Lost in all today’s trade talk, there are actual games in the NHL tonight. Ten of them, to be specific. And perhaps none bigger from a making-or-missing-the-playoffs perspective than Detroit at New Jersey.
Consider: If the Red Wings win in regulation, the Devils would fall five points back of the final wild card spot in the East, with just 19 games left to catch up. If, however, New Jersey wins in regulation, depending how Columbus does at home versus Dallas, the Devils could climb all the way to within a point of a playoff spot, with another game Friday against the Wings (in Detroit).
Defenseman Bryce Salvador and winger Damien Brunner are both expected back in the lineup for the Devils, per The Record.
“It should be a fun game,” Brunner said. “A lot of faces I know over there. It’s going to be a big game for us. We play them back-to-back here. We’re both in the playoff race. There’s going to be four big points on the line.”