Devils Pre-Game 2/6/16

New Jersey Devils (26-20-6) vs. Washington Capitals (36-9-4)

1:00 PM ET • Prudential Center • MSG Plus • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will not have a morning skate. Head Coach John Hynes will be available at approximately 10:45 AM. Select player availability to follow.

Coming Into Today

  • New Jersey is 5-1-1=11pts over its last seven games and has allowed just 12 goals-against during that stretch.
  • The Devils have won a season-high (tie, Oct. 31-Nov.8) three straight games at Prudential Center. They’re looking to win four consecutive home games for the first time since Feb. 17-23, 2015.
  • Including today, nine of New Jersey’s next 12 games will be played vs. Metropolitan Division opponents. The Devils are 7-7-1=15pts vs. the Metro this season, including 4-2-1=9pts at The Rock.
  • The Devils are 3-0-0=6pts in matinee games this season.

Last Game – Feb. 4 – Devils 2 at Toronto 3 (SO)

  • The Devils fell to 2-5 in the shootout.
  • The Devils are 2-1-1=5pts over their last four road games and are 14-10-3=31pts away from Prudential Center overall.
  • New Jersey is 9-4-4=22pts vs. the Atlantic Division this season, including 6-1-3=15pts on the road.
  • The Devils fell to 0-0-2=2pts in the season series vs. Toronto. They have earned a point in each of their last eight games vs. the Maple Leafs (4-0-4=12pts) and are 3-2-4=10pts in their last nine visits to Air Canada Centre.
  • The Devils were 1/6 on the power play and are 6/16 (37.5%) over the past five games.
  • New Jersey was 4/4 on the penalty kill and is 8/8 over the past two games.
  • The Maple Leafs out shot the Devils 39-34.
  • Keith Kinkaid made a season-high 37 saves (+2/3 SO) in his first start since Jan. 12 at St. Louis but fell to 3-5-1 on the season.
  • Jacob Josefson scored a power play goal 4:16 into the game to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. It was the second PPG of Josefson’s career/in the last four games & his third of the season overall.
  • David Schlemko recorded 1g-1a-2pts for his second multiple-point game of the season (also, Jan. 21 vs. Ottawa, 2a). With 6g-9a-15pts overall, Schlemko has established a new career-high (4g-10a-14pts, 2010-11). He has points in back-to-back games (1g-2a-3pts) and has 2g-4a-6pts over the past five contests. Schlemko led the Devils with a career-high (tie, Dec. 6, 2013 & Oct. 24, 2013) five shots on goal.
  • Eric Gelinas collected the primary assist on Schlemko’s goal, has points in back-to-back games (2a) for the first time since Oct. 24-25, 2014 (1g-1a-2pts) and has 3a over the last four contests.
  • Joseph Blandisi also assisted on Schlemko’s goal. He now has points in two straight (1g-1a-2pts) &  has 2g-6a-8pts over the last nine games.
  • Travis Zajac assisted on Josefson’s goal, snapping a three-game scoring drought. Zajac has 4g-5a-9pts on the power play and 7g-17a-24pts overall
  • John Moore was activated from Injured Reserve and returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games due to a lower body injury. He tied his season-high with four shots on goal & blocked four shots in 20:51 of action.
  • Andy Greene led New Jersey with six blocked shots.

