Devils Pre-Game 12/17/15

New Jersey Devils (16-11-4) vs. Florida Panthers (15-12-4)

7:00 PM ET • Prudential Center • MSG Plus • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will have an 10:30 AM morning skate at Prudential Center.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey has points in six of its last seven (4-1-2=10pts) & nine of its last 12 games (6-3-3=15pts). 
  • The Devils are 2-0-1=5pts in their last three home games and are 7-6-3=17pts at The Rock overall.
  • New Jersey is 6-0-2=14pts vs. the Atlantic Division this season, including 2-0-1=5pts at home.

Last Game – December 15 – Devils 2 at Buffalo 0

  • The Devils improved to 16-11-4=36 overall & to 2-0-0 in their season series vs. the Sabres.
  • New Jersey now has points in 14 of its last 15 games vs. Buffalo (10-1-4=24pts), is 5-1-3=13pts over the last nine road games in the series, and is 31-10-10=72pts vs. the Sabres since 2001-02.
  • The Devils have points in five of their last six on the road (4-1-1=9pts) and are 9-5-1=19pts away from Prudential Center overall.
  • The Sabres outshot Devils, 25-21.
  • Cory Schneider stopped all 25 shots he faced, including 12 in the third period, to record his second shutout of the season (Nov. 14 vs. Pittsburgh). It was his 10th ShO with New Jersey and the 19th of his NHL career. Schneider has now allowed two goals or less in 16 of his last 19 starts since Oct. 29.
  • Lee Stempniak scored his eighth goal of the season (GWG) at 17:27 of the second period. He now has points in six of the last seven games (3g-3a-6pts) and 4g-4a-8pts over the last ten contests. Stempniak has 8g-16a-24pts overall and needs just 4pts to match his total from all of last season (15g-13a-28pts in 71 games).
  • Jiri Tlusty gave the Devils a 2-0 lead at 4:12 of the third, his second goal of the season/first since the opener on Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg (17 appearances).
  • Mike Cammalleri collected the primary assist on Stempniak’s goal to snap a three-game point-less streak. He’s reached the 20-assist mark for the first time since 2011-12 (21 assists in in 66 games).
  • Adam Henrique recorded the secondary assist on Stempniak’s tally and has 5g-5a-10pts over his last 10 appearances. He returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games due to a lower body injury.
  • Kyle Palmieri registered the lone assist on Tlusty’s marker and has 6g-2a-8pts over the last nine games.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Florida defeated the New York Islanders, 5-1, at Barclays Center on Tuesday.
  • The Panthers have won two of their last three games and are 7-3-0 over their last ten.
  • Tonight’s contest opens Florida’s fourth set of back-to-back games. The Panthers are 1-1-1 in first games and 1-1-1 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
  • Florida is 6-2-3  vs. the Metropolitan Division this season.
  • Aleksander Barkov recorded a season-high 1g-2a-3pts, including the game-winning goal, on Tuesday vs. the Islanders. He has 7g-9a-16pts in 21 games this season.
  • Reilly Smith registered 1g-1a-2pts on Tuesday, his fourth multiple-point game of the season. He has 3g-1a-4pts over the past four games and leads the Panthers with 9g overall (tie, Vincent Trocheck and Jaromir Jagr).
  • Jussi Jokinen collected 2a on Tuesday and, with 6g-15a-21pts overall, has tied Jagr (9g-12a-21pts) for the team scoring lead. Jokinen has 4a over the past four games.
  • Jaromir Jagr, who missed Tuesday’s game (illness), leads the Panthers (tie, Jokinen) with 9g-12a-21pts this season. He scored the 731st goal of his NHL career on Dec. 10 vs. Washington to tie Marcel Dionne for fourth on the NHL’s all-time list.
  • Aaron Ekblad scored his seventh goal of the season on Tuesday and has points in three straight games (2g-1a-3pts) & 3g-2a-5pts over the last five. His 7g rank fifth (tie) among all NHL defensemen.
  • Brandon Pirri posted 1a on Tuesday and has points in a season-high four consecutive games (1g-3a-4pts). 
  • Steven Kampfer could appear in his 100th career NHL game tonight.
  • Roberto Luongo made 33 saves & snapped a personal three-game losing streak on Tuesday. He’s 11-11-3 with one shutout, a 2.29 goals-against average & .925 save-percentage in 25 games this season.
  • Al Montoya earned the win in his last start on Dec. 10 vs. Washington (20 saves) to improve to 4-1-1 on the season. He’s 3-2-2 with one shutout, a 1.56 GAA and .940 save % in eight career appearances vs. the Devils.

