What needs to change in Devils’ 3rd meeting with Penguins

The defending Stanley Cup champions got the best of the Devils twice in Pittsburgh. Now the Devils get a crack at them on their home ice.

The Devils will look to take advantage of their mental break and start fresh out of the holiday break when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Prudential Center.

With little room for error against the Penguins, the Devils know they need to be tighter.

“We need to come out and be harder with the puck. We were a little too loose with the puck (Friday),” defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. “They’re a team that thrives off transition. They’re able to turn teams over quickly and make life difficult for defensemen and our team in transition.”

After the Devils broke out of their long losing streak with a 4-0 win over the Flyers on Thursday, the Penguins quickly put them back in the loss column with a 4-1 win Friday before the break.

Tuesday’s game also continues a streak of five straight games again Metropolitan Division opponents after the Devils split the first two. The Devil close December with two games against the Washington Capitals.

While the Devils find themselves 11 points out of a playoff spot coming out of the holiday break, the focus remains within their own locker room and what they can do differently.

“Right now we’ve gone through a stretch where we’ve really got to focus on getting our game where it needs to be to be a competitive team,” coach John Hynes said. “That’s all we can control and that’s what our focus is.”

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