Today’s Opponent

  • Washington snapped a two-games winless stretch (0-1-1=pts) with a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday. 
  • The Capitals lead the President’s Trophy race with a record of 36-9-4=76pts. Chicago (35-16-4=74pts) is just two points behind Washington, but the Blackhawks have played six more games.
  • Washington owns the NHL’s #1 power play unit (38/152, 25.0%), but the club is 0/12 with the man-advantage over the past three games. 
  • The Capitals’ penalty-kill unit ranks fifth in the league (126/150, 84.0%).
  • Washington is averaging 3.29 goals/game, which leads the NHL. The Capitals have outscored their opponents 161-110; the 51 goal differential is tops in the league (2nd, Dallas, 169-137, 32 goal differential).
  • Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal on Thursday vs. the NY Islanders. He ranks second in the NHL with 29g overall (Patrick Kane, 31), is third (tie) with six GWG, fourth with 11 PPG & leads the NHL with 239 shots on goal. Ovechkin scored his 500th career NHL goal on Jan. 10 vs. Ottawa.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov leads Washington/is fifth (tie, Joe Pavelski) in the NHL with 15g-36a-51pts this season. He leads the league with a +25 mark and ranks third with 36a. Kuznetsov has posted 4g-16a-20pts over the past 14 games.
  • Nicklas Backstrom recorded 2a on Thursday and enters today’s game with points in five straight (4g-3a-7pts). Backstrom has 17g-31a-48pts overall, which ranks second on the club and 12th in the NHL.
  • Andre Burakovsky scored his ninth goal of the season on Thursday to extend his scoring streak to five games (5g-2a-7pts). He has 5g-6a-11pts over the last eight contests after posting just 4g-6a-10pts over his first 38 appearances this season.
  • T.J. Oshie registered 1g-1a-2pts on Tuesday and has points in four consecutive games (1g-4a-5pts). 
  • Justin Williams recorded the second hat trick of his NHL career on Jan. 17 vs. the New York Rangers. He ranks fourth on the club with 16g-18a-34pts overall.
  • Mike Richards has played in six consecutive games but is looking for his first point as a Capital; he signed with Washington on Jan. 6. 
  • Braden Holtby made 24 saves on Thursday and picked up his NHL-leading 31st win of the season. He ranks fifth in the league with a 2.07 goals-against average and is seventh with .928 save-percentage. Holtby is 7-3-1, with 2 shutouts, a 2.10 GAA and a .926 save % in 11 career games vs. the Devils.
  • Philipp Grubauer took the loss in his last start on Feb. 2 vs. Florida (4 GA/14 saves). He’s 5-4-1 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .916 save-percentage in 12 appearances overall.

Devils vs. Capitals

Last Game – Oct. 10 – Devils 3 at Washington 5

New Jersey played its first road game of the season. Adam Henrique, Eric Gelinas (PPG) and Michael Cammalleri each scored for the Devils. Kyle Palmieri appeared in his 200th NHL game and recorded his first point as a Devil with an assist on Henrique’s tally.  Keith Kinkaid (22 saves) made his first start of the season.

2015-16

Record: 0-1-0 (0-0-0 at home)

Goals/Against: 3-5 (0-0 at home)

Shots For/Against: 24-27 (0-0 at home)

Power Play/Penalty Kill: 1-3 (33.3%)/3-5 (60.0%)

Leading Scorers: NJ – Michael Cammalleri (1g-1a-2pts), Eric Gelinas (1g-0a-1pt.), Adam Henrique (1g-0a-1pt.), three players with 1a each; Wsh. – Jason Chimera (1g-1a-2pts), Matt Niskanen (1g-1a-2pts), Alex Ovechkin (1g-1a-2pts), John Carlson (2a), Justin Williams (2a).

Goaltending:  NJ – Keith Kinkaid (0-1-0, 4.17 GAA, .846 save %); Wsh. – Braden Holtby (1-0-0, 3.04 GAA, .875 save %). 

All-Time

Record: 76-83-9 (44-34-4 at home)

Goals For/Against: 474-536 (236-228 at home)

Career Leading Scorers: NJ – Patrik Elias (22g-36a-58pts), Travis Zajac (4g-17a-21pts), Tuomo Ruutu (8g-7a-15pts), Michael Cammalleri (7g-8a-15pts); Wsh. – Alex Ovechkin (18g-23a-41pts), Mike Richards (7g-24a-31pts), Nicklas Backstrom (6g-19a-25pts).

Career Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (3-4-1, 1 ShO, 2.21 GAA, .918 save %), Keith Kinkaid (0-1-0, 4.17 GAA, .846 save %); Wsh. – Braden Holtby (7-3-1, 2 ShO, 2.10 GAA, .926 save %)

Notable: New Jersey is looking to snap a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) vs. Washington…The Devils have lost two straight vs. the Capitals at Prudential Center but are 9-6-0 vs. Washington at The Rock all-time…Travis Zajac has 1g-5a-6pts over his last nine games vs. the Capitals…Michael Cammalleri has 4g-4a-8pts over his last six games vs. Washington.

