New Jersey (19-13-3, 41 PTS, 1st Atlantic Divsion, 3rd Eastern Conference) vs. Pittsburgh (15-13-6, 36 PTS, 4th Atlantic Dvision, 12th Eastern Conference)
TV: FSN NY 2
Last We Met:
1st of December, after an early Eric Christensen goal, Devils take control and win it 5-2. Malkin scores as well, but Patrik Elias is the story with a goal and 2 assists, and is finally looking to get out of big slump.
Season Series: 2-1 Devils.
Next Meeting: February 16th at The Swamp.
#26 Patrik Elias 13-19-32
#9 Zach Parise 14-14-28
#15 Jamie Langenbrunner 14-13-27
#14 Brian Gionta 14-13-27
#23 Scott Gomez 4-20-24
#87 Sidney Crosby 17-38*-55*
#71 Evgeni Malkin 17-16-33
#8 Mark Recchi 9-21-30
#55 Sergei Gonchar 5-22-27
#19 Ryan Whitney 4-16-20
#30 Martin Brodeur 19-12-2, 2.21, .920%
#40 Scott Clemmensen 0-1-1, 3.60, .878%
#29 Marc-Andre Fleury 14-9-4, 3.14, .897%
#41 Jocelyn Thibault 1-4-2, 3.24, .898
It really shows how much parity there is in hockey when a team like Pittsburgh is still contending hear at Christmas. Sad fact is, they are a pretty decent hockey club, you can't not be with Crosby and Malkin, but other then that magic duo, they are either not fully developed (Whitney, Welch, etc.) or way past their prime (Recchi, Gonchar) and that's not something a hockey team should feel pressured to win with every night. The Devils are fully capable of dominating Pittsburgh if Michel Terrien is dumb enough to put Crosby and Malkin together on a line, because Madden and Pandolfo would take care of them. However, Malkin doesn't do very well individually, so if they're on two seprate lines, it might not be too much of a worry for NJ. Otherwise, they just need to get balanced scoring and they'll be fine.
Prediction: Devils 4, Pittsburgh 2.