Preview: Devils at Flames
It would seem the Devils would enjoy the Flames' company but that's not the case for New Jersey, which visits Calgary on Thursday. The Devils have had a hellish time in the recent series as the Flames have won five straight meetings - the first four by one goal - with the last a 9-4 victory March 12 at the Scotiabank Saddledome behind three goals and three assists from Johnny Gaudreau.
New Jersey enters the fire after winning the first two contests of its five-game road trip, including a 2-1 shootout victory over Winnipeg on Tuesday, and is 2-0-2 in its last four games. "I think we knew in the locker room if we keep playing the way we can play we'll get those wins, and now they're coming," Devils center Nico Hischier told reporters after scoring his second goal of the season. "It's a big one on the road for us, but we've got a couple more road games ahead ..." Calgary kicked off a four-game homestand Tuesday with a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Matthew Tkachuk's goal 4:26 into overtime. "We really had no business other than Ritter to win that game in my opinion," Tkachuk told reporters about goaltender David Rittich, who made five of his 34 saves in overtime. "We played better in the third, but in the first we played right into their hands."
TV: 9 p.m. ET, MSG Plus 2 (New Jersey), Sportsnet West (Calgary)
ABOUT THE DEVILS (4-5-4): Taylor Hall boasts a six-game point streak (one goal, seven assists) and paces the team with 13 points. Hischier has scored five of his seven points this season in the last four games while Jack Hughes has all three goals and all but one of his seven points in his last six contests. Mackenzie Blackwood (4-2-3, 2.91 goals-against average, .891 save percentage) has won two straight starts but is 0-2-0, 5.62, .851 in two games versus the Flames.
ABOUT THE FLAMES (9-7-2): Tkachuk has vaulted to the team lead with 18 points after recording eight, including five of his nine goals this season, in the last four contests. Elias Lindholm boasts five of his club-high 10 goals and five assists during an eight-game point streak while Gaudreau (15 points), who has four goals and 18 points in 10 career contests versus New Jersey, owns six points in his last six games. Rittich (8-4-2, 2.79, .915) has won three straight starts and is 3-0-0, 2.34, .910 in three games against the Devils.
1. New Jersey LW Jesper Bratt (three goals) remains day-to-day after missing Tuesday's game with an upper-body injury.
2. Calgary LW Milan Lucic is eligible to return after serving a two-game suspension for punching Columbus' Kole Sherwood on Saturday.
3. The Devils had scored a power-play goal in six straight games (7-for-29) before going 0-for-3 versus Winnipeg.
PREDICTION: Flames 3, Devils 2