for ancillary channels?
Islanders are hosting Columbus on FSN 2.
In afternoon hockey, Philly hosts Ottawa at the ATM. Live Webcast on Comcast.net for subscribers at 1:00 PM.
Original 6 Alert: Montreal-Boston at the "Garden".
Ovie makes his Hockey Night in Canada season debut in Toronto.
Carolina and Florida have a Southeast sizzler.
Zambonis fans take notice of this lyric: "I call her at six, cause I got the tix, to see the Sabres vs. the St. Louis Blues. It's gonna be great, a real dream date, cuz she's got a mullet too!"
LA Queens are in Nashville.
Wings and Wild finish their home and home.
The Oil are in Dallas.
The now CONTENDING Hawks are in Denver vs. the Avs.
Ducks quack along to Phoenix.
Flames and Sharkies battle on HNIC.
So c'mon, across the USA, it's a hockey party tonight!