The New Jersey Devils will try to carry some momentum from a successful road trip back to the Prudential Center, as they begin a lengthy homestand tonight with another battle against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Devils recently went on a four-game tour of Pittsburgh, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg and Jersey posted wins in each game save for a 6-3 setback against the Flames. New Jersey's most recent victory came Saturday against the Jets, but this is not a home-and-home series as Winnipeg played Monday night in Ottawa.
Tonight marks the first of six straight tests in Newark for the Devils, making it the club's longest homestand of the season. New Jersey has won four of its last five tilts at the Rock and is 11-7-1 as the host this season.
The Devils, who are sixth in the East with 52 points, posted a 2-1 win Saturday in Winnipeg. The Jets struck first with Andrew Ladd's first-period tally, but Kurtis Foster and Patrik Elias each notched goals in the third stanza to lift the Devils to victory. Elias has three goals and four assists during a five-game point streak and is leading New Jersey with 41 points this season.
"It was a good win for us. I think we played pretty good all game," Brodeur said. "At the end I think we were a little too much tired and they got a little burst at the end. We got a little luck and we battled real hard. A little chaotic, but we got it done."
Tonight's tilt marks the fourth and last scheduled meeting between the Devils and Jets this season. New Jersey has taken two of the three encounters so far this year and has claimed eight of the last 10 matchups against the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise. The Devils have won four straight on home ice in this series.
Devils forward Adam Henrique missed Saturday's game with a strained groin, but he could return tonight. With 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists), Henrique is second only to Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in rookie scoring.
The Jets will try to build off Monday's win in Ottawa, as Winnipeg posted a 2-0 decision over the Senators to end a three-game slide. Chris Mason made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season and helped Winnipeg improve to 2-5 in January. Jim Slater scored 49 seconds into the game for the only goal Winnipeg would need and Tobias Enstrom added a tally in the second period.
It was the 23rd career shutout for Mason, who could sit tonight in favor of Pavelec.
"We caught a few breaks here and that's fortunate because we needed this win tonight," said Mason. "A little luck and the guys playing good in front of me made the difference."
Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian has sat out the last three games with a lower-body injury and he is questionable for tonight.
The Jets, who are just 7-11-4 as the guest this year, are three points behind Pittsburgh for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.