Columbus at New Jersey
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Friday, March 6, 2015
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
The New Jersey Devils are doing their best to remain in the conversation for the postseason, while the Columbus Blue Jackets lost any voice they had during their seven-game winless streak (0-6-1). Riding a 6-1-1 stretch in their last eight games, the Devils look to bolster their slim hopes when they host their Metropolitan Division rivals on Friday. New Jersey posted a 3-1 triumph over Nashville on Tuesday to win its second in a row but resides eight points behind Boston in the race for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
Cory Schneider owns an impressive 9-1-1 record and 1.71 goals-against average in 11 career starts versus Columbus, highlighted by a 33-save performance in the Devils' 2-0 road win over the Blue Jackets on Saturday. Scott Hartnell recorded two goals and assist in Columbus' 5-3 setback to Washington on Tuesday and has four points in his last two games after being held off the scoresheet in each of his previous five. "Our game's got to get better," coach Todd Richards said after the Blue Jackets' latest loss. "We're trying to build. Individuals have to get better. Our team has to get better."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Columbus), MSG Plus (New Jersey)
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (26-33-4): David Clarkson is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after tearing an oblique muscle in his debut versus New Jersey. The 30-year-old Clarkson played through the pain in the following two contests before the decision was made to shut him down, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. Defenseman Kevin Connauton is expected to miss his fifth game due to a lower-body injury but could return for Saturday's date with Colorado.
ABOUT THE DEVILS (27-27-10): Mike Cammalleri was credited with his team-leading 24th goal to extend his point streak to seven games, collecting six tallies and three assists in the run. The 32-year-old set up a goal in his lone encounter with Columbus this season and has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 24 career meetings. Defenseman Adam Larsson scored in New Jersey's 3-2 victory over Columbus on Nov. 1 and also tallied versus the Predators.
1. New Jersey owns an 8-2-1 mark in its last 11 home games.
2. Columbus C Brandon Dubinsky is expected to return after missing three games with a concussion.
3. The Blue Jackets have converted on the power play in each of their last two games after going 2-for-45 in the previous 17.
PREDICTION: Devils 3, Blue Jackets 2
Stats and Records