Three Stars: 1. Cory Schneider 2. Pavel Zacha 3. Devante Smith-Pelly
The New Jersey Devils completed their season-long, five-game home-stand with a record of 3-2-0. The club is now 13-11-4 at Prudential Center this season.
The Devils will meet the Islanders again tomorrow at Barclays Center for the conclusion of this home-and-home series. The club is closing-out its 13th of 18 sets of back-to-back games in 2016-17. New Jersey is 4-5-4 in first games and is 7-2-3 in second games of back-to-backs.
The Devils are now 4-4-4 vs. the Islanders at Prudential Center since the 2011-12 season and are 49-38-12 all-time at home.
New Jersey is 8-5-2 vs. the Metro Division and is 15-14-5 against Eastern Conference opponents this season.
The club was 1-2 on the power play tonight and is 4-12 (33.3%) with the man-advantage over the last five games.
The Devils were 3-3 on the penalty-kill tonight and are 13-15 (86.7%) over the last five games. Travis Zajac scored the first shorthanded goal for New Jersey at home this season, which gives the club six overall in 2016-17. New Jersey is ranked sixth (tie, Carolina & Columbus) in the league in SHG.
The Devils were out-shot, 42-21, including 33-13 in the final two periods.
At 8:58 of the third period, New Jersey requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether a New York player interfered with Cory Schneider prior to Andrew Ladd’s goal. After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line. Therefore the original was confirmed.
Devante Smith-Pelly opened the scoring for New Jersey with his third goal of the season at 7:10 of the first period. Prior to tonight, he was a healthy-scratch for the previous six games (Feb. 3-16). It was his first goal in his last 29 games (Nov. 17 at ANA) and his first point since Jan. 6 vs. TOR (nine games). Smith-Pelly led all Devils with four hits tonight.
Travis Zajac notched his 11th goal of the season, his eighth career shorthanded goal, at 8:49 of the second period. It is the sixth multiple-point game for Zajac in 16-17. He is ranked tied for second on the club with 33 points (K. Palmieri). The goal was the 152nd of his career, which ties Brian Gionta for 10th in franchise history. Adam Henrique assisted on his shorthanded goal.
Pavel Zacha scored his eighth goal of 2016-17 in the third-period. He has four goals and three assists (7pts) over his last 10 games. He also had the eventual game-winner; his second in the past five games. P.A. Parenteau and Damon Severson had the assists on Zacha’s goal. Severson extended his lead among NJD defensemen with 3g-22a-24pts on the season.
Zajacand Jon Merrill recorded the assists on Smith-Pelly’s marker. The assist was the 271st of Zajac’s career (all with NJD). He passes Bobby Holik for sole possession of 9th place in franchise history. It was Merrill’s second assist of the season and his first point since Jan. 13 at Calgary (eight games).
Cory Schneider started in his season-high eighth consecutive game. He stopped 40 of 44 shots to improve to 19-17-8. Schneider successfully stopped a John Tavares penalty shot at 8:10 of the first period. He has not allowed a goal in the last six penalty shots he has faced.
Schneider is 9-11 in penalty shots as a Devil and has stopped 14 of 16 penalty shots in his career.
Schneider has stopped 479 of 514 shots (.932 save%) in his last 18 games.
Andy Greene led all Devils tonight with 22:53 of action including 3:53 of penalty-kill time.