Things you may need to know before the Devils and Penguins face off at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza:
-Season: This is the 5th of 8 meetings between the two teams this season. The Penguins are 4-0 in the season series; as a matter of fact, since the Devils came into existence in Lowell in 2005 before moving to Albany, no Devil team has ever beaten the Pens. In the last meeting on December 26th, the Devils came very close to ending the streak, but the Penguins prevailed 5-4 in a shootout. After tonight, the teams play 3 more times, on January 28th in Albany, February 7th in Atlantic City (makeup game from December 12th when poor ice conditions postponed the game), and March 23rd in Wilkes-Barre.
-Standings: Talk about a tale of two teams in two different directions. The Penguins are in first place in the East Division, first in the Eastern Conference and first in the American Hockey League. They check in with a record of 33-10-0-0, good for 66 points, 9 points ahead of second place Norfolk. The Devils remain in 6th place, with a record of 17-21-0-3 for 37 points, just 2 points ahead of Syracuse and 7 ahead of Adirondack.
-Scoring: The Penguins are lead in scoring by All-Star Dustin Jeffrey, currently still on recall to Pittsburgh. He checks in with 41 points (15 G, 26 A), followed by wingers Nick Johnson (15 G, 14 A) and Brett Sterling (13 G, 16 A), both with 29 points. All-Star starter Brad Thiessen and John Curry split time in net, with Thiessen leading the way with 18 wins. I expect he will be in net tonight with Curry starting the night before in Philadelphia. On the Devils side, Michael Swift (16 G, 11 A) and Matt Anderson (15 G, 12 A) are tied for the team lead in scoring, with Adam Henrique behind them with 24 points (11 G, 13 A). Mike McKenna looks to rebound from last night’s disasterous performance in Hershey that saw him get the hook after allowing 6 goals to the Bears.
-Miscellaneous: The Devils may have another injury on their hands. Captain Stephen Gionta was scratched from last night’s game due to an undisclosed injury. Jeff Frazee had an MRI on his injured knee yesterday, still waiting to learn how much longer he’ll be out of commission. Former River Rat Jesse Boulerice remains on suspension for an “abuse of officials” call he took in Charlotte on January 5th.
Game time 7:00. I will be in the sold out building with the usual…