Two teams off to strong starts meet Saturday when the New Jersey Devils visit the Winnipeg Jets, a mid-afternoon contest where both teams will have to overcome working overtime Thursday night. The Jets were able to find some late-game magic in a 3-2 home shootout victory over the Flyers, tying the game on Mark Scheifele’s goal with 49 seconds left, while the Devils played nearly 65 minutes of scoreless hockey before allowing a goal with three seconds remaining in a 1-0 loss at Toronto.
Cory Schneider made 24 saves for New Jersey before allowing the game winner, as the Devils lost for the fifth time in seven games. “I thought we played well,” Schneider told reporters afterward. “It stinks to lose and only get one point after you have an effort like that.” Winnipeg earned at least a point for the 11th time in the past 12 games, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to improve to 5-0-1 in its past six home games. “That’s a good sign of maturity, but we have to play better,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler told the media after the game.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New Jersey), TSN3 (Winnipeg)
ABOUT THE DEVILS (11-4-3): Schneider has given up three goals or fewer in six of his past seven starts, but is 3-2-2 in that span. The Devils finished 0-for-3 on the power play Thursday and are 3-for-19 in November. Center Nico Hischier has been one of the hottest Devils of late as the 18-year-old rookie recorded a goal and six assists in his past seven games.
ABOUT THE JETS (11-4-3): Connor Hellebuyck earns his third consecutive start in goal after making 30 saves Thursday, recovering from two first-period goals to raise his record to 10-1-2. Forward Mathieu Perreault scored a power-play goal in his return Thursday after missing 12 games with a lower-body injury. Wheeler entered Friday second in the NHL in assists (19) and tied for sixth in points (24) after assisting on Scheifele’s game-tying tally.
1. Hellebuyck began the weekend ranked eighth in save percentage (.930) and 10th in goals against average (2.29).
2. Devils C Travis Zajac made his season debut Thursday, after missing 17 games following surgery for a torn left pectoral muscle, and logged 16:11 of ice time.
3. Winnipeg finished 1-for-7 on the power play Thursday and has one goal in its past 10 chances.
PREDICTION: Jets 3, Devils 2