Devils Pre-Game 3/4/16

New Jersey Devils (31-27-7) at Dallas Stars (38-20-7)

8:30 PM ET • American Airlines Center • MSG Plus • News Radio 880 WCBS

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will not have a morning skate. Head Coach John Hynes will be available outside the Devils’ locker room at approximately 5:10 PM. Select player availability to follow.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey needs just one victory to match its total from all of last season (32-36-14=78pts).
  • The Devils are 2-2-0=4pts over their last four road games and are 16-13-3=35pts away from Prudential Center overall.
  • New Jersey is 13-9-1=27pts vs. the Western Conference this season, including 6-4-0=12pts on the road.
  • Tonight’s contest closes-out the club’s tenth of 12 sets of back-to-back games. The Devils are 4-5-1=9pts in first games and 4-3-2=10pts in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
  • Cory Schneider is expected to start in goal.

Last Game – Mar. 3 – Devils 5 at Nashville 4 (OT)

  • New Jersey is 8-1 in games decided in overtime this season.
  • The Devils finished 1-1-0 in their season series vs. the Predators.
  • New Jersey won at Bridgestone Arena for the first time since Oct. 15, 2011 (0-1-1).
  • The Devils snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 31-27-7=69pts overall.
  • The Devils scored three power play goals for the first time since Oct. 21, 2014 vs. the New York Rangers.
  • Nashville outshot New Jersey 34-33 overall, but the Devils held a 6-0 advantage in overtime.
  • Keith Kinkaid (30 saves) is 2-0-1 over his last three starts and improved to 5-5-1 on the season overall.
  • Adam Henrique tied the game with just 39.7 seconds remaining in regulation and scored the third OT goal of his career (PPG) 1:54 into the extra session. It was Henrique’s tenth multiple-point game of the season. He has scored in back-to-back-games (3g), has 22g overall this season and leads the Devils with a career-high six game-winning goals.
  • Kyle Palmieri tied a career-high with 1g-2a-3pts. He now has 4g-3a-7pts over the past eight contests. Palmieri leads the Devils with 9g-9a-18pts on the power play and 24g-19a-43pts overall.
  • Travis Zajac scored a power play goal and assisted on Henrique’s game-winner for his seventh multiple-point game of 2015-16. It was his fifth PPG of the season/tenth overall. Zajac has 3g-7a-10pts over the last 14 games.
  • Devante Smith-Pelly posted 1g-1a-2pts in his first game with the Devils. It was his second multiple-point game of the season (also, 2g Nov. 25 at New York Rangers). He also recorded three shots on goal, two hits and one blocked shot in 18:10 of action. Smith-Pelly has goals in each of his last two games played (also, Feb. 27 vs. Toronto) and 3g-1a-4pts over his last eight appearances.
  • David Schlemko recorded 2 PPA for his third multiple-point game. He ranks third on the club with 1g-11a-12pts on the power play and leads Devils’ defensemen with 6g-13a-19pts overall.
  • John Moore collected the secondary assist on Henrique’s game-winner and now has 2g-2a-4pts in OT this season.
  • Jacob Josefson registered the primary assist on Palmieri’s goal. He has 2g-8a-10pts with the man-advantage this season and a career-high 3g-10a-13pts overall.
  • Jon Merrill registered the primary assist on Smith-Pelly’s goal, his third helper of the season/first since Dec. 29 vs. Carolina (15 games).
  • Sergey Kalinin also picked up an assist on Smith-Pelly’s goal and has 1g-2a-3pts over the past five games.
  • David Warsofsky also made his Devils’ debut. He recorded one shot on goal and two blocked shots in 18:21 of TOI.
  • Adam Larsson registered a season-high seven hits (tie, Dec. 22 at Detroit) and led the Devils with 22:35 of TOI.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Dallas is 1-5-2=4pts over its last eight games following a 5-3 loss at Nashville on Tuesday.
  • The Stars are 20-10-1=41pts at American Airlines Center.
  • Dallas’s power play unit is tied (St. Louis) for fifth in the NHL (45/206, 21.8%). The Stars are ranked 22nd on the penalty-kill (155/196, 79.1%).
  • Jamie Benn has 4g-9a-13pts over the past 13 games and is second in the NHL with 32g-39a-71pts overall (1st, Patrick Kane, 37g-51a-88pts).
  • Tyler Seguin is tied (Erik Karlsson) for third in the league with 32g-36a-68pts. He’s been held scoreless in each of the last two games but has 7g-8a-15pts over the past 15 contests.
  • Benn and Seguin both have scored 30+ goals in each of the last three seasons.
  • John Klingberg has 5a over the last five games and is third among NHL defensemen with 10g-43a-53pts overall. His 43a are tied (Nicklas Backstrom) for sixth among all skaters.
  • Jason Spezza scored a goal on Tuesday at Nashville, has 4g-2a-6pts over the past seven games & 22g-24a-46pts overall. Spezza needs just five points to reach the 800 mark in his NHL career (290g-505a). He recorded the 500th assist of his career on Jan. 5 at Madison Square Garden.
  • Kris Russell was acquired from Calgary in exchange for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock and a conditional second-round pick in the 2017 Draft on Monday.  He made his Stars’ debut on Tuesday at Nashville and recorded two shots on goal in 18:21 of action. Russell ranks second in the NHL with 175 blocked shots this season.
  • Antoine Roussel recorded 1g-1a-2pts on Tuesday at Nashville and has 2g-2a-4pts over the past six games. He’s one of just four players with 10g and 90+ PIM this season (also, Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell, Dustin Byfuglien).
  • Colton Sceviour has posted 3g-1a-4pts over the past five contests; he had 5g-7a-12pts over his first 52 appearances this season.
  • Vernon Fiddler has scored a goal in each of the last two games (2g-1a-3pts).
  • Antti Niemi allowed 4 goals on 18 shots in 29:48 of action on Tuesday and was relieved by Kari Lehtonen. He’s 1-2-1 with a 4.68 goals-against average and a .856 save-percentage over his last five appearances since Feb. 18. Niemi is 4-1-1 with a 1.95 GAA and a .926 save-percentage in six career games vs. the Devils.
  • Lehtonen is 0-3-1 with a 3.63 goals-against average and a .883 save-percentage over his last five appearances since Feb. 16. He’s 9-6-1 with one shutout, a 2.68 GAA and a .918 save-percentage in 16 career games vs. New Jersey.
  • Head Coach Lindy Ruff enters tonight just 10 wins shy of 700 in his NHL Head Coaching career.

