National Hockey League
Preview
New Jersey at Anaheim
When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, March 1, 2024
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California

The pressure is on for the New Jersey Devils, and they know it with their playoff hopes in a tenuous state.

However, as the Devils prepare to visit the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night, they have pep in their step on the heels of Tuesday's 7-2 victory over the Sharks in San Jose in the first contest of a three-game California trip.

"It feels good to start off on the right foot," New Jersey forward Jesper Bratt said. "That's a win we take as good, but we've got to push that off to the side, too, and focus on the next game. We can't have time being too satisfied with wins; we have to move on. ... It's going to be all business from this point on."

The Devils head into Friday's action five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division and six back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot.

New Jersey has won two of its past three games but is sputtering with only three victories in its last seven games.

However, handily defeating the Sharks provided a jolt of confidence throughout the club. The big names came through as captain Nico Hischier collected one goal and three assists and Jack Hughes had one and two, respectively, but the supporting cast was represented with defensemen Brendan Smith and Kevin Bahl also scoring a goal.

"One thing we've talked about is we've struggled for those timely goals," Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. "To get a lot of different guys on the scoreboard is important. You feel good."

The Ducks will kick off a five-game homestand after snapping a three-game winless skid with a 6-4 victory over the host Sharks on Thursday night.

And the win was extra special for former Devils player Adam Henrique, who recorded one goal and two assists in the first game since become a father for a second time earlier this week.

"It was a special few days for us at home and for our family," Henrique told Bally Sports West. "You want to try and get on the board in games after the little ones come, and fortunately, I've been able to do that for Blake and now Sophia. It's pretty special, pretty happy about, and hopefully we can turn that into some kind of streak."

Just before the puck dropped, the Ducks completed a trade that sent veteran defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a third-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft. More strain was put on the remaining defensemen when Cam Fowler was hit in the face by a puck in the opening minute and left the game.

"I think everybody stepped up and played their role," said Radko Gudas, who logged more than 28 minutes of ice time. "It was to make smart and early decisions and the right play with the puck. I think it was a great effort for the whole group."

That effort added up to a six-goal outing, the most for Anaheim since a seven-goal performance against the Philadelphia Flyers in late October.

"It was a good response," Henrique said of his team's ability to deal with the adversity. "Our ‘D' did a great job battling through being short, and guys stepped up when we needed them to. We got big goals at key times. ... We have to try and roll that into (Friday) night."

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
New Jersey 30-25-3-1 W1 14-15-1-1 16-10-2-0 3-4-0-0 27-21-3-1 9-7-2-0
Anaheim 21-35-2-1 W1 8-20-1-0 13-15-1-1 6-10-0-0 15-25-2-1 5-9-0-1
Last Meeting
New Jersey Anaheim
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
12/17/23 ANA 5 NJ 1 29 23 0-5 28 28 1-5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
New Jersey N. Bastian 1
Anaheim A. Henrique 3
Goals Player  
New Jersey M. McLeod 1
Anaheim A. Henrique 3
Assists Player  
New Jersey N. Bastian 1
Anaheim C. Fowler 2
Saves Player  
New Jersey A. Schmid 23
Anaheim J. Gibson 18
Season
Total Points Player  
New Jersey J. Bratt 70
Anaheim T. Terry 47
Goals Player  
New Jersey J. Bratt 27
Anaheim F. Vatrano 27
Assists Player  
New Jersey J. Bratt 43
Anaheim T. Terry 29
Saves Player  
New Jersey V. Vanecek 826
Anaheim J. Gibson 1047
Quickchart Matchup
New Jersey Off vs  Anaheim Def
3.36 GF
3.56 GA
31.9 Shots
32.9 Shots
40 PP
58 PK
Anaheim Off vs  New Jersey Def
2.64 GF
3.46 GA
27.9 Shots
29.9 Shots
36 PP
37 PK