Devils Pre-Game 2/8/16

New Jersey Devils (26-20-7) at New York Rangers (29-18-5)

7:00 PM ET • Madison Square Garden • MSG Plus • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will have an 11:30 AM morning skate at Madison Square Garden.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey is 5-1-2=12pts over its last eight games and has allowed just 14 goals-against during that stretch.
  • The Devils are 2-1-1=5pts over their last four road games and are 14-10-3=31pts away from Prudential Center overall.
  • Including tonight, eight of New Jersey’s next 11 games will be played vs. Metropolitan Division opponents. The Devils are 7-7-2=16pts vs. the Metro this season, including 3-5-0=6pts on the road.
  • Tonight’s contest opens the club’s sixth of 12 sets of back-to-back games. Ten of New Jersey’s next 13 games will be played as part of a back-to-back set. The Devils are 2-2-1 in first games and 2-1-2 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.

Last Game – Feb. 6 – Devils 2 vs. Washington 3 (SO)

  • The Devils fell to 2-6 in the shootout; they’ve lost five straight in the SO (last SO win, Oct. 31, vs. NY Islanders).
  • New Jersey has points in a  season-high four straight games at Prudential Center (3-0-1=7pts) & are 14-10-14 at home on the year.
  • The Devils fell to 3-0-1=7pts in matinee games this season.
  • New Jersey is winless in five straight (0-3-2) vs. Washington.
  • The Devils were 1/2 on the power play and are 7/18 (38.9%) over the past six games.
  • New Jersey was 3/3 on the penalty kill and is 11/11 over the past three games.
  • The Capitals out shot the Devils, 29-24.
  • Cory Schneider (27 saves + 1/3 SO) is 6-2-1 in his last nine starts & 23-15-6 overall. Schneider has now allowed two goals or less in 29 of his last 37 starts since Oct. 29.
  • Joseph Blandisi scored a power play goal 1:51 into the third period to tie the game at 1-1. He later added an assist for his second multiple-point game. Blandisi has points in three straight games (2g-2a-4pts) for the first time in his NHL career & has 3g-7a-10pts over the last ten contests.
  • Adam Henrique scored his 17th goal of the season at 7:17 of the third to put the Devils ahead 2-1. He has 1g-1a-2pts over the past three games & ranks fourth on the club with 17g-16a-33pts overall
  • Lee Stempniak recorded the primary assist on Henrique’s goal and, with 15g-24a-39pts on the season, has passed Michael Cammalleri (14g-24a-38pts) for the team-scoring lead. He has 6g-4a-10pts over the last ten games.
  • Travis Zajac picked up the primary assist on Blandisi’s goal and has points in two straight (2a) for the first time since Dec. 29-30 (3a). He was also 14/19 (73.7%) in the face-off circle.
  • Jacob Josefson also assisted on Blandisi’s goal and has points in back-to-back games (1g-1a-2pts) for the second time this season (also, Oct. 20-22, 2a). Josefson has 2g-1a-3pts on the power play over the past six contests.
  • Reid Boucher was the only Devil to score in the shootout; he’s now 2/5 (40.0%) in his career.
  • Tyler Kennedy led the club with a season-high four shots on goal.
  • Jordin Tootoo led the Devils with a team season-high eight hits.
  • David Schlemko saw a season-high 25:37 of action (previously, 23:23 Jan. 12 vs. St. Louis).

Tonight’s Opponent

  • New York has won two straight and is 5-2-0=10pts over its last seven games following a 3-2 SO win at Philadelphia on Saturday.
  • The Rangers have won four in a row at Madison Square Garden, have points in seven straight games at home (6-0-1=13pts) and are 19-5-2=38pts on home ice overall.
  • New York’s penalty-kill unit is 65/75 (86.7%) at home, which ranks eighth in the NHL.
  • The Rangers are averaging 2.85 goals/game, which ranks fifth in the NHL.
  • New York ranks fifth in the NHL in blocked shots with 810 and is eighth in the league in hits (1,382).
  • Derick Brassard has 3g-5a-8pts over the last four games and leads the Rangers with 18g-21a-39pts overall. He needs one goal to tie  his career-high (19g, 2014-15).
  • J.T. Miller has scored 8g, including two game-winners, over the past nine games. He had just 8g through his first 43 appearances this season. Miller leads the Rangers with 4 GWG overall.
  • Mats Zuccarello scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout on Saturday vs. Philadelphia. He has points in back-to-back games (3a) & ranks second on the club with 18g-20a-38pts overall. Zuccarello leads New York with 18g (tie, Brassard) & five power play goals.
  • Derek Stepan has 1g-6a-7pts over his last nine contests & 9g-13a-22pts in 42 appearances overall this season. The Rangers are 26-13-3 in games in which Stepan has played & are 3-5-2 without him in the lineup. Stepan has posted 11g-12a-23pts and a +14 rating in 26 career games vs. the Devils.
  • Chris Kreider has scored a goal in each of the past two games and has 5g-2a-7pts over his last nine appearances. 
  • Keith Yandle scored with 12.9 second remaining in regulation on Saturday to tie the game and force overtime. He has 2g-3a-5pts over the last seven games and leads New York’s defensemen with 4g-24a-28pts this season. Yandle has played in 521 consecutive games dating back to Mar. 26, 2009. 
  • Ryan McDonagh has recorded 2g-7a-9pts over the last 12 contests and is second among Rangers’ defensemen with 7g-19a-26pts overall. McDonagh is averaging 22:44 of TOI/game, which leads the club.
  • Dan Girardi enters tonight with 697 career games played as a Ranger. He is one game away from tying Mark Messier and Steve Vickers for 11th place on the franchise’s all-time games played list. (credit NY Rangers PR)
  • Henrik Lundqvist is fourth in the NHL with 24 wins this season. He’s won six of his last eight starts and is 8-3-1 with a 2.13 goals-against average & a .922 save-percentage over his last 12 starts since Jan. 5.
  • Antti Raanta took the loss in his last start on Jan. 17 at Washington (4 goals allowed/19 saves). He’s allowed two goals or fewer in six of his nine starts this season & is 4-4-1 with one shutout, a 2.30 goals-against average & a .909 save-percentage in 12 appearances overall.

