Pittsburgh at New Jersey
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Friday, January 30, 2015
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Home ice has been a significant advantage in recent history between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils. The Penguins can only hope that trend unravels Friday night as they visit Prudential Center for the fourth meeting of the season between the Metropolitan Division rivals. Pittsburgh is looking to bounce back following a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, while the Devils come in having won two straight games.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby returned from a one-game absence due to a lower-body injury, but he and the rest of the Pittsburgh lineup couldn't muster much of anything against Washington netminder Braden Holtby. The Penguins will still be without fellow star center Evgeni Malkin, who has an undisclosed injury and isn't expected to rejoin the team until next week. The home side has won eight straight meetings in this head-to-head encounter.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ROOT (Pittsburgh), MSG-Plus (New Jersey)
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (27-13-8): Things may have been a bit awkward in the initial moments following Pittsburgh's acquisition of forward Maxim Lapierre from the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Lapierre is one of the league's biggest pests, and has had a handful of run-ins with Crosby dating back to their time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. "Obviously, we were in a situation where I had to check him in junior," Lapierre told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But Sid is a world-class player and I'm sure we won't even remember what happened in the past."
ABOUT THE DEVILS (18-22-8): Coaching changes often result in difficult transitions for some players, but count New Jersey defenseman Adam Larsson as one who has thrived under the circumstances. Larsson is showing renewed confidence since the Devils fired coach Pete DeBoer and opted for the three-man group of Scott Stevens, Lou Lamoriello and Adam Oates. "I just needed guys to show that they trusted me," Larsson told NJ Advance Media. "Then it's up to yourself. If you want to be out there, at the end of the day, you have to play good."
1. Home teams have outscored the opposition 25-10 in the teams' last eight meetings.
2. Pittsburgh has lost four straight games against division opponents.
3. Crosby has 24 goals and 27 assists in 46 games against the Devils.
PREDICTION: Penguins 4, Devils 2
Stats and Records