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Pregame Notes from Deep in the Heart of Texas

The last time the New Jersey Devils faced the Dallas Stars, all hell broke loose.

With 40 penalty minutes shared between the two teams, several fights and several game misconducts, it’s safe to say that the Stars and Devils aren’t friends.
This match up has become increasingly heated over the course of the last few seasons and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.

The Devils always seem to know how to find their footing against the ever changing Dallas Stars, and that’s what will propel them past Dallas tonight, just like it did last month. Despite Dallas having a stronger physical edge to their play, the Devils are sharper and faster, which will likely play a factor in the outcome of this game. Let’s take a look at some more points to factor in.

Lineup changes can always be beneficial.

Coach Hynes decided to shakeup his lines a little bit before Tuesday’s game in St. Louis. He’s decided that the Devils will be going with those same lines tonight against Dallas, with the only change being Schneider back in goal.
That should make the Devils lineup tonight look something like this:

Hall-Hischier-Bratt
Johansson-Zajac-Palmieri
Wood-Zacha-Noesen
Coleman-Boyle-Gibbons
Scratches: Hayes, Stafford

Greene-Santini
Moore-Vatanen
Butcher-Lovejoy
Scratch: Severson

Schneider
Kinkaid

Homecoming.

Two of the New Jersey Devils call Plano, Texas home. Both Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman hail from the Dallas suburb and have mentioned how much it means for them to be able to come and play in the NHL against their hometown team. Noesen was up with the Devils last season, when they came to town against the Stars. Coleman however, will be playing in his first big league game against Dallas.

Keep in mind, both Dallas boys have scored against the Stars in the past, Noesen having scored his first career NHL goal against them. They’ll definitely be players to watch tonight.

The Big Guy.

I’m going to be honest with you. Part of me wants to see Brian Boyle go after Greg Pateryn again. Part of me really wants to see Boyle throw his weight around and make sure that the Stars know he won’t tolerate them pulling any tricks, again. The realistic part of me, however, knows that Boyle, being the gentle giant that he is, felt bad about his post-goal celebration and will probably be on better behavior tonight.

That said, I have a pretty decent feeling that if Klingberg or Pateryn get back on their nonsense, Boyle will more than most likely be the first Devil to go after them.

And I can’t wait for that.

Fast Facts:

I want to finish this pregamer out with some quick things to note:

As I mentioned above, this will be a homecoming for Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman.
It’s Coleman’s first NHL game in his hometown.
It’s also Nico Hischier’s 19th birthday. Happy birthday, Nico!
And lastly, it’s Miles Wood’s 100th NHL game.

 

The puck drops an hour and a half later than usual, in Dalls. You’ll be able to tune in at 8:30 on MSG tonight.
You’re not going to want to miss this one, I know I don’t.

Dia Sparrow
Dia Sparrow

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