The New Jersey Devils will be playing 14 games in March. After the many breaks in their schedule over the past few months, it looks like the players and fans will be able to enjoy a month of uninterrupted action. Head coach Lindy Ruff’s team will play six home games, including a four-game homestand beginning next week.
The Devils have a 19-29-5 record, and while the playoffs are a long shot, there is time to end the season on a high note and find consistency over the next two months. They have been an exciting team recently, scoring seven goals in three of the last seven games. Here are five must-watch games in March as the team tries to climb the standings.
Colorado Avalanche – March 8
Nathan MacKinnon is coming to town for the first time since Jan. 2020. The Colorado Avalanche clinched the Presidents’ Trophy last season and is again at the top of the league with 82 points. Since Jan. 2, the Avs have won 22 games, winning all but one game in January. This is the ultimate test for the Devils and their inexperienced goaltenders. New Jersey has faced Colorado 47 times at home and has an all-time record of 23-18-4-2. In the last five meetings, the Devils have only won one, losing the last four. Will the Devils be up for the task of beating one of the NHL’s best?
Anaheim Ducks – March 12
It is always enjoyable to see former fan favorites return to Prudential Center, even if it’s with the opposition. March 12 will mark the return of Adam Henrique, whose overtime goal against the New York Rangers that sent the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final will go down in franchise history. On Nov. 30, 2017, New Jersey traded the 27-year-old center to the Anaheim Ducks for a third-round draft pick and Sami Vatanen. Henrique appeared in 455 games for the Devils, scoring 122 goals and earning 257 points.
Anaheim also has an entertaining rookie in Trevor Zegras on their roster. He ranks third among rookies with 39 points and made headlines with his alley-oop assist in December. Fans will be able to see Zegras and Dawson Mercer go head to head for the first time this season – two top rookies in the league.
Vancouver Canucks – March 15
This game will mark the fourth contest between brothers Jack and Quinn Hughes. Last night, younger brother Jack and the Devils beat the Vancouver Canucks in an impressive fashion for three consecutive victories over his older brother. For the Hughes family, this matchup will always be circled on the calendar.
“It’ll be like that until we retire, right? Tonight’s another great opportunity to pad my lead, but we’ll see how it goes,” Jack said. “We’re both looking for a win. Getting away from me and Quinn, we need this one.”
The Devils and Canucks are also rumored to be potential trade partners at the deadline as Pavel Zacha, Conor Garland, and Brock Boeser could all be in play. Could we see some players swap organizations? That should make this game all the more intriguing.
Calgary Flames – March 16
It’s another day and another game against a former fan favorite. Blake Coleman made his return to Prudential Center in October for the first time since he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Texas native played four seasons with the Devils and provided his own memorable moments – like his one-handed goal against the Winnipeg Jets. In addition to seeing Coleman, Devils fans will get to watch the top team in the Pacific Divison. New Jersey has historically struggled in Calgary with an all-time road record of 8-33-8-3 with 224 goals against in 52 games.
This game will be a good test for the young Devils, who have not won a game in Calgary since Jan. 13, 2017. In the team’s last 10 outings at Scotiabank Saddledome, they have two victories – the other was back on Dec. 23, 2007. This season, the Devils’ road record is an abysmal 8-16-2, and a victory over the Flames in their home arena could be the confidence boost the team needs.
New York Rangers – March 22
This game will mark the second time the Devils will face the Rangers this month. The first meeting will be at Madison Square Garden on March 4 and could set the stage for an intense rivalry game at Prudential Center 18 days later. Their first matchup of the season was on Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden and resulted in a Rangers shootout victory.
On Feb. 8, 2018, then-team president Glen Sather and then-general manager Jeff Gorton provided a message to their fans that they would be looking to reshape their team. A short four years later, they find themselves at the top of the Metropolitan Division thanks to goaltender Igor Shesterkin. This will be a matchup of two young promising teams that will be competitive for seasons to come.
New Jersey will face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena as they look to win their second consecutive game. Tonight’s broadcast will be presented by ESPN as Leah Hextall and AJ Mleczko will get the call. It is the Devils’ fourth and final matchup of the 2021-22 season against their Metropolitan Division rivals.
Kristy has been contributing to The Hockey Writers since March of 2021. She is thrilled to be putting her journalism degree to use and is a credentialed correspondent covering the New Jersey Devils. Kristy is also a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. You can follow her journey on Twitter @InStilettos_NHL and Instagram SkatingInStilettos.