Devils Pre-Game 3/3/16

New Jersey Devils (30-27-7) at Nashville Predators (32-21-11)

8:00 PM ET • Bridgestone Arena • MSG Plus 2 • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will have a 11:30 AM morning skate at Bridgestone Arena.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey has reached the 30-win mark and needs just two victories to match its total from all of last season (32-36-14=78pts).
  • The Devils are 1-4-1=3pts over their last six road games and are 15-13-3=33pts away from Prudential Center overall.
  • New Jersey is 12-9-1=25pts vs. the Western Conference this season, including 5-4-0=10pts on the road.
  • Tonight’s contest opens the club’s tenth of 12 sets of back-to-back games. The Devils are 3-5-1=7pts in first games and 4-3-2=10pts in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
  • Keith Kinkaid is expected to start in goal.

Last Game – Mar. 1 – Devils 1 vs. Carolina 3

  • The Devils fell to 2-2-0=2pts in their season series vs. the Hurricanes.
  • New Jersey is 1-6-0=2pts in its last seven games and fell to 30-27-7=67pts overall.
  • The Devils are 6-4-1=13pts over their last 11 games at Prudential Center and 15-14-4=34pts at The Rock overall.
  • New Jersey is 9-13-2=20pts vs. the Metropolitan Division this season, including 5-5-2=12pts at home.
  • Despite the loss, the Devils are 17-9-1 vs. the Hurricanes since 2009-10, and are 12-4-1 vs. Carolina at Prudential Center all-time.
  • The Devils’ penalty-kill unit was 1/2, is 24/27 (88.8%) over their last nine games at Prudential Center & is 40/45 (88.8%) over the past 14 games overall.
  • New Jersey outshot Carolina, 30-19.
  • Cory Schneider (16 saves + ENG) took the loss and fell to 26-22-6 on the season.
  • Adam Henrique scored his 20th goal of the season at 10:54 of the first period. He’s reached the 20-goal mark for the second time in his NHL career (25, 2013-14). Henrique has 8g-1a-9pts in his last 11 games vs. the Hurricanes.
  • Tyler Kennedy collected the primary assist on Henrique’s goal, has 2g-2a-4pts over the last ten games & has 2g-7a-9pts overall.
  • Andy Greene was credited with the secondary assist on Henrique’s goal. With 148a in his NHL career, he’s passed Joe Cirella (147a) for fifth among Devils’ defensemen all-time. Brian Rafalski (267a) ranks fourth. Greene has 2a over the last four contests & 4g-8a-12pts overall.
  • Jordin Tootoo led the Devils & tied his season-high with five shots on goal (also, Oct. 24 vs. Buffalo).
  • Stephen Gionta and Sergey Kalinin were tied for the team-lead with three hits each.
  • Jacob Josefson returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game due to illness. He recorded one shot on goal, had three takeaways and was 7/18 (38.8%) on face-offs in 14:48 of action.
  • Adam Larsson led New Jersey with 20:56 of TOI; Kyle Palmieri was tops among Devils’ forwards with 20:46 of action.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Nashville defeated Dallas, 5-3, at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday and has now won five straight.
  • The Predators are 7-0-3=17pts over their last ten games (last regulation loss, Feb. 9 vs. Washington).
  • Nashville  owns the league’s tenth-best power play unit (41/208, 19.7%). The Predators’ penalty-kill ranks 21st in the NHL (153/192, 79.7%).
  • The Predators are 14-8-5=33pts vs. the Eastern Conference this season.
  • Filip Forsberg has scored two hat tricks over the last four games (Feb. 23 at Toronto & Feb. 27 vs. St. Louis) and has recorded 12g-4a-16pts over the past 12 contests. He’s tied for the team-lead with 26g-20a-46pts overall.
  • Roman Josi has 4a over the last four games. He shares the team scoring lead with Forsberg/ranks seventh among NHL defensemen with 11g-35a-46pts on the season.
  • Shea Weber returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing the previous three games due to a lower body injury and posted his fourth 3pt. game of the season (1g-2a). Weber is tied (Dustin Byfuglien) for third among NHL defensemen with 16g and is tied (five others) for fourth among all skaters with 12 PPG.
  • Ryan Johansen collected 1a on Tuesday vs. Dallas and has 4g-13a-17pts in 24 games since being traded to Nashville by Columbus for Seth Jones on Jan. 6. Johansen has 10g-33a-43pts in 62 appearances overall.
  • Mike Ribeiro has recorded 13a over the last 13 games and is tied for 14th in the NHL with 37a overall. 
  • Craig Smith has posted back-to-back multiple-point games (2g-3a-5pts) and has 4g-5a-9pts over the last eight contests.
  • James Neal registered 1g-1a-2pts on Tuesday for his tenth multiple-point game of the season. He has 22g overall this season, which ranks second on the club. Neal has scored 20g in each of the last eight seasons.
  • Pekka Rinne is 6-0-2 in his last eight starts and is 9-3-2 with two shutouts, a 1.92 goals-against average and a .932 save-percentage in 14 appearances since Jan. 21.
  • Carter Hutton is 4-0-1 with two shutouts, a 1.18 goals-against average and a .956 save-percentage in his last five starts since Jan. 16. 

