New Jersey at Pittsburgh
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, December 13, 2013
Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
It's hard enough for a team playing well to keep up with the high-powered Pittsburgh Penguins. It may be even more difficult for a struggling New Jersey Devils roster as they wrap up a three-game road trip Friday night at Consol Energy Center. The Devils dropped to 1-3-1 in December with a 5-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, and will be in tough against a Penguins team that has gone 13-3-0 at home this season.
The Penguins do have roster issues that may work in the Devils' favor. High-scoring winger James Neal continues to serve a five-game suspension for kneeing Boston's Brad Marchand in the head during a game last week, while defenseman Brooks Orpik remains sidelined with a concussion suffered in the same contest. The Devils are a banged-up bunch themselves, with defenseman Adam Larsson (lower-body) and rugged wing Ryan Clowe (head) among those sidelined.TV:
7 p.m. ET, RDS, MSG+ (New Jersey), ROOT (Pittsburgh)ABOUT THE DEVILS (12-14-6):
Despite New Jersey's injury woes - particularly on the back end, where three regulars are out - coach Peter DeBoer considers himself fortunate. "I'm just happy to have six (defensemen)," he told reporters Thursday. "With the way guys are going down, not just with us but around the league, I think you're happy to have six guys you feel you can put on the ice." New Jersey did receive some good news, as Anton Volchenkov returned to practice Thursday and will play against the Penguins.ABOUT THE PENGUINS (21-10-1):
Armed with a comfortable lead atop the Metropolitan Division, Pittsburgh is one of the few teams in the league that can absorb injuries to key players and continue rolling along. But with solid contributions from replacements Simon Despres, Rob Scuderi and Olli Maatta, the Penguins haven't missed a beat. "It's not an ideal situation we have with those guys hurt, but you can't do anything about that," Maatta told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Guys get hurt, and somebody's got to step up. I feel like we have a lot of guys that have done that."OVERTIME
1. The Penguins and Devils have split a pair of meetings this season, with the home team winning both times.
2. Pittsburgh captain and NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby has 21 goals and 25 assists in 41 career games versus New Jersey.
3. Cory Schneider will start in goal for the Devils.PREDICTION:
Penguins 4, Devils 2
Stats and Records