Devils Pre-Game 2/26/16

New Jersey Devils (30-25-7) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (34-22-4)

7:00 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 outside of the Devils’ locker room at approximately at 4:40 PM. Select player availability to follow.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey reached the 30-win mark on Tuesday and needs just two victories to match its total from all of last season (32-36-14=78pts).
  • The Devils are 6-2-1=13pts over their last nine games at Prudential Center and 15-12-4=34pts at The Rock overall.
  • New Jersey is 9-4-4=22pts vs. the Atlantic Division this season, including 3-3-1=7pts at home.
  • Tonight’s contest closes-out the club’s ninth of 12 sets of back-to-back games. The Devils are 3-5-1=7pts in first games and 4-2-2=10pts in second games when playing on consecutive dates.

Last Game – Feb. 25 – Devils 1 at Columbus 6

  • The Devils fell to 0-3-0 in their season series vs. the Blue Jackets. 
  • New Jersey 3-4-1=7pts over its last eight road games and is 15-13-3=33pts away from Prudential Center overall.
  • The Devils outshot the Blue Jackets, 26-24.
  • Cory Schneider allowed three goals on 11 shots in 19:45 of action and was relieved by Keith Kinkaid at the start of the second period. He took the loss and fell to 26-20-6 on the season.
  • Kinkaid (ND, 40:00, three goals allowed/13 shots against) relieved Schneider for the second time this season (also Dec. 13 at NY Islanders).
  • Reid Boucher scored his fifth goal of the season and has 2g-3a-5pts over the last five games. He also led the Devils with a season-high (tie, Feb. 9 vs. Edmonton) five shots on goal.
  • Travis Zajac registered the primary assist on Boucher’s goal and now has 2g-6a-8pts over the past 11 games.
  • Damon Severson also assisted on Boucher’s goal. He has points in back-to-back games (2a) for the second time this season (Oct. 16-28, 2a).

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Tampa Bay defeated Arizona, 2-1, at Amalie Arena on Tuesday. 
  • The Lightning have won four straight and are 16-6-0=32pts in 2016.
  • Tampa has won each of its last two road games and is 14-12-2=30pts on the road overall.
  • The Lightning are ranked 29th on the power play on the road (9/90, 10.0%) but are tied (Colorado) for second in the NHL on the PP at home (27/116, 23.3%). They are 2/30 (6.7%) with the man-advantage over the last nine games. 
  • Tampa’s penalty-kill unit is 49/52 (94.2%) over the past 16 games. The Lightning’s PK is ranked 24th on the road (67/86, 77.9%) and is fifth in the league at home (83/95, 87.4%).
  • Steven Stamkos has scored a goal in each of the last four games (4g-1a-5pts), including the 300th goal of his NHL career on Feb. 20 at Pittsburgh. He leads the Lightning/is seventh (tie, Joe Pavelski & Matt Duchene) in the NHL with 26g overall.
  • Nikita Kucherov is Tampa Bay’s leading scorer with 24g-25a-49pts this season, but has missed each of the last two games with a lower body injury. He ranks seventh (tie, Tyler Seguin & Claude Giroux) in the NHL with 8g-14a-22pts on the power play.
  • Ryan Callahan has points in back-to-back games (2g-1a-3pts) and has 3g-6a-9pts over the past ten contests. He had just 5g-9a-14pts through his first 49 appearances this season. Callahan has 10g-16a-26pts and is +6 in 35 career games vs. the Devils.
  • Tyler Johnson has posted 4g-4a-8pts, including three game-winning goals, over the past 11 games; he had just 5g-11a-16pts over his first 36 games this season. 
  • J.T. Brown has registered 5g-3a-8pts over the last 15 contests after totaling just 3g-9a-12pts during his first 41 games this season.
  • Valtteri Filppula skated in the 700th game of his NHL career on Tuesday vs. Arizona. He leads the club with a 52.4 face-off win-percentage.
  • Victor Hedman is third on the team with 6g-30a-36pts. His 30a ranks tenth (tie, Duncan Keith & Keith Yandle) among all NHL defensemen.
  • Alex Killorn has recorded 1g-4a-5pts over the past five games and ranks fourth on the club with 10g-20a-30pts overall this season.
  • Ben Bishop is 2-0-0 and has stopped 66/70 (.943 save %) shots over his last two starts. He’s allowed two goals or less in 30 of his 44 starts this season. Bishop is 4-2-0 with one shutout, a 1.46 goals-against average and a .946 save-percentage in six career games vs. New Jersey.
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves and earned the win over Arizona on Tuesday. He’s won eight of his last nine starts & is 10-5-0 on the season.

