Shea-ved Ice: Devils Vs. Penguins Preview
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Penguins will face their first Atlantic Division foe tonight when they host the New Jersey Devils at CONSOL Energy Center.
The Penguins will be looking to build upon consecutive wins over Minnesota and Montreal this week.
On Thursday, James Neal scored his seventh goal of the season during a 3-1 win over the Canadiens.
Joe Vitale and Arron Asham also scored for Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury’s shutout bid was broken with 1:26 left in the game after Mathieu Darche deflected a puck behind him.
For New Jersey, they are coming into Pittsburgh after losing 4-3 in a shootout to the San Jose Sharks Friday night.
Joe Pavelski scored with 33 seconds to play in the third period to tie a game that was largely dominated by the Sharks.
The Devils were outshot 41-19 in the game, but former Penguin Johan Hedberg kept the Devils in the game.
Martin Brodeur is out with a shoulder injury and will not be in net tonight against Pittsburgh. Whether Hedberg gets the start on consecutive nights after being peppered against the Sharks remains to be seen.
The Devils are led by Ilya Kovalchuk, who has two goals and three assists in five games this season.
In goal, Hedberg has been on fire with a 3-0-1 record to go along with a 1.79 GAA and a.939 save percentage.
Against the Penguins, Hedberg is 2-4-1 with a 2.93 GAA and .899 save percentage with one shutout.
For Pittsburgh, there’s a chance Evgeni Malkin returns to the lineup tonight. He’s missed the last three games while dealing with soreness in his knee.
He last played against the Capitals during a 3-2 loss in overtime on Oct. 13.
UPDATE: 12:21 p.m.: According to the Penguins’ website, Malkin will not play in tonight’s game.
Two players returned to the Penguins’ lineup against Montreal as Dustin Jeffrey and Brooks Orpik made their season debuts.
Jeffrey only logged 7:54 of ice time, while Orpik played 17:54. I would expect those numbers to increase as they get back into game shape.
I would also expect Fleury (4-2, 2.32 GAA, .922 save percentage) to be back between the pipes tonight considering the team doesn’t play again until Tuesday against the Islanders.
Against the Devils, Fleury holds an 11-15-4 record with a 2.62 GAA and .916 save percentage. He has also shut the Devils out three times.
Pittsburgh went 4-1-1 against the Devils last year after losing all six games to New Jersey during the 2009-10 season.
The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Root Sports.
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