Cellar dwellers Devils, Red Wings aim for rare win

Field Level Media

As the two teams with the fewest points and the worst goal differentials in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings have a lot in common.

But one of the squads will break from the other and experience something resembling happiness Saturday night, when the Devils host the Red Wings in Newark, N.J.

Both teams will be looking to snap losing streaks. The Devils were routed for the second game in a row Friday night, when they lost to the host Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1. The Red Wings suffered their fourth consecutive defeat Thursday, when they began a two-game road trip by falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-4.

The Devils appeared to be turning a corner when they won three of four from Nov. 10-16, but they've been outscored 9-2 in losing this week to the Penguins and Boston Bruins.

The loss Friday was particularly discouraging for the Devils, who were outshot 18-6 in the first period but trailed just 2-1 through two periods before giving up two goals in a 25-second span in the first three minutes of the third.

While the Devils have one more point and a marginally better goal differential (negative-26) than the Red Wings (negative-33), New Jersey's six regulation/overtime wins are the fewest in the league.

"I'm a competitor -- we're all competitors, we want to win," Devils center Blake Coleman told reporters afterward. "We're just not giving ourselves a chance."

The Red Wings know that feeling all too well. Detroit is 4-13-3 since a 3-1-0 start.

"Frustration is something we talk about a lot in here as a wasted energy," Red Wings center Luke Glendening told reporters Thursday night. "At the same time, nobody likes to lose. And we don't play to lose."

The Red Wings have at least exhibited signs of improvement this month. While they've lost four straight since a three-game winning streak from Nov. 8-12, each of the four defeats has been by a goal, with two coming in overtime and earning Detroit a point.

"We have to continue pushing," Glendening said.

Devils head coach John Hynes said Louis Domingue will make his first start for the team Saturday night. Domingue made his New Jersey debut Friday, when he relieved Mackenzie Blackwood in the third period and stopped all five shots he faced.

"The pull was not regarding Mackenzie, it was 4-1," Hynes said following the sixth straight game started by Blackwood. "Different look in net. (Domingue) hasn't played in the NHL this year, so we gave him some action."

The start Saturday will be Domingue's first in the NHL since March 21, 2019, when he made 25 saves and earned the win as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 6-3.

Jonathan Bernier would appear to be in line to start for the Red Wings after Jimmy Howard started and took the loss Thursday, when he made 32 saves. Bernier hasn't started consecutive games since Nov. 4-6. Bernier last appeared on Tuesday, when he made 29 saves and took the defeat as Detroit fell to the Ottawa Senators, 4-3.

Domingue is 2-1-1 in four regular-season appearances against the Red Wings. Bernier is 5-3-1 in nine games against the Devils.

--Field Level Media

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