The New Jersey Devils hope to avoid a third straight loss when they conclude their four-game road trip Monday against the Minnesota Wild. New Jersey began its trek with a 7-5 triumph in Chicago but was shut out in an overtime loss at Toronto on Thursday and dropped a 5-2 decision in Winnipeg two days later.
The setback against the Jets was just the second regulation loss on the road this season for the Devils but the fourth overall defeat in their last five away from home (1-2-2). Minnesota is seeking its third consecutive home victory as it comes off a 3-1 loss at Washington on Saturday. Nino Niederreiter netted the lone tally for the Wild, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games and his point run to five contests. Jason Zucker’s string of consecutive contests with a goal ended at five in the setback, but the 25-year-old leads the team with 11 in 19 games and is halfway toward matching the career high he set in 79 contests last season.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New Jersey), FSN North Plus (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE DEVILS (11-5-3): Rookies Nico Hischier and defenseman Will Butcher are tied for second on the team with 15 points apiece, but they have combined for only four goals - with the latter’s first in the NHL coming in Saturday’s setback. Brian Gibbons also tallied against the Jets, giving him a club-leading nine on the season - his first in the league since 2014-15 with Columbus. The 29-year-old left wing notched only five assists in 25 games with the Blue Jackets that campaign after recording five goals and 17 points over 41 contests with Pittsburgh as a rookie the previous season.
ABOUT THE WILD (9-8-2): Eric Staal, who leads the team with 17 points, has collected nine over his last seven games. Zucker, who fell one game shy of matching Brian Rolston’s franchise record for consecutive contests with a tally, has scored eight of his 11 goals in the third period this season. He also leads the club with three power-play tallies and four game-winners, both of which are career bests.
1. In addition to goals, Gibbons also leads the Devils in plus/minus with a plus-12 rating.
2. The 18-year-old Hischier has collected eight points over his last eight contests.
3. Minnesota allowed two power-play goals on Saturday after being perfect on the penalty kill over its previous six games.
PREDICTION: Devils 3, Wild 1