The Winnipeg Jets have no time to waste, as they will right back in action tonight after an impressive 6-2 season opening win against the Boston Bruins last night.
It was a slow start for the Jets last night in Boston, but they dominated the last 40 minutes of the game. They’ll look to keep that momentum going tonight and spoil the Devils home and season opener tonight in New Jersey and start the season 2-0.
Lineups courtesy of Daily Faceoff
Of course, there are no changes to the Jets line combinations from last night. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? The young kids such as Ehlers, Petan and Copp have looked very impressive so far. Look for them to make an even bigger impact tonight now with the first-game jitters out of the way. Ladd’s Littler Wheeler line has picked up right where they left off last season.
While the Devils finished in the bottom third in the standings last season, it wasn’t because of their defense. Cory Schneider was one of the better goaltenders in the league last season and the Devils are always known for being stout defensively. The Jets forwards will need to put a lot of pressure on Schneider.
Also, anyone else notice Mathieu Perreault challenging Brent Burns for best caveman look? That hair and beard is glorious.
No changes on defense either for the Jets. Ben Chiarot had a darling of a preseason, and he’s being rewarded with top-4 defensive minutes alongside Dustin Byugflien.
The Devils were offensively challenged last season to say the least, and it should be more of the same this season. However, the Devils have instilled more youth in their lineup and new head coach John Hynes has preached quickness and being relentless to his team. The Jets defense will need to be ready.
It looks like Micheal Hutchinson will get the start. Pavelec stopped 29 of 31 shots last night against the Bruins and finished with a .935 save percentage. Paul Maurice feels it best to rest Pavelec on the second of back-to-backs.
There will be a lot of new faces in the Devils lineup tonight. However, a couple of them are not new to the Winnipeg Jets. Former Jets Lee Stempniak and Jiri Tlusty will face their former team right away in their Devils debut. Other newcomers include Kyle Palmieri and Sergey Kalinin. Reid Boucher has been in the Devils system for a few years now and has already made his NHL debut, but it looks like he will be a mainstay for the Devils this season.
The Devils will be without veteran forward Patrik Elias tonight (knee) and, of course, Ryane Clowe (concussion).
The Devils have a couple new faces on defense as well. David Schlemko and John Moore will both be making their Devils debuts tonight. The defense will be led by Andy Greene, who was just named captain this morning by the Devils.
No surprise as Cory Schneider will get the start tonight in net. Keith Kinkaid is entering his second year as backup to Schneider.
Game Day Prediction: Tight game, but Jets come out on top and improve to 2-0.
Obvious Prediction: Devils fans will be amped up for their season/home opener.
Not So Obvious Prediction: Nik Ehlers and Andrew Copp will all score their first NHL goals tonight.