Devils Gameday Preview: Montreal Canadiens – 11/15/22

The New Jersey Devils begin a three-game road trip tonight at the Bell Centre as they take on the Montreal Canadiens. The club will seek their tenth consecutive win for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Lindy Ruff‘s squad is entering tonight’s contest with a record of 5-0-0 against Canadian teams scoring 20 goals against their opponents north of the border this season.

New Jersey Devils Gameday Preview MacKenzie Blackwood, Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton
MacKenzie Blackwood, Nico Hischier, Dougie Hamilton (The Hockey Writers)

The Devils’ record against the Canadiens last season was 2-1-0, including an impressive 7-1 victory on Feb. 8, 2022. Entering tonight’s contest Damon Severson is on a five-game point streak against Montreal dating back to Nov. 28, 2019, while Jesper Bratt has earned a point in his last four meetings against tonight’s opponent.

Setting the Stage 

New Jersey’s Projected Lineup: 

Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Fabian Zetterlund

Yegor Sharangovich – Jack Hughes – Bratt

Jesper Boqvist – Erik Haula – Dawson Mercer

Miles Wood – McLeod – Nathan Bastian

Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton

Ryan Graves – John Marino

Brendan Smith – Severson

Vitek Vanecek

Related: Devils’ 3 Up, 3 Down: Lindy Ruff, Special Teams & More

Montreal’s Projected Lineup:

 Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Kirby Dach

Mike Hoffman – Christian Dvorak – Brendan Gallagher

 Evgenii Dadonov – Sean Monahan – Josh Anderson

Michael Pezzetta – Jake Evans – Juraj Slafkovsky

Kaiden Guhle – David Savard

Joel Edmundson – Arber Xhekaj

Jordan Harris – Johnathan Kovacevic

Jake Allen

How to Watch and Listen

Tonight’s 7:00 P.M. broadcast will be exclusively on MSG Networks with Bill Spaulding and Ken Daneyko. As always, fans can listen to the game on the Devils Hockey Network.

Montreal Canadiens: Three Things to Know

I reached out to my colleague, Melissa Boyd, who covers the Canadiens here at The Hockey Writers, for some insight into tonight’s opponent. Here are three things Devils fans need to know.

1. Arber Xhekaj Has Been a Pleasant Surprise

The 21-year-old surprised many by making the team out of training camp. Quickly he has become a fan favorite thanks to his easygoing personality and journey to the NHL, which included him working at a Costco during the pandemic. Fast forward a few years, and he is now manning the point on the Canadiens’ second power-play unit. He is one of four rookies who is on Montreal’s blue line and has four points (two goals, two assists) in 15 games.

2. An Impressive Top Line

The team’s first line of Caufield-Suzuki-Dach has been a force and earned five points in their last outing against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Each member of the trio is producing at over a point-per-game pace since being united a few weeks ago.

3. It’s Like Looking in the Mirror

On a recent episode of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast, Elliotte Friedman said when he watches New Jersey he thinks of Montreal. According to Boyd, the Canadiens play a similar up-tempo game to New Jersey where they display their speed in the natural zone. Both teams like to create off the rush, and it should be a good matchup between two young and hungry teams.

New Jersey Devils (12-3-0)

Statistics and Streaks Courtesy of the Devils PR Department

  • The last time the Devils won 10 consecutive games was during the 2005-06 season.
  • New Jersey has a record of 11-0-0 when Hischier records a point in a game this season.
New Jersey Devils Bench Celebrates a Goal
New Jersey Devils Bench Celebrates a Goal (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
  • New Jersey’s record this season when they play on Tuesday night is 4-0-0.
  • Both Hischier and Tatar are entering tonight’s game on a seven-game point streak.

Notable Quotables

Erik Haula on What to Expect from the Canadiens:

“A fast pace [game]. They get up the ice well and they’re one of the better rush teams. They transition well, and they can put the puck in the net so managing the puck is really important for us and staying on top of them.”

Jesper Boqvist on the Team’s Success:

“We really take care of our own business and play our system well. Obviously all four lines have been contributing so it’s been good so far, but I still feel like we can get better.”

Lindy Ruff on His Recent Goaltending:

“…You need key saves at key times in the game, and our guys have given us that. You know you can’t prevent everything, as hard as we try to prevent everything, there’s x number of chances in every game. You look at what type of chances you’re trying to give up and you try to limit that in the direction that’s best for your hockey club. Like you said, we’ve had guys that have stepped in and I think the fact that we’re playing a lot better away from the puck has given our goalies a better opportunity to help us win games.”

According to MSG Networks statistician Nick Cahill, the Devils have not lost a game at the Bell Centre since Dec. 14, 2017. They enter tonight’s game on a five-game winning streak on the road and will look to make it six for the first time since early 2017. Coverage for tonight’s game will begin at 6:30 P.M on MSG Networks.

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