Devils Pre-Game Notes: Dec. 2 at ARI

New Jersey Devils (15-6-4) at Arizona Coyotes (6-18-4)

8PM ET / 6PM MT • Gila River Arena • MSG+• 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)

  • No Morning Skate
    Head Coach John Hynes will be available to the media in the hallway of the Devils’ Locker Room at 3:45 PM MT.

LAST GAME: DEC. 1 – NEW JERSEY 2 at COLORADO 1

The Devils defeated Colorado, 2-1, at Pepsi Center to open their three-game, road-trip and to sweep the Avalanche, 2-0-0, in their 2017-18 season-series. New Jersey is 10-1-4 in games decided by a single goal.

New Jersey is 5-1-0 in first games of back-to-backs and is 4-1-0 in the second-half of games falling on consecutive dates.

New Jersey possesses the best road-record, 9-2-2, in the NHL; 20 of their 34 total points this season (58.8%) are from road games. Their 48 goals-for, while away is the second-most in the NHL (TOR, 54).

Newly acquired blueliner, Sami Vatanen made his