Devils Pre-Game Notes: Dec. 1 at COL

New Jersey Devils (14-6-4) at Colorado Avalanche (12-9-2)

9PM ET / 7PM MT • Pepsi Center • MSG+2 • The One Jersey Network

*Links for The One Jersey Network can be found on newjerseydevils.com and all Devils’ social media channels.

*Game Notes Contacts: James Stolfi / Scott Litwack
Pre-Game Availability (subject to change)

  • 11:30AM Morning Skate at Pepsi Center

LAST GAME: NOV. 27 – NEW JERSEY 2 vs. FLORIDA 3

The Devils lost to the Florida Panthers to conclude a stretch of seven games in 12 days (Nov. 16-27), going 3-2-2 in that time-span.  The club fell to 14-6-4 overall and to 6-3-2 at home. New Jersey is 1-1-0 against Florida in 2017-18.  The clubs will square-off for their season-series finale, Mar. 1 at BB&T Center.

Jesper Bratt opened the scoring for the Devils, scoring his seventh goal and 15th point of the season. Nico Hischier notched his fifth goal of 2017-18 and has goals in consecutive games for the first time in his career.  Hischier has three points (2G-1A) over his last three games, Nov. 24-27.

Pavel Zacha had the lone assist on Hischier’s goal, which was his first point since Nov. 12 at CHI, snapping a seven-game, point-drought.

Cory Schneider stopped 35 of 38 shots (.921 save%) and fell to 9-5-3 on the campaign.

New Jersey surrendered their second shorthanded goal-against this season when Florida’s Aleksander Barkov scored late during the second frame.

 

TONIGHT’S GAME VS. COLORADO

Tonight is the second and final regular-season game between New Jersey and Colorado.  The Devils won, 4-1, on Oct. 7 in their season-opener in front of a sold-out crowd at Prudential Center.  New Jersey is 12-19-6 all-time on the road against the Colorado/Quebec franchise and is 0-4-2 at Pepsi Center since the 2009-10 season (last win; Mar. 15, 2008, 4-2).

In their first matchup, rookie defenseman Will Butcher set a franchise record for the most points scored by a player in his Devils’ debut with three assists (3PTS). Jesper Bratt also made his Devils/NHL debut and recorded a goal (PP) and an assist (SH), while 2017 first overall draft pick, Nico Hischier, recorded 15:44 of ice-time and had six shots.  Jimmy Hayes tallied the game-winner (PP) in his first game as a Devil.

John Moore scored the first shorthanded goal of his NHL career.  Kyle Palmieri notched two assists, including his 200th NHL point, before exiting the game with a lower-body injury during the second period.

Cory Schneider stopped 40 of 41 (.971) shots and is 8-5-4 with a 1.74 GAA, .942 save% and two shutouts in 18 career games vs. the Avs. Keith Kinkaid has never faced Colorado in his career.

Taylor Hall has 28PTS (14G-14A) in 24 games vs. the Avalanche.

Tomorrow commences the Devils’ sixth of 16 of back-to-back sets in 2017-18. The club faces Arizona tomorrow at Gila River Arena (8PM ET/6PM MT). New Jersey is 4-1-0 in both first and second games of back-to-backs.

New Jersey is 3-2-0 (2-1-0 road) against the Central Division and is 6-4-2 (3-2-1 road) against Western Conference opponents this season.  They have the most road-points, 18, in the NHL.

Tomorrow’s matchup features five first-overall NHL draft picks: Erik Johnson (2006), Taylor Hall (2010), Nail Yakupov (2012), Nathan MacKinnon (2013) & Nico Hischier (2017).

 

INJURIES

  • Marcus Johansson (IR, retro to Nov. 1, concussion, 13 games missed) suffered on Nov. 1, is out. Began rehab skating, Nov. 24.
  • Mirco Mueller (IR, retro. to Nov. 12, fractured collarbone, seven games missed) suffered on Nov. 12 is out 10-12 weeks from surgury on Nov. 16
  • Kyle Palmieri (IR, retro to Nov. 20, broken right foot, four games missed) suffered on Nov. 20, expected to miss 4-6 weeks from time of injury.

Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 82

MILESTONES

VATANEN – Could make Devils’ debut tonight.

SCHNEIDER – 2 wins for 100 w/ NJ

JOHANSSON – 5PTS for 300 in NHL. I.R.

BOYLE – 4G for 100 in NHL / 8PIM for 500 NHL

LOVEJOY – 4GP for 100 w/ NJ

HALL – 4GP for 100 w/ NJ

ZACHA – 9GP for 100 NHL/NJ

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Nov. 1: Placed F Kyle Palmieri (lower body) on I.R., retro to Oct. 22. Activated F Brian Boyle (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia) off I.R.

Nov. 9: Placed F Marcus Johansson (concussion) on I.R., retro to Nov. 1. Activated F Kyle Palmieri (lower body) off I.R., retro. to Oct. 22.

Nov. 15: Activated F Michael McLeod (lower body) and assigned to Mississauga (OHL). Placed D Mirco Mueller (broken left clavicle) on I.R., retro to Nov. 12.

Nov. 16: Activated C Travis Zajac (torn left pectoral) off I.R.

Nov. 22: Placed RW Kyle Palmieri (broken right foot) on I.R., retro to Nov. 20.

Nov. 30: Acquired D Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round draft pick in the 2019 or 2020 NHL Draft from Anaheim in exchange for Adam HenriqueJoseph Blandisi and New Jersey’s 2018 third-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.

