New Jersey Devils vs. Colorado Avalanche: LIVE score updates and chat (10/18/18)

October 18, 2018 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

Kyle Palmieri, Will Butcher, Keith Kinkaid, Marcus Johansson and the New Jersey Devils will aim to win their fifth straight game to open the 2018-19 season when they host Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Prudential Center in Newark. Watch video

Kyle Palmieri, Will Butcher, Keith Kinkaid, Marcus Johansson and the New Jersey Devils will aim to win their fifth straight game to open the 2018-19 season when they host Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Prudential Center in Newark.

Butcher will play after leaving with an injury during Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars. Despite some soreness, Butcher is healthy enough to stay in a defensive lineup that has allowed four total goals all season.

Devils' lines vs. Avs

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Here is everything you need to know about the home game:

What: New Jersey Devils (4-0-0) vs. Colorado Avalanche (3-1-2)

When: 7 p.m. EST, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey


Live stream: MSG Go

More to know: Drew Stafford will play in place of John Quenneville on the second line, making it the first lineup change for the Devils through five games. 

"He's a big, strong guy. He's real strong on the puck. He's real good in the offensive zone," Hynes said. "He has the ability to score. He's had some really good practices and a good training camp. He's playing with more pace that we'd like to see him be able to play with."

As for Quenneville, Hynes didn't make the move for any negative play on the rookie forward's part. It came down to a decision to reward Stafford's work while looking for more production.

"Johnny's done a good job, and he's in one of these situations where he's a young guy trying to earn a consistent spot in the lineup," Hynes said. "We gave him four games and he's done a good job. He hasn't done anything great, he hasn't done anything bad. But when you're looking at it, you want a little bit more impact."

Chris Ryan may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRyan_NJ. Find Devils on Facebook.

Marcus Johansson on what Devils need to do to fix 2nd power-play unit

October 18, 2018 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

Devils forward Marcus Johansson explains what the team's second power-play unit needs to do to find traction. Watch video

The Devils' second power-play unit has been one of the team's glaring weak spots during an otherwise strong start to the season.

Overall, the Devils' power play has produced decent numbers, scoring four goals on 20 chances, ranking the team right in the middle of the pack at 16th in the NHL. However, all four power-play goals came from Kyle Palmieri and the top unit.

Even when the top unit hasn't scored, they've created chances and controlled possession.

The second unit hasn't done that. The group, primarily composed of forwards Marcus Johansson, Miles Wood and Stefan Noesen, plus defensemen Sami Vatanen and Damon Severson, hasn't been able to sustain the same type of pressure.

Devils' lines vs. Avs

What needs to be fixed?

"Everything. We need to get into the zone better. We need to get set up a little easier and quicker and more ofter before we can even get to the inside stuff," Johansson told NJ Advance Media. "I think that's been our issue so far. We're not really getting the puck back and that makes it hard."

Coach John Hynes shook things up a bit in Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars, getting Jean-Sebastian Dea and John Quenneville a chance on the unit, but those changes didn't provide an immediate improvement.

Power plays are, by nature, a constantly changing beast. Even the best units have struggles, and groups go through peaks and valleys over the course of the season. The goal for the second unit is to get out of its current valley.

"Keep it simple and get everyone on the some page, and then execute the plan we have," Johansson said. "That's the main thing, and first of all, that's been the issue so far. We'll keep working on it."

Turing the tide starts with one good shift or even a goal, which can happen quickly if things click. 

"If we can start getting in with possession and get some momentum off of that, that would help a lot," Johansson said. "That will set up everything else as well. I think we can get that a little bit better, we'll be good, because once we do that, we can get pucks to the net and get some dirty ones, too."

Chris Ryan may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRyan_NJ. Find Devils on Facebook.