Devils vs. Lightning

2014-15

Record: 2-0-1 (1-0-0 at home)

Goals/Against: 8-7 (3-2 at home)

Shots For/Against: 67-86 (18-28 at home)

Power Play/Penalty Kill:  3-10 (30.0%)/14-17 (82.4%)

Leading Scorers: NJ – Adam Henrique (1g-3a-4pts), Patrik Elias (2g-1a-3pts), Scott Gomez (0g-3a-3pts); TB – Tyler Johnson (2g-2a-4pts), Nikita Kucherov (1g-3a-4pts), Ondrej Palat (0g-3a-3pts).

Goaltending:  NJ – Cory Schneider (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .963 save %), Keith Kinkaid (1-0-1, 2.85 GAA, .898 save %); TB – Ben Bishop (1-0-0, 2.93 GAA, .875 save %), Evgeni Nabokov (0-1-1, 1.95 GAA, .907 save %).

All-Time

Record: 54-23-11 (31-11-3 at home)

Goals For/Against: 289-200 (159-98 at home)

Career Leading Scorers: NJ – Patrik Elias (19g-33a-52pts), Tuomo Ruutu (7g-15a-22pts), Travis Zajac (5g-13a-18pts); TB – Ryan Callahan (10g-16a-26pts), Steven Stamkos (14g-10a-24pts), Matthew Carle (3g-11a-14pts).

Career Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (2-0-1, 3.23 GAA, .877 save %), Keith Kinkaid (1-0-1, 2.76 GAA, .903 save %); TB – Ben Bishop (4-2-0, 1 ShO, 1.46 GAA, .946 save %).

Notable: The Lightning are the only team the Devils have yet to face this season…New Jersey will play Tampa Bay three times over its final 20 games (also, Apr. 2 at Tampa Bay & Apr. 7 at Prudential Center)…The Devils have won three straight home games vs. the Lightning and are 12-3-0=24pts vs. Tampa Bay at Prudential Center all-time…New Jersey is 24-9-4=52pts vs. Tampa Bay since 2005-06…Adam Henrique has 2g-3a-5pts over his last six games vs. the Lightning…Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid are a combined 3-0-2 vs. Tampa Bay all-time.

Connections: John Moore and Lightning forward Ryan Callahan were teammates with the NY Rangers for parts of two seasons from 2013-14…Stephen Gionta, Cory Schneider and Lightning forward Brian Boyle were all teammates at Boston College for two seasons from 2004-06…Tuomo Ruutu and Valtteri Filppula are both from Vantaa, Finland…Tampa’s defenseman Matt Taormina played 47 games for the Devils from 2010-12…Lightning Assistant GM/Director of Player Personnel Pat Verbeek played seven seasons with New Jersey from 1982-89…Tampa Bay’s Senior Adviser to the GM, Tom Kurvers, played two-plus seasons with the Devils from 1987-89. He was traded to Toronto for its first-round pick in the 1991 Entry Draft (Scott Niedermayer) on Oct. 16, 1989…Lightning Assistant Coach Steve Thomas played three seasons for New Jersey from 1995-98.

