Devils vs. Penguins preview: Battle for Altantic Division continues

Justin K. Aller

The two top teams in the Atlantic battle it out in a home-and-home series this weekend.

The New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins meet on Saturday in the first of a home-and-home series between the top two teams in the Atlantic Division.

The Devils have gotten over any sort of Stanley Cup hangover that might exist as the Eastern Conference champions have gotten off to a 6-1-3 start to the season and currently ride a three-game winning streak. After starting the season 3-0-0 the Devils fell victim to three overtime or shootout losses that led to a disappointing 5-1 loss to the Penguins on Feb. 2.

This weekend's series will mark six games in eight days for the Devils, treating the loss to the Penguins as a wake up call and going 3-1-0 in the tight stretch of games so far. The Devils are 4-for-11 on the power play during the three-game winning streak and have gone a perfect 19-for-19 on the penalty kill over that span.

The Penguins have also seemingly recovered from a rough patch of their own, winning five straight games after a 3-3-0 start to take control of the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh has excelled thanks to an incredibly dangerous power play attack that has gone 7-for-19 during the win streak and 6-for-10 in the past three games alone.

Sidney Crosby picks up right where he left off last season, leading the Penguins with 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) in 11 games while James Neal continues to lead the team with seven goals, four of which have come on the power play. In total, the Penguins have three players averaging more than a point per game.

The puck is set to drop in New Jersey on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, with national coverage on NHL Network and local coverage on MSG+ and ROOT Sports.

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