PENGUINS vs DEVILS PREVIEW
PITTSBURGH at NEW JERSEY — 7:30 p.m. today; Prudential Center; Newark, N.J.
TV — Root
Radio — WQMU-FM 92.5
Records — Penguins 35-11-0 (70 points, first place Atlantic Division), Devils 18-18-10 (46 points, fourth place Atlantic Division)
Season series — 2-1 New Jersey
Last meeting — The Devils beat the Penguins, 3-1, on Feb. 10 in Pittsburgh, completing a weekend home-at-home sweep with wins by identical scores. David Clarkson scored twice for New Jersey and Ilya Kovalchuk added a goal. Pittsburgh’s James Neal scored with 15 seconds left to ruin the shutout. Johan Hedberg stopped 23 of 24 shots for the Devils.
Notes — The Penguins play their final regular- season road game, playing out the string from a different perspective than New Jersey, which is out of playoff contention. Pittsburgh has sewn up the top seed in the Eastern Conference. … Center Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup Tuesday, registering an assist and skating on a line with wingers Pascal Dupuis and Jarome Iginla. Forwards Sidney Crosby (jaw) and James Neal (concussion) are doubtful for tonight, while defenseman Paul Martin (hand) is questionable. … Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (22-7-0, .917 save percentage) is tied for fourth in the league in wins. Tomas Vokoun is 13-4-0 with a .919 save percentage. … Brenden Morrow has five goals and 11 points in his last nine games, and Iginla has five goals and nine points in the last 10.
About the Devils — After making the playoffs 13 straight times from 1997 to 2010, New Jersey will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. The Devils are out of the basement of the Atlantic Division by one point, leading last-place Philadelphia. New Jersey and Philadelphia each have two games left. … Tonight is the Devils’ last home game of the season. … New Jersey has won three of its last four. The Devils beat Montreal, 3-2, at home on Tuesday. Patrik Elias, Jacob Josefson and Steve Sullivan scored the first three goals of the game for New Jersey. Martin Brodeur stopped 19 of 21 shots. … Elias leads the team with 20 assists and 34 points and is tied with David Clarkson for the team lead in goals, with 14. Former Penguin Johan Hedberg, expected to start in net, is 5-9-3 with an .886 save percentage. Brodeur is 13-9-7 with a .901 save percentage.
Next — The Penguins play host to Carolina on Saturday.