(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils will try to avoid their second
three-game losing streak of the month when they host the St. Louis Blues
in Tuesday's battle at Prudential Center.
The Devils opened January on an 0-2-1 slide before winning two straight.
However, the club went 1-1-2 on a recent four-game road trip, dropping the
final two tilts of that swing at Colorado and Phoenix.
New Jersey hopes to turn things around when it plays the first of two straight
at the Rock before being the designated host against the New York Rangers in
Sunday's outdoor game at Yankee Stadium.
The Devils are 10-6-6 in Newark this season and have won two straight as the
Jersey capped its recent trek with a 3-2 loss at Phoenix. The Devils fell
behind 2-0 in the opening period and were never able to catch the Coyotes
New Jersey received a power-play marker from Ryane Clowe and Jaromir Jagr
scored late in the third. Martin Brodeur allowed all three goals on 27 shots
in the loss.
"We got off to a slow start and that was disappointing, inexcusable really for
not having played yesterday," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We can't spot
anyone two goals. That's the bottom line."
Clowe has been a bright spot for the Devils lately, notching two goals and
seven assists over his last seven games. The forward was off to a dreadful
start to this season after signing a five-year, $24.25 million deal with New
Jersey in the offseason and Clowe still only has 11 points (2 goals, 9
assists) in 18 games in 2013-14.
Cory Schneider will get the start in net for the Devils tonight and is 2-1-1
with a 1.96 goals against average in four career outings against the Blues.
Devils forward Damien Brunner could return to action on Tuesday after missing
the last 14 games due to an injured right knee. Brunner has eight goals and
five assists in 32 games this season.
St. Louis has won three straight and four of its last five games in the series
against the Devils. The Blues have won their last three tilts in New Jersey
and haven't lost on the road in this series since Dec. 10, 2002 when the
Devils still played at the Meadowlands.
The Blues halted a two-game slide and won for just the second time in five
games when they opened a four-game road trip with Monday's 4-1 victory in
Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots to help St. Louis record the win over the Red
Wings, while Barret Jackman, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk and Magnus
Paajarvi all scored for the Blues.
"The first two periods we played the way we had to," said St. Louis head coach
Ken Hitchcock. "We kept the puck in their zone a lot and got a high volume of
shots on net."
St. Louis left wing Alexander Steen hasn't scored a goal in two games since
returning from a month-long absence due to a concussion, but he did have two
assists in Monday's game. Steen is leading the Blues with 24 goals and is
second on the team with 40 points.
The Blues are 15-5-3 as the road team this season and will also visit the New
York Rangers and Islanders before closing this swing.
The Sports Network