Devils vs. Stars

Last Game – Jan. 2 – Devils 3 vs. Dallas 2 (OT)

John Moore scored a power play goal 1:47 into overtime. Kyle Palmieri and Bobby Farnham also scored goals & Adam Henrique recorded 2a. Cory Schneider made 29 saves and earned the win in goal.

2015-16

Record: 1-0-0 (0-0-0 on road)

Goals/Against:  3-2 (0-0 on road)

Shots For/Against: 30-31 (0-0 on road)

Power Play/Penalty Kill:  1-4 (25.0%)/3-3 (100.0%)

Leading Scorers:  NJ – Adam Henrique (0g-2a-2pts), six players with 1pt. each; Dal. – Patrick Sharp (1g-0a-1pt.), Colton Sceviour (1g-0a-1pt.), four players with 1a each.

Goaltending:  NJ – Cory Schneider (1-0-0, 1.97 GAA, .935 save %); Dal. – Antti Niemi (0-0-1, 2.91 GAA, .900 save %).

All-Time

Record: 29-29-4 (13-17-1 on road)

Goals For/Against: 186-181 (84-96 on road)

Career Leading Scorers: NJ – Michael Cammalleri (16g-16a-32pts), Patrik Elias (6g-19a-25pts), Travis Zajac (5g-6a-11pts); Dal. – Jason Spezza (7g-26a-33pts), Tyler Seguin (4g-6a-10pts), Patrick Sharp (7g-2a-9pts), Patrick Eaves (5g-4a-9pts).

