The New Jersey Devils kick off a four-game Prudential Center homestand with a visit from the struggling St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Led by Claude Giroux’s 2-goal effort back on January 4th, St. Louis beat the Devils 4-1 in the clubs’ only other meeting this season.
If New Jersey can pull this one out, it’ll mark the franchise’s first win with their new GM at the helm.
The Devils head into this contest on a bit of a slide, having lost four in a row and 7 of their last 9, but they were able to get a point in two of those losses by losing in overtime and a shootout.
Despite the losses, New Jersey coach John Tortorella feels there has been some good signs.
"We’re competing," the coach said. "Clearly, our game isn’t complete, but for the most part everyone is pulling on the rope in the same direction."
Unfortunately, with this recent skid, the Devils have dropped out of first place in the Metro Division, a spot now occupied by the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes who have ripped off eight straight wins.
Despite their troubles of late, New Jersey still have an impressive 0.618 winning percentage with a record of 30-17-8.
What it comes down to Thursday night is the Devils getting out in front of St. Louis early and building on the lead. New Jersey was crushing it early in the season with scoring the opening goal, but that success has evaded them as of late.
The Devils have had to play from behind despite scoring the opening goal in three of their last four games; their most recent 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers notwithstanding.