Devils vs. Predators

Last Game – Oct. 13 – Devils 1 vs. Nashville 3

Kyle Palmieri scored his first goal with New Jersey, a power play goal, with 1:40 remaining in the third period. Andy Greene and Jacob Josefson picked up the assists. Keith Kinkaid (17 saves + 2 ENG) took the loss in goal.

2015-16

Record: 0-1-0 (0-0-0 on road)

Goals/Against:  1-3 (0-0 on road)

Shots For/Against: 23-20 (0-0 on road)

Power Play/Penalty Kill:  1-2 (50.0%)/1-2 (50.0%)

Leading Scorers:  NJ – Kyle Palmieri (1g-0a-1pt.), Andy Greene (0g-1a-1pt.), Jacob Josefson (0g-1a-1pt.); Nsh. – Roman Josi (2g-0a-2pts), Eric Nystrom (1g-0a-1pt.), three players with 1a each.

Goaltending:  NJ – Keith Kinkaid (0-1-0, 1.03 GAA, .944 save %); Nsh. – Pekka Rinne (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .957 save %).

All-Time

Record: 12-7-3 (7-2-2 on road)

Goals For/Against: 62-51 (29-24 on road)

Career Leading Scorers: NJ – Michael Cammalleri (12g-9a-21pts), Patrik Elias (6g-13a-19pts), Tuomo Ruutu (4g-8a-12pts), Kyle Palmieri (6g-1a-7pts); Nsh. – Mike Ribeiro (5g-9a-14pts), Mike Fisher (6g-6a-12pts), Paul Gaustad (2g-6a-8pts).

Career Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (1-1-1, 3.00 GAA, .909 save %), Keith Kinkaid (0-1-0, 1.03 GAA, .944 save %); Nsh. – Pekka Rinne (3-2-1, 1.96 GAA, .931 save %), Carter Hutton (1-2-0, 3.03 GAA, .875 save %).

Notable: New Jersey is looking for its first win at Bridgestone Arena since Oct. 15, 2011 (0-1-1)…Kyle Palmieri has scored six career goals vs. Nashville, which is his most vs. any opponent…Jordin Tootoo has 1g-1a-2pts and 2 PIM in seven games vs. his former club…Devante Smith-Pelly scored his first goal on Nov. 9, 2011 vs. Nashville (vs. P. Rinne).

Connections: Jordin Tootoo was Nashville’s sixth choice (4th round) and the 98th overall selection in the 2001 Entry Draft. He spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Predators from 2003-12…Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero served as Nashville’s Assistant GM from 1998-2006…New Jersey’s Assistant General Manager Tom Fitzgerald played with Nashville from 1998-2002; Fitzgerald served the Predators as team captain during each of those four seasons…Predators’ Assistant Coach Phil Housley appeared in 22 games for New Jersey during the 1995-96 season…Nashville’s F Eric Nystrom hails from Syosset, NY…Preds’ D Anthony Bitetto was born in Island Park, NY.