Connections: Travis Zajac and Washington forwards Taylor Chorney and T.J. Oshie were teammates at the University of North Dakota in 2005-06…Capitals’ defenseman John Carlson played for the NJ Rockets (ATJHL) for two seasons from 2005-07…New Jersey’s Assistant General Manager Tom Fitzgerald played under Caps Head Coach Barry Trotz from 1998-2002; Fitzgerald served the Predators as team captain during each of those four seasons…Washington’s Assistant Coach Todd Reirden was New Jersey’s 14th choice (12th round) and the 242nd overall pick in the 1990 Entry Draft…Head Coach John Hynes served as an assistant under Reirden with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2009-10 and succeeded him as Head Coach of the Penguins the following season.

Devils in Detail

  • COUNT ON CORY: Cory Schneider has allowed two goals or less in 28 of his last 36 starts since Oct. 29 and is 19-13-4 with four shutouts, a 1.96 goals-against average & .932 save-percentage during that stretch. Schneider is 2nd in the NHL in games played (tie, 43) & minutes (2,569), ranks third (tie) in shutouts (4), third in GAA (2.03), sixth (tie) in wins (23) and is sixth in save % (.929).
  • POWER PLAYER: Jacob Josefson has scored two power play goals over the past four games, the first PPGs of his career, and has 2g-4a-6pts with the man-advantage overall. The Devils’ PP unit is 6/16 (37.5%) over the last five games since Josefson returned from a lower body injury; New Jersey was 2/29 on the power play in the 11 games without Josefson in the lineup.
  • LEE-DING THE WAY: Lee Stempniak recorded 1g-1a-2pts on Tuesday vs. the New York Rangers for his eighth multi-point game of the season. He has 6g-3a-9pts over the last nine games and now leads the Devils with 15g-23a-38pts overall (tie, Michael Cammalleri, 14g-24a-38pts). Stempniak was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for the period ending Jan. 24, leading the league (tie) with 4g in three games (4g-1a-5pts).
  • SCHLEMKO’S KOs: David Schlemko scored the game-winning goal on Tuesday vs. the New York Rangers. It was the third game-winner of his NHL career/in a span of 27 appearances. Each of Schlemko’s GWG have come vs. a Metropolitan Division opponent (also, Dec. 29 vs. Carolina & Nov. 14 Pittsburgh). Schlemko recorded 1g-1a-2pts on Thursday at Toronto to establish a new career-high with 6g-9a-15pts this season (previously, 4g-10a-14pts, 2010-11). 
  • HEY, JOE: Rookie F Joseph Blandisi has points in each of his last two games (1g-1a-2pts) and has 2g-6a-8pts over the last nine contests.
  • PALMIERI’S CAREER YEAR: Kyle Palmieri has established new career-highs with 20 goals (previously, 14g, 2014-15 & 2013-14) and 35 points (prev., 14g-17a-31pts in 71 games, 2013-14) this season. Palmieri is on pace for 31g-23a-54pts, which would nearly double his previous career-high.
  • STILL STRONG ON DEFENSE: New Jersey is allowing just 2.27 goals/game, which ranks third in the NHL.
  • IRON MAN: Andy Greene has played in 281 consecutive games, dating back to Mar. 6, 2012, and has passed Aaron Broten (266, Dec. 6, 1982-Feb. 15, 1986) for the seventh-longest such stretch in Devils’ history. Broten is also sixth on the list, having appeared in 288 straight games from Mar. 27, 1986-Jan. 4, 1990. Greene’s streak is the second-longest in team history among defensemen, trailing only Ken Daneyko’s 388-game stretch from Nov. 4, 1989-Mar. 29, 1994.
  • FIRST CLASS:  New Jersey scored five goals in the first period of its 6-3 victory over Ottawa at Prudential Center on Jan. 21. It was the team’s most goals in a single frame since also scoring 5g in the third period of a 6-3 win vs. Tampa Bay on Jan. 9, 2011. The Devils tied a franchise record for goals in the first period (accomplished five times, last time Mar. 11, 1997 vs. Edmonton). Travis Zajac posted 1g-3a-4pts, the first Devil to record 4pts in a single-period since Ilya Kovalchuk (Mar. 23, 2010 vs. Columbus, 1g-3a, 2nd period) & just the second player in team history to do so in the first period (Patrik Elias, 1g-3a, Dec. 20, 2000 vs. Dallas). Zajac was the first NHL player to record 4pts in a period since Claude Giroux (2g-2a) on Dec. 19, 2013 vs. Columbus (third period). Joseph Blandisi recorded 1g-2a-3pts, the seventh rookie in Devils’ history to record 3pts in a single period & the first since Brendan Morrison (Dec. 28, 1998 at Buffalo, 1g-2a, first period). – credit Elias Sports Bureau
  • HYNES TO JOIN TEAM USA AT WORLD CUP: Head Coach John Hynes was named an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which is set to take place from Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto. Hynes, a native of Warwick, RI, will serve alongside Phil Housley, Mike Sullivan, Jack Capuano and Scott Gordon on Head Coach John Tortorella’s staff.
  • 600 GAMES FOR GREENE: Andy Greene skated in his 600th NHL game on Jan. 6 at Montreal, all of which have been played for the Devils. He became just the 16th player/sixth defenseman (also, Ken Daneyko, Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, Colin White and Bruce Driver) in team history to reach the milestone.
  • BIG SAVES: Cory Schneider stopped David Desharnais’ penalty shot attempt on Jan. 6 at Montreal, has now saved 4/4 PS he’s faced this season (also, Jonathan Huberdeau Dec. 6 vs. Florida, Radim Vrbata Nov. 22 at Vancouver & Patrick Marleau Oct. 16 vs. San Jose) and has stopped 12/14 in his career. Schneider’s four PS faced ties New Jersey’s single-season record (Johan Hedberg, 2011-12). George Hainsworth holds the NHL record, having faced six PS for Toronto in 1934-35 (the first season for penalty shots in the NHL). -credit Elias Sports Bureau
  • D’MEN ARE OT HEROES: John Moore scored his second overtime goal of the season/his career on Jan. 2 vs. Dallas. Eight of the Devils’ last 13 OT game-winners have now been scored by a defenseman. Moore became the fourth d’man in franchise history to score two OT goals in a season, joining: Scott Niedermayer (4, 2001-02), Johnny Oduya (2, 2008-09) and Andy Greene (2, 2013-14). –credit Elias Sports Bureau
  • STAR STRUCK: Michael 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).
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.10 GAA (2nd, J. Quick, 2.17) and a .927 save % (2nd, H. Lundqvist & T. Rask .924) among goaltenders that have played in at least 100 games since the start of 2010-11.
  • THIS DAY IN DEVILS HISTORY: On February 6, 2001, Martin Brodeur stopped all 27 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over the Canadiens at Molson Centre. It was his first NHL shutout in his hometown of Montreal. Alexander Mogilny scored two goals, including the game-winner.