Devils vs. Panthers

Last Game – Dec. 6 – Devils 4 vs. Florida 2

Lee Stempniak scored 0:26 into the contest, New Jersey’s fastest to start a game this season. Adam Henrique (1g-2a, GWG), Mike Cammalleri (1g-1a) and Damon Severson (2a) each registered a multiple-point game. Cory Schneider (34 saves) earned the win in goal and also stopped Jonathan Huberdeau’s second period penalty shot attempt.

2015-16

Record: 1-0-0 (1-0-0 at home)

Goals/Against: 4-2 (4-2 at home)

Shots For/Against: 18-36 (18-36 at home)

Power Play/Penalty Kill: 0-2 (0.0%)/2-2 (100.0%)

Leading Scorers: NJ – Adam Henrique (1g-2a-3pts), Mike Cammalleri (1g-1a), Damon Severson (2a); Fla. – Aaron Ekblad (1g-1a-2pts), Jaromir Jagr (2a), two others with 1pt. each.

Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, .944 save %); Fla. – Roberto Luongo (0-1-0, 4.22 GAA, .778 save %).

ALL-TIME

Record: 52-25-10 (30-10-4 at home)

Goals For/Against: 251-188 (140-86 at home)

Career Leading Scorers: NJ – Patrik Elias (26g-25a-51pts), Travis Zajac (9g-15a-24pts), Tuomo Ruutu (10g-14a-24pts); Fla. – Jaromir Jagr (36g-57a-93pts), Brian Campbell (4g-10a-14pts), Jussi Jokinen (7g-5a-12pts).

Career Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (4-2-0, 2.12 GAA, .921 save %), Keith Kinkaid (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .963 save %); Fla. – Roberto Luongo (10-16-0, 3 ShO, 2.95 GAA, .908 save %), Al Montoya (3-2-2, 1 ShO, 1.56 GAA, .940 save %).

Notable: The Devils and Panthers are facing off for the second time in 11 days, with both games being played at Prudential Center…Including the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, New Jersey has won eight straight games vs. Florida at The Rock…The Devils are 7-2-1 vs. the Panthers overall since the start of the 2012-13 season; they’ve outscored Florida 35-22 during that span…Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo have started head-to-head five times. Schneider is 2-1-2 with a 2.35 GAA & .914 save %; Luongo is 3-2-0 with a 3.60 GAA & .862 save %…Mike Cammalleri has 3g-3a-6pts in four games vs. Florida as a Devil and 8g-7a-15pts in 19 career appearances vs. the Panthers.

Connections: Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo were teammates with Vancouver for three full seasons from 2010-13…Jaromir Jagr was traded by the Devils to Florida on Feb. 26 for the Panthers’ second-round pick in the 2015 Entry Draft and a third-round selection in 2016…Panthers’ Assistant Coach John Madden played nine seasons with the Devils from 1999-2009 and was a member of their 2000 & 2003 Stanley Cup Championship teams…Former Devils’ forward Jim McKenzie currently serves as a scout for the Panthers…Florida’s captain Willie Mitchell was New Jersey’s 12th choice (eighth round), 199th overall, in the 1996 Entry Draft; he played 18 games with the Devils from 1999-00…Panthers forward Connor Brickley is a second cousin of former Devil Andy Brickley.