 

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SAMI

New Jersey acquired defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round selection in the 2019 or 2020 NHL Draft from Anaheim in exchange for Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and New Jersey’s third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Conditions on Ducks’ cond. 3rd-round pick are:

  • If ANA. signs Henrique to a new Standard Player Contract for 2019-20 before their own 3rd-round pick of the 2019 Draft, then ANA. will transfer their own 3rd-round pick in the 2019 Draft to NJD.
  • If ANA. signs Henrique to a new Standard Player Contract for 2019-20 after their own 3rd-round pick of the 2019 Draft, then ANA. will transfer their own 3rd-round pick in the 2020 Draft to NJD.
  • If Henrique does not re-sign with ANA., then no draft pick will be exchanged

 

NO SWEAT

The Devils are 9-1-4 in one-goal games in 2017-18 and are undefeated in regulation, 11-0-2, when leading after two periods.

 

ROOKIE DIARIES

The first episode of this season’s Devils All-Access: Rookie Diaries features Nico Hischier. The 2017 NHL Draft’s first overall selection discusses his first few weeks in the NHL, adjusting to life in New Jersey. Watch on newjerseydevils.com or any Devils’ social media channels.

https://www.nhl.com/devils/video/rookie-diaries-ep-1-hischier/t-277437418/c-54565703

 

ROAD WARRIORS

The Devils are 8-2-2 away from Prudential Center and were the final of all 31 teams to remain undefeated on the road in any fashion, OT or SO, until Nov. 3 at EDM, 6-3 L.  Their 5-0-0 road record to start 2017-18 was the club’s best road-start since 2009-10, when they started 9-0-0 on the road.

New Jersey has earned the most points in the NHL, 18, and have the second-most, goals-scored (46) on the road.

 

JOHNNY ROCKET

John Moore has two overtime goals this season.  He notched the first game-winner on Oct. 19 at OTT and scored again, Nov. 12 at MIN. He currently has six OT game-winners, which leads all NHL defenseman since 3-on-3 overtime was implemented in the 2015-16 season. He is second among all active players, behind LA’s Jeff Carter (7). In just his third season with the Devils he ranks second in OT goals by a defenseman (6, 2015-17) in franchise history behind Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer (8, 1991-2004).

 

THAT’S HIGHLY OFFENSIVE

After 24 games, the Devils have a total of 74 regulation/OT goals, which ranks eighth (tie, CHI)* in the NHL.  In 2016-17, the club had scored just 63 regulation/OT goals after 24 GP.

The Devils are on pace to score 253 goals this season.

* as of Nov. 30 

 

CHILD’S PLAY

On Oct. 14 at NYR, Will Butcher set an NHL record, becoming the first rookie defenseman in NHL history to have at least eight assists in his first five career games.

Jesper Bratt scored the game-deciding goal in his first shootout attempt, Oct. 27 vs. OTT.  Bratt also notched the game-winner with 4:23 remaining in regulation the following evening vs. Arizona. Bratt currently ranks sixth among NHL rookies with seven goals (tie, three others) and is ninth (tie, three others) with 15PTS.

 

HE’S BEING A BRATT

Rookie Jesper Bratt, New Jersey’s sixth-round choice (162nd overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft, set a new franchise record for the most points in the first two games of his NHL career with 3G-2A-5PTS. In addition, he is one of only five NHL players in the last 17 seasons to record five points through his first two NHL games.

  • Others were: Radim Vrbata (2001-02), Brent Seabrook (2005-06), Anze Kopitar (2006-07), Vladimir Tarasenko (2012-13)

*credit NHL PR

GETTING GIBBY WITH IT

On Oct. 11 at Toronto, Brian Gibbons scored the first three-on-five shorthanded goal in franchise history. He set a new career-high after scoring his sixth goal, in just his 12th game of 2017-18, on Nov. 3 at EDM.  In 66 prior NHL games between Columbus and Pittsburgh, from 2013-15, he had five goals and 17 assists for 22PTS. He most recently recorded his team-leading 11th goal, Nov. 25 at DET.

Gibbons notched a shorthanded goal on a penalty shot, Oct. 28 vs. ARI.  He ranks second in the NHL (tie, ten others) with two shorthanded goals this season.

A BUTCHER’D PERFORMANCE

Rookie defenseman Will Butcher set a new franchise record for the most points in a Devils’ debut. The 22-year-old blueliner made his NHL/Devils debut on Oct. 7 vs. Colorado and recorded three assists (3PTS). Butcher signed a two-year, entry-level contract with New Jersey on August 27 after spending four seasons playing collegiate hockey at University of Denver (NCHC). He was the 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner as the best hockey player in the NCAA.  He captained Denver to the 2017 NCAA Championship.

MILES & MILESTONES

On Nov. 12 at CHI., New Jersey stormed-back from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Blackhawks, 7-5.  It was the first time since Apr. 18, 2006 at MTL (4-3 W) that New Jersey overcame a three-goal deficit to win in regulation.

Miles Wood scored the first hat-trick (2PP/1EV) of his NHL career and added one assist for his first career four-point game.  Taylor Hall tallied his 400th NHL point (72nd w/ NJD) with a goal in the second period, while captain Andy Greene recorded his 200th career/Devils’ point; also from a second period goal.

A NEW ERA

NJD has eight players 23 or younger on its roster. As of Nov. 30

Jesper Bratt – 19
Nico Hischier – 18
Pavel Zacha – 20
Will Butcher – 22
Mirco Mueller – 22 IR
Steven Santini – 22
Damon Severson – 23
Miles Wood – 22

Active Roster: Avg. Age by Season: as of Nov. 30

  • 2017-18: 26.9
  • 2016-17: 27.4
  • 2015-16: 27.7
  • 2014-15: 30.3
  • 2013-14: 29.8
  • 2012-13: 29.5

Active Roster: Nationality (*most NHL/^fewest NHL): as of Nov. 30

  • USA – 14*
  • Canada – 5^ (tie; NYR)
  • Switzerland – 1
  • Sweden – 1
  • Czech Republic – 1
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