When the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils meet tonight at the Prudential Center, it will be more just the second and final meeting of an out-of-conference season series.
Rookie leaders Adam Henrique and Gabriel Landeskog will play head-to-head, looking to break a tie atop the rookie leaders and make a late statement for who should win the Calder Trophy.
The two rookies enter tonight's matchup with 46 points, tops among all rookie skaters. Henrique leads all rookies with 31 assists, and Landeskog leads with 20 goals. But the two enter tonight on two different ends of the spectrum.
Henrique has failed to score a goal in 13 games and has just five assists in his last 11 contests. Landeskog has found his offensive game, recording nine goals and 10 assists over his last 18 games.
The Devils' rookie leader isn't concerned about the head to head matchup.
"I played against him a little there [in juniors]," he told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "He was a solid player there. He's a team guy. He's a leader. He's a great player. Obviously, he creates a lot of opportunities, a lot of chances. He scores goals. He makes plays. He's a great player. So, it's fun to be part of a battle."
The two teams also enter tonight's game battling for playoff positions. New Jersey is sixth in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators. They've won four of their last five meetings, but are looking to rebound from a 3-0 shutout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night. The Devils failed to solve Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 17 shots for his third straight shutout win.
The Colorado Avalanche are fighting to hold on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Colorado has won three straight games, and enters tonight's matchup two points ahead of the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames. They defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4, in a shootout last night in Buffalo. Jamie McGinn led all Avs skaters with two goals, and Peter Mueller scored the game-winning shootout goal in the third round.
Martin Brodeur will start tonight for the Devils.
Colorado won the first meeting fo the season, 6-1, on November 30 at the Pepsi Center. Six different players scored in the victory.