Career Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (8-4-1, 1 ShO, 2.28 GAA, .928 save %), Keith Kinkaid (0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 save %); Dal. – Antti Niemi (4-1-1, 1.95 GAA, .925 save %); Kari Lehtonen (9-6-1, 1 ShO, 2.68 GAA, .918 save %).

Notable: The Devils are 2-2-0=4pts in their last four visits to American Airlines Center…Cory Schneider is 3-1-1, with one shutout, a 2.09 GAA & a .930 save % in five games vs. the Stars as a Devil…Travis Zajac has scored 5g-6a-11pts in 13 career games vs. Dallas, his most vs. any Western Conference opponent other than Winnipeg (8g-9a-17pts); Zajac scored his first NHL goal vs. the Stars on Oct. 7, 2006 (vs. Marty Turco)…Adam Henrique has 4a over his last two games vs. Dallas.

Connections: Stephen Gionta, Cory Schneider and Stars’ F Patrick Eaves all played for Boston College during the 2004-05 season…Tuomo Ruutu and Dallas’ goaltender Kari Lehtonen were teammates with Jokerit Helsinki (Finland) for two seasons from 2000-02…Ruutu and Stars’ goaltender Antti Niemi both hail from Vantaa, Finland…Adam Larsson and Stars’ D John Klingberg were both members of Sweden’s World Junior Championship squad in 2011…Stars’ D Johnny Oduya played the first three-plus seasons (2006-09) of his NHL career with the Devils…Assistant Coach Geoff Ward and Stars’ F Tyler Seguin were both members of Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup Championship team…Assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald played under Dallas’ Head Coach Lindy Ruff in Florida from 1993-97 when Ruff served as an assistant coach for the Panthers.

Devils in Detail

  • THE LATE SHOW: On Thursday at Nashville, Adam Henrique became the fourth player in franchise history to record a tying goal in the final minute of regulation and then the winning goal in that same game. He joined Patrik Elias (Nov. 9, 2001 vs. Toronto), Joe Nieuwendyk (Jan. 22, 2003 at San Jose) and Jamie Langenbrunner (Jan. 30, 2009 vs. Pittsburgh).-credit Elias Sports Bureau
  • PALMIERI’S CAREER YEAR: Kyle Palmieri tied a career-high with 1g-2a-3pts last night at Nashville. He has also established new career-highs with 24 goals (previously, 14g, 2014-15 & 2013-14) and 43 points (prev., 14g-17a-31pts in 71 games, 2013-14) overall this season. Palmieri is on pace for 30g-23a-53pts, which would nearly double his previous career-high.
  • 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.
  • IRON MAN: Andy Greene has played in 294 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) & is tenth (tie) in wins (26).
  • SPECIAL TEAMS: The Devils’ power play has converted 17/50 (34.0%) of their opportunities in their last 18 games. New Jersey is also 6/16 (37.5%) with the man-advantage over the past six games on the road.  The Devils rank eighth in the NHL on the PP overall (43/199, 21.6%) and are eighth on the road (22/99, 22.2%). New Jersey is 40/47 (85.1%) on the penalty-kill over the past 15 games. The Devils are 16/20 (80.0%) on the penalty-kill over their last six road games. The Devils’ PK unit ranks tenth (tie, Boston) in the league overall (167/204, 81.9%) and is 11th on the road (89/110, 80.9%).
  • 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 2a last night at Nashville & has established new career-highs across the board with 6g-13a-19pts this season (prev., 4g-10a-14pts, 2010-11). 
  • 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 15 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).
  • 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 4, 2001, Jason Arnott, Scott Gomez and Petr Sykora each scored 2g & Martin Brodeur stopped all 15 shots he faced in a 6-0 win over Tampa Bay at Continental Airlines Arena.

Milestone Watch

  • Adam Henrique – Needs 6pts for 200 in his NHL career.
  • Tuomo Ruutu –  Needs 3a for 200 in his NHL career.
  • Devante Smith-Pelly – Needs 4 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, 15 games missed) is out.
  • Patrik Elias (I.R., knee, 31 games missed) is out indefinitely.
  • Jiri Tlusty (I.R., upper body, 23 games missed) is out three-four months.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 212

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).

Game Resources

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