Zidlicky, Devils host Lightning
The New Jersey Devils will try to rebound from just their Star break when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning today at Prudential Center.
The Devils have compiled an excellent 9-2-1 mark since last month's All-Star festivities in Ottawa, but New Jersey had a four-game winning streak halted Friday by visiting Vancouver.
New Jersey also made news off the ice on Friday. During the 2-1 regulation loss to the Canucks, it was announced that the Devils had acquired defenseman Marek Zidlicky from Minnesota in exchange for forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux, defenseman Kurtis Foster, a second-round pick in 2012 and a conditional third-round pick in 2013.
Zidlicky has compiled 14 assists in 41 games with Minnesota this season and is set to make his debut with the Devils today.
The Devils hope Zidlicky can help them down the stretch, as they fight for positioning in the Eastern Conference playoff race. New Jersey enters today's action one point behind both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are also two up on seventh-seeded Ottawa.
The Devils fired 31 shots at Vancouver's backup goaltender on Friday, but Cory Schneider made 30 saves and stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period to lift the Canucks to the 2-1 win in Newark.
David Clarkson had the lone goal for the Devils, while Martin Brodeur made 14 stops in the loss.
"It was a good test for us. I thought we played well," Devils forward Zach Parise said.
The setback marked New Jersey's third loss in its last four home games. The Devils are 16-11-3 as the host and 19-10-1 on the road this season.
New Jersey is hoping to get rookie defenseman Adam Larsson back on the ice today. Larsson, who was the fourth overall pick of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, is questionable for this afternoon's tilt after missing the last 10 games with a back problem.
The Lightning will try to bounce back from an embarrassing loss when they take the ice today. Tampa Bay was annihilated Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh, losing 8-1 as Evgeni Malkin burned the Lightning with a hat trick for the second time this season. Malkin, the NHL's leading scorer this season, had a five-point game against Tampa Bay on Jan. 15, when he posted three goals and two assists.
Dwayne Roloson was torched for all eight goals on 34 shots, while Teddy Purcell was the lone scorer for the Bolts, who have lost two in a row since winning three straight and are eight points out of a playoff spot in the East.
Today's test marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Lightning, who are just 9-19-4 as the guest this year compared to an 18-9-2 mark in Tampa.
The Devils are 2-0 against the Lightning this year, winning a pair of games in Tampa. New Jersey has taken three straight, five of six and 15 of the last 17 encounters with the Bolts and Tampa has lost two in a row and seven out of eight in the Garden State.