Milestone Watch

  • Tuomo Ruutu –  Needs 3a for 200 in his NHL career.
  • Jordin Tootoo – Needs 5a to reach 100 in his NHL career.

Injuries

  • Michael Cammalleri (I.R., upper body, two games missed) is out.
  • Patrik Elias (I.R., knee, 18 games missed) is out indefinitely.
  • Jon Merrill (I.R., upper body, six games missed) is week-to-week.
  • Jiri Tlusty (I.R., upper body, ten games missed) is out three-four months.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 158

Recent Transactions

  • Feb. 4 – Activated D John Moore from Injured Reserve.
  • Feb. 1 – Placed F Michael Cammalleri on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Jan. 26. Recalled F Joseph Blandisi, F Reid Boucher and D Seth Helgeson from Albany (AHL).
  • Jan. 27 – Assigned F Joseph Blandisi, F Reid Boucher, D Marc-Andre Gragnani and D Seth Helgeson to Albany (AHL). Recalled F Sergey Kalinin from Albany.
  • Jan. 26 – Assigned F Sergey Kalinin to Albany (AHL). Recalled D Marc-Andre Gragnani to Albany under emergency conditions.
  • Jan. 22 – Placed D John Moore on injured reserve. Recalled D Seth Helgeson from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions.
  • Jan. 21 – Activated F Jacob Josefson from I.R.
  • Jan. 20 – Assigned F Brian O’Neill to Albany.
  • Jan. 19 – Placed D Jon Merrill on I.R., retroactive to Jan. 16. Activated F Michael Cammalleri from I.R.

Game Resources

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