Devils hope to stay on a roll versus the Blues
The red-hot New Jersey Devils will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season to six games tonight, when they host the St. Louis Blues at the Prudential Center.
The Devils, who are coming off Tuesday's controversial 1-0 regulation win over the New York Rangers, have won five straight and 10 of their last 14 games.
The surge has helped New Jersey forge a tie with Pittsburgh for third place in the Atlantic Division and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Devils and Penguins are also just two points behind Philadelphia for second in the division and fourth in the East.
The Devils rode Martin Brodeur to a win in Tuesday's low-scoring affair in New York City. Brodeur extended his NHL record with the 117th shutout of his career, as New Jersey made a first-period goal stand up in a 1-0 win over the first-place Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
David Clarkson tallied the only goal for the Devils, who are in the midst of their longest winning streak since an eight-game run from Feb. 6-22 of last season. Zach Parise and Patrik Elias both notched assists on Clarkson's goal to extend their point streaks to six games.
The controversy came in the final minute when the Rangers appeared to tie the game with 3.5 seconds left, but Marian Gaborik crashed into Brodeur and was called for goalie interference, negating Artem Anisimov's potential equalizer.
"I thought it was the right call," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "Marty gets pushed into the net. Give them credit for getting it right."
Brodeur stopped 30 shots, including 15 in the final period, to secure his first shutout since blanking the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 25 of last season. Brodeur skipped practice Wednesday due to a twisted ankle suffered in the third period against the Rangers and it's unclear if he will be able to start tonight or if Johan Hedberg will get the call.
In other injury news, Devils defenseman Adam Larsson -- the fourth overall pick of the 2011 draft -- has missed the last three games with an injured back and will likely miss tonight as well. Forward Ryan Carter (hand) is also not expected to play.
New Jersey is kicking off a two-game homestand tonight and will also host Florida on Saturday. The Devils have won their last three home games and are 15-9-2 in Newark this season.
The Blues have won two of their last three games and are also coming off a road win on Tuesday. St. Louis notched a 3-1 win in Ottawa, as goaltender Brian Elliott made a successful return to Scotiabank Place.
Almost a year after the Senators traded him to the Colorado Avalanche, Elliott stopped 28 shots to help lead the Blues to victory.
"Coming in here, especially for myself, kind of a little homecoming meant a lot to me and the guys played hard for me," Elliott said.
David Perron scored twice and Chris Porter also lit the lamp for the Blues, who had lost three of four coming into Tuesday's tilt. With the win over the Sens, St. Louis moved to 10-0-2 against the Eastern Conference this season.
The Blues are still just 9-11-3 as the guest this year and are completing a three-game road trip tonight.
Former Devils forward Jason Arnott is not expected to play tonight for the Blues after sitting out the last two games with a bruised left shoulder. Matt D'Agostini is also not expected to play this evening after sustaining a blow to the head in Tuesday's game.
Tonight's tilt marks the first meeting between the Devils and Blues since Nov. 20, 2010 in St. Louis. The Blues have won two straight and three of four against New Jersey overall and have taken the last two encounters in the Garden State.