Devils in Detail

  • SCHNEIDER, HYNES TO REPRESENT TEAM USA AT WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY: On Wednesday, all eight teams competing in the World Cup of Hockey 2016, which will take place from Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto, announced their initial rosters of at least 16 players. Cory Schneider was one of three goaltenders selected to represent Team USA. The balance of the roster will be named no later than June 1. On January 16, Devils’ Head Coach John Hynes was named an assistant coach for Team USA. 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.
  • MEET THE NEW GUYS: On Monday, the Devils acquired F Devante Smith-Pelly from the Montreal Canadiens and claimed D David Warsofsky on waivers from Pittsburgh. At the time of the trade, Smith-Pelly had recorded 21g-34a-55pts and 64 PIM in 195 career NHL games with the Habs and the Ducks. He has also added 6g-2a-8pts in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff contests. Warsofsky had 2g-2a-4pts in 22 career NHL games with Pittsburgh and Boston prior to joining the Devils. He was selected in the fourth-round by St. Louis in 2008 but did not see any action with the Blues.
  • GREENE PASSES CIRELLA: Andy Greene collected the 148th assist of his career on Tuesday vs. the Carolina Hurricanes and has passed Joe Cirella for sole-possession of fifth-place among Devils’ defensemen all-time. Brian Rafalski (267a) ranks fourth.
  • HENRIQUE HITS 20: Adam Henrique scored his 20th goal of the season on Tuesday vs. Carolina and has reached the 20-goal mark for the second time in his NHL career (also, 2013-14, 25g). 
  • IRON MAN: Andy Greene has played in 293 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.
  • HOWE ABOUT THAT!: Sergey Kalinin recorded the first Gordie Howe hat trick of his NHL career on Feb. 23 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 35 of his last 47 starts since Oct. 29 and is 22-20-5 with four shutouts, a 2.10 goals-against average & .926 save-percentage during that stretch. Schneider leads the NHL in minutes (3,192) and games played (54), is third (tie) in GAA (2.14), is fifth (tie) in shutouts (4), & is eighth in save % (.924, tie) and wins (26, tie).
  • SPECIAL TEAMS: The Devils’ power play has converted 14/47 (29.8%) of their opportunities in their last 17 games. New Jersey is also 3/13 (23.1%) with the man-advantage over the past five games on the road.  The Devils rank ninth in the NHL on the PP overall (40/196, 20.4%) and are tenth on the road (19/96, 19.8%). New Jersey is 40/45 (88.9%) on the penalty-kill over the past 14 games. The Devils are 16/18 (88.9%) on the penalty-kill over their last five road games. The Devils’ PK unit ranks ninth in the league overall (167/202, 82.7%) and is eighth (tie, San Jose) on the road (89/108, 82.4%).
  • STILL STRONG ON DEFENSE: New Jersey ranks fifth in the NHL with a 2.32 team goals-against average behind Los Angeles (2.24), Florida (2.27), Washington (2.28) and Anaheim (2.28).
  • 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). 
  • 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 29g-21a-50pts, 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
  • 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 2.13 GAA (2nd, J. Quick, 2.17) and a .926 save % (2nd, H. Lundqvist, C. Talbot & 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 March 3, 2009, Johnny Oduya scored with 0:12 remaining in overtime to give the Devils a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

Milestone Watch

  • Adam Henrique – Needs 8pts for 200 in his NHL career.
  • Tuomo Ruutu –  Needs 3a for 200 in his NHL career.
  • Devante Smith-Pelly – Needs 5 GP to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Jordin Tootoo – Needs 5a to reach 100 in his NHL career.

Injuries

  • Michael Cammalleri (I.R., upper body, 14 games missed) is out.
  • Patrik Elias (I.R., knee, 30 games missed) is out indefinitely.
  • Jiri Tlusty (I.R., upper body, 22 games missed) is out three-four months.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 209

Recent Transactions

  • Feb. 29 – Acquired F Devante Smith-Pelly from Montreal in exchange for F Stefan Matteau. Acquired Boston’s fourth-round pick in 2016 and second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for Lee Stempniak. Assigned/recalled Reid Boucher, Joseph Blandisi and Damon Severson to/from Albany (AHL). Acquired Colorado’s third-round pick in the 2017 Draft in exchange for Eric Gelinas. Claimed D David Warsofsky off waivers from Pittsburgh. Recalled F Stefan Matteau from Albany (AHL).
  • Feb. 27 – Assigned D Seth Helgeson to Albany. Activated F Stefan Matteau from Injured Reserve/assigned him to Albany (conditioning).
  • Feb. 19 – Placed F Stefan Matteau on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Feb. 12. Activated D Jon Merrill from I.R.

Game Resources

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