Devils vs. Rangers

Last Game – Feb. 2 – Devils 3 vs. Rangers 2

Lee Stempniak (PP), Joseph Blandisi and David Schlemko (PP/GW) each scored for the Devils. Stempniak added an assist on Schlemko’s goal for his eighth multi-point game. Cory Schneider (31 saves) earned the win in goal.

2015-16

Record: 2-0-0 (1-0-0 on road)

Goals/Against: 3-5 (2-1 on road)

Shots For/Against: 49-60 (24-27 on road)

Power Play/Penalty Kill: 2-5 (40.0%)/6-6 (100.0%)

Leading Scorers: NJ – Lee Stempniak (2g-1a-3pts), Adam Henrique (1g-2a-3pts), Andy Greene (0g-2a-2pts), Damon Severson (0g-2a-2pts); NYR – J.T. Miller (2g-0a-2pts), Derek Stepan (1g-0a-1pt.), five players with 1a each.

Goaltending:  NJ – Cory Schneider (2-0-0, 1.46 GAA, .950 save %); NYR – Henrik Lundqvist (0-1-1, 2.46 GAA, .898 save %). 

All-Time

Record: 87-82-28 (32-46-20 on road)

Goals For/Against: 579-619 (257-325 on road)

Career Leading Scorers: NJ – Patrik Elias (23g-50a-73pts), Travis Zajac (12g-13a-25pts), Michael Cammalleri (7g-11a-18pts), Tyler Kennedy (6g-8a-14pts); NYR – Derek Stepan (11g-12a-23pts), Dan Girardi (2g-16a-18pts), Dan Boyle (1g-11a-12pts).

Career Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (3-4-1, 1 ShO, 2.23 GAA .922 save %), Keith Kinkaid (0-0-0, 3.79 GAA, .885 save %); NYR – Henrik Lundqvist (33-15-7, 8 ShO, 1.88 GAA, .931 save %), Antti Raanta (2-0-0, 2.50 GAA, .872 save %).

Notable: New Jersey is looking to win three straight vs. New York for the first time since Oct. 19-Dec. 7, 2013…Tonight’s game is the second of three vs. the Rangers over a span of 22 days (also, Feb. 2 & Feb. 23 at NJ)…Lee Stempniak has scored a goal in all three games vs. New York (3g-1a-4pts) since being traded on Mar. 1, ’15.

Connections: Executive VP/GM Ray Shero’s father, Fred, played three seasons with the Rangers from 1947-50 & served as their Head Coach from 1978-80…John Moore spent parts of three seasons with New York from 2013-15…Lee Stempniak appeared in 53 games for the Rangers in 2014-15…Stempniak and Rangers’ F Tanner Glass were teammates with Pittsburgh in 2013- 14 & at Dartmouth from 2003-05; both served as captain of Big Green…Cory Schneider played under Rangers’ Head Coach Alain Vigneault from 2008-13 when Vigneault served as Head Coach of the Vancouver Canucks…Stefan Matteau is the son of former Ranger Stephane Matteau…Devils’ Assistant General Manager Tom Fitzgerald and Rangers’ F Kevin Hayes are cousins…Rangers SVP/Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld was New Jersey’s Head Coach for parts of three seasons from Jan. 26, 1988-Nov. 6 1989…Adam Larsson and Rangers center Oscar Lindberg are both from Skelleftea, Sweden.

Devils in Detail

  • COUNT ON CORY: Cory Schneider has allowed two goals or less in 29 of his last 37 starts since Oct. 29 and is 19-13-5 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, 44) & minutes (2,634), ranks third (tie) in shutouts (4), third (tie) in GAA (2.03), sixth (tie) in wins (23) and is sixth (tie) in save % (.929).
  • POWER PLAYER: Jacob Josefson has recorded 2g-1a-3pts on the power play over the past five games, the first PPGs of his career, and has 2g-5a-7pts with the man-advantage overall. The Devils’ PP unit is 7/18 (38.9%) over the last six 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 1a on Saturday vs. Washington & posted 1g-1a-2pts on Feb. 2 vs. the New York Rangers for his eighth multi-point game of the season. He has 6g-4a-10pts over the last ten games and leads the Devils with 15g-24a-39pts overall. 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 Feb. 2 vs. the New York Rangers. It was the third GWG 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 (prev., 4g-10a-14pts, 2010-11). 
  • HEY, JOE: Rookie F Joseph Blandisi has points in three straight games (2g-2a-4pts), including 1g-1a-2pts on Saturday vs. Washington, and has 3g-7a-10pts over the last ten 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 30g-23a-53pts, which would nearly double his previous career-high.
  • STILL STRONG ON DEFENSE: New Jersey is allowing just 2.26 goals/game, which ranks third in the NHL.
  • IRON MAN: Andy Greene has played in 282 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 8, 2007, Martin Brodeur posted his 10th shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over the NY Islanders at the Meadowlands. He tied Terry Sawchuk’s NHL record of four seasons with 10-plus shutouts.

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, three games missed) is out.
  • Patrik Elias (I.R., knee, 19 games missed) is out indefinitely.
  • Jon Merrill (I.R., upper body, seven games missed) is week-to-week.
  • Jiri Tlusty (I.R., upper body, 11 games missed) is out three-four months.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 162

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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