Devils in Detail

  • IRON MAN: Andy Greene has played in 291 consecutive games, dating back to Mar. 6, 2012, the sixth-longest games-played stretch in Devils’ history. He appeared in his 289th straight game on Feb. 20 at Washington to pass Aaron Broten (Mar. 27, 1986-Jan. 4, 1990) on the all-time list. Jay Pandolfo is next on the list, having appeared in 307 consecutive games from Jan. 22, 2003-Nov. 28, 2007. Greene played in his 267th straight game and also passed Broten (266 games, Dec. 6, 1982-Feb. 15, 1986) for seventh on the list on Dec. 30 at Ottawa. 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.
  • REID ALL ABOUT IT: Reid Boucher scored his fifth goal of the season last night at Columbus & registered a career-high 1g-2a-3pts on Feb. 20 at Washington for his third multiple-point game of the season. Boucher has 3g-4a-7pts over the last eight games & has a career-high 5g-5a-10pts in 20 appearances overall. 
  • HOWE ABOUT THAT!: Sergey Kalinin recorded the first Gordie Howe hat trick of his NHL career on Tuesday vs. the New York Rangers. Kalinin posted 1g-1a-2pts and had a fight vs. the Rangers’ J.T.Miller. He’s the first Devil to register a Gordie Howe hat trick since Jordin Tootoo on Mar. 14, 2015 at Arizona.
  • COUNT ON CORY: Cory Schneider has allowed two goals or less in 34 of his last 45 starts since Oct. 29 and is 22-18-5 with four shutouts, a 2.06 goals-against average & .928 save-percentage during that stretch. Schneider leads the NHL in minutes (3,073) and games played (52), is third in GAA (2.11), is fourth in shutouts (4, tie) & is sixth (tie) in wins (26) and save % (.926).
  • SPECIAL TEAMS: The Devils’ power play has converted 14/44 (31.1%) of their opportunities in its last 15 games. New Jersey is also 10/27 (37.0%) with the man-advantage over the past nine games at Prudential Center. The Devils rank ninth in the NHL on the PP overall (40/193, 20.7%)  and are ninth (tie, Vancouver) at home (21/97, 21.6%). New Jersey is 33/37 (89.2%) on the penalty-kill over the past 12 games. The Devils are 17/19 (89.5%) on the PK over their last seven games at Prudential Center. The Devils’ PK unit ranks ninth (tie, Buffalo) in the league overall (160/194, 82.8%) and is 14th (tie, Pittsburgh) at home (71/86, 82.6%).
  • STILL STRONG ON DEFENSE: New Jersey ranks third in the NHL with a 2.27 team goals-against average behind Florida (2.25) and Los Angeles (2.25).
  • LEE-DING THE WAY: Lee Stempniak has reached the 40-pt. mark for the fourth time in his NHL career/first time since 2009-10 (28g-20a-48pts in 80 games). He has recorded 7g-5a-12pts over the last 19 games and leads the Devils with 16g-25a-41pts 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 NY Rangers. It was the third GWG of his NHL career/in a span of 27 appearances. Each of his GWG have come vs. a Metropolitan Division opponent (also, Dec. 29 vs. Carolina & Nov. 14 Pittsburgh). Schlemko had points in back-to-back games Feb. 14-16 (2a) & has established new career-highs across the board with 6g-11a-17pts this season (prev., 4g-10a-14pts, 2010-11). 
  • HEY, JOE: Rookie F Joseph Blandisi recorded 2a on Tuesday vs. the NY Rangers for his third multi-point game of the season. He has 4g-4a-8pts over the last 12 games & 5g-9a-14pts over the last 20 contests.
  • PALMIERI’S CAREER YEAR: Kyle Palmieri has established new career-highs with 23 goals (previously, 14g, 2014-15 & 2013-14) and 40 points (prev., 14g-17a-31pts in 71 games, 2013-14) this season. Palmieri is on pace for 30g-22a-52pts, which would nearly double his previous career-high.
  • 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. On Wednesday, March 2, all eight teams competing in the World Cup will announce their initial rosters of at least 16 players. Team USA’s roster will be announced on ESPN’s SportsCenter at 6:45 PM.
  • 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 14 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, 14). 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 2.11 GAA (2nd, J. Quick, 2.16) 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 26, 2008, the Devils obtained Bryce Salvador from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Cam Janssen. Salvador served as the team’s captain from Jan. 17, 2013 through last season.

Milestone Watch

  • Adam Henrique – Needs 9pts for 200 in his NHL career.
  • 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, 11 games missed) is out.
  • Patrik Elias (I.R., knee, 27 games missed) is out indefinitely.
  • Stefan Matteau (I.R., facial fracture, six games missed) is day-to-day.
  • Jiri Tlusty (I.R., upper body, 19 games missed) is out three-four months.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 197

Recent Transactions

  • Feb. 19 – Placed F Stefan Matteau on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Feb. 12. Activated D Jon Merrill from I.R.
  • Feb. 4 – Activated D John Moore from I.R.
  • Feb. 1 – Placed F Michael Cammalleri on I.R., retroactive to Jan. 26. Recalled F Joseph Blandisi, F Reid Boucher and D Seth Helgeson from Albany (AHL).

Game Resources

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