Devils in Detail

  • COUNT ON CORY: Cory Schneider has allowed two goals or less in 16 of his last 19 starts since Oct. 29. He’s 10-6-3 with two shutouts, a 1.97 goals-against average & .932 save-percentage during that stretch. Schneider ranks fifth (tie) in the NHL in wins (14), seventh in GAA (2.09) and eighth in save % (.927).
  • WORKING OVERTIME: Kyle Palmieri scored his second OT goal of the season (also, Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver) & the fourth of his NHL career on Dec. 11 vs. Detroit. It was his third career OT goal at Prudential Center, having also scored the OT game winner for Anaheim vs. the Devils on Dec. 20, 2013.
  • LEE-DING THE WAY: Lee Stempniak recorded the lone assist on Kyle Palmieri’s overtime goal vs. Detroit on Dec. 11 and has now factored into four of the Devils’ five OT-winning goals this season (1g-3a). Stempniak scored the OT game-winner on Oct. 18 at Madison Square Garden. He also assisted on Palmieri’s OT goal on Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver & Adam Larsson’s winner on Oct. 20 vs. Arizona. Stempniak has points in six of the last seven games (3g-3a-6pts), including a team-season high five-game point-scoring streak (2g-3a-5pts) from Dec. 3-11. He’s tied for second on the club with 8g-16a-24pts overall, and needs just 4pts to match his total from all of last season (15g-13a-28pts in 71 games).
  • PALMIERI NEARS CAREER HIGH: Kyle Palmieri had points in a career-high (tie) four straight games (4g-1a-5pts) from Dec. 4-11 & has 6g-2a-8pts over the last nine contests. He’s scored 13g in 31 games overall this season, and needs just 1g to tie his career-high (14g, 2014-15 & 2013-14). Palmieri is on pace for a career-best 34g-29a-63pts.
  • FEEL THE POWER: The Devils have scored at least one PPG in 19 of their 31 games this season. New Jersey’s PP unit is 13/52 on the road this season; their 25.0% success rate ranks third in the NHL. The Devils have converted 20.6% (22/107) of their opportunities overall, which ranks seventh in the league.
  • STAR STRUCK: Mike Cammalleri was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the period ending Dec. 6. Cammalleri led the NHL with 4g-3a-7pts in four games, including three straight multiple-point games. He was joined by Anaheim’s John Gibson (First Star) and Nashville’s Shea Weber (Second). Cammalleri is the first Devil to be honored as a Star of the Week since Adam Henrique was named Third Star for the period ending Mar. 9, 2014 (5g).
  • 30 FOR 13: Mike Cammalleri snapped a three-game scoring drought with 1a on Tuesday at Buffalo and now has 11g-20a-31pts overall this season. He reached the 30pt. mark in his 27th game, becoming the fastest Devil to reach 30pts since Zach Parise in 2009-10 (24 games). He ranks ninth (tie) in the league in points, 11th (tie) in assists and is 13th (tie) with a +12 rating. Cammalleri has reached the 20 assist mark for the first time since 2011-12 (21a in 66 games). Cammalleri has 96 PPG since his first full NHL season in 2005-06, which ranks 12th among all NHL skaters.
  • WINNING TOUCH: Adam Henrique’s game-winning goal on Dec. 6 vs. Florida was his fourth of the season, which ties his career-high (2013-14). He added 2a in that game for his second 3pt. game of the season and has 5g-5a-10pts over his last ten appearances, including three GWGs. He’s just 3g shy of his total from all of last season (16g in 75 games).
  • WELCOME BACK, PATTY!: Patrik Elias returned to the lineup on Nov. 25 vs. Columbus after missing the first 20 games of the season due to a right knee injury. He has 1g-4a-5pts over the last ten games, including his first goal of the season on Nov. 28 at Montreal. Elias needs just 48 games to tie Ken Daneyko (1,283) for the most franchise history; he needs 24 appearances to tie Martin Brodeur (1,259) for second.
  • HENRIQUE-ING HAVOC: Adam Henrique scored his second shorthanded goal of the season on Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver. Henrique’s 11 SHG since 2011-12 are the second-most among all NHL players during that span (Brad Marchand, 13). He’s also tied Stephane Richer and Doug Brown for third in Devils’ history behind John Madden (17) and Patrik Elias (16).
  • ONE FOR THE BOOKS: On Oct. 22 at Ottawa, the Devils won (5-4 SO) after overcoming a two-goal deficit in the last six minutes of the third period for the first time in team history on the road & the fourth time overall (last time, Feb. 5, 2010, 4-3 vs. Toronto). (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
  • HYNES TIES RECORD: With a 5-4 SO win in Ottawa on Oct. 22, John Hynes became just the third coach in NHL history to record his first three wins in overtime or a shootout. He joined Charlie Querrie, who won three straight OT games with the Toronto St. Patricks in 1923, and Todd Richards, who won two OT & one SO as Minnesota’s Head Coach in 2009. (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
  • GREENE TIES DANO: Andy Greene recorded his 142nd career assist on Oct. 18 at the New York Rangers to tie Ken Daneyko for sixth among Devils’ defensemen all-time. Joe Cirella (147a) is fifth. With 33 career goals/175 career points, Greene is also just three goals/points behind Daneyko (36g/178pts) for sixth in team history.
  • SHERO’S DEVILS TAKE THE ICE: Ray Shero was named the fourth general manager in team history on May 4, 2015. Prior to joining the Devils, he spent eight seasons, 2006-07 through 2013-14, as executive vice president and general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. During that time, the team compiled a 373-193-56 (.645) mark, won the 2009 Stanley Cup Championship, two consecutive Eastern Conference titles in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and had three first-place divisional finishes. Shero received the General Manager of the Year Award in 2012-13, as voted on by the 30 NHL GMs, a panel of NHL executives, as well as print and broadcast media.
  • HYNES LEADS NEW COACHING STAFF: John Hynes was introduced as the 17th head coach in Devils’ history June 2, 2015. He joined the organization after spending the previous six seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), including the past five years, 2010-11 through 2014-15, as head coach. Hynes led the Penguins to a 231-126-10-17 (.637) mark during his tenure, including five straight 40-plus victory campaigns and five consecutive playoff berths, which included back-to-back AHL Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Geoff Ward and Alain Nasreddine will serve as his assistant coaches & Chris Terreri returns as goaltending coach. At, 40 years, 9 months-old, Hynes is the youngest head coach in the NHL. Upon making his debut Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg, he also became the third-youngest coach in Devils’ history behind Jim Schoenfeld, who was 35 years-old when he took over on Jan. 26, 1988 & Billy MacMillan, the team’s first-ever head coach, who was 39 on Oct. 5, 1982
  • GREENE NAMED CAPTAIN: Andy Greene was named the 11th captain in Devils’ history on Oct. 9. Mike Cammalleri, Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac will serve as alternates. He has played in a career-high 260 straight games since March 6, 2012, which stands as the second-longest stretch among defensemen in franchise history.
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.12 GAA (2nd, Jonathan Quick 2.17) and a .927 save % (2nd, Henrik Lundqvist, .925) among goaltenders that have played in at least 100 games since the start of 2010-11.
  • FUN WITH NUMBERS: Mike Cammalleri became the first player in Devils’ history to wear the no. 13 on his jersey Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg. He’s just the second player in franchise history to suit up with No. 13, joining Robin Burns – cousin of the late former Devils coach and Hall-of-Famer Pat Burns – who wore it with the Kansas City Scouts in the 1970’s. Eric Gelinas, who wore no. 22 last season, joined Stephane Richer as the second player in New Jersey history to wear no. 44. Jordin Tootoo is once again wearing no. 22, which he skated as with Nashville and Detroit from 2006-14, after wearing no. 20 last season. Tyler Kennedy is the first player in team history to wear no. 48. Sergey Kalinin, no. 51, became the first player in Devils’ history to wear any number in the 50’s. Joseph Blandisi is the first player in team history to wear no. 64.
  • THIS DAY IN DEVILS HISTORY: On December 17, 1984, Rocky Trottier scored vs. Andy Moog on the first penalty shot attempt in Devils’ history in a 5-2 victory over Edmonton, the team’s first-ever win vs. the Oilers.

Milestone Watch

  • Mike Cammalleri – Needs 1GP to reach 100 with New Jersey.
  • Adam Henrique – Needs 4a to reach 100 in his NHL career. Also needs 2GP to reach 300 in his NHL career.
  • Tuomo Ruutu –  Need 1GP to reach 100 with New Jersey & 3a for 200 in his NHL career.
  • Lee Stempniak – Needs 7pts to reach 400 in his NHL career.
  • Jordin Tootoo – Needs 1GP to reach 100 with New Jersey.

Injuries

  • Bobby Farnham (I.R., upper body, three games missed) is out.
  • Travis Zajac (I.R., upper body, six games missed) is out.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 79

Recent Transactions

  • Dec. 17 – F Brian O’Neill cleared waivers/was assigned to Albany (AHL). Activated F Tuomo Ruutu from Injured Reserve.
  • Dec. 16 – Placed F Brian O’Neill on waivers. Assigned F Joseph Blandisi to Albany (AHL).
  • Dec. 11 – Placed F Bobby Farnham on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Dec. 8. Activated F Jiri Tlusty from I.R.
  • Dec. 10 – Placed F Travis Zajac on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Dec. 3. Recalled F Joseph Blandisi from Albany (AHL).
  • Nov. 27 – Placed F Jiri Tlusty on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Nov. 20. Signed F Tyler Kennedy to a one-year, two-way contract for $600,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 at the AHL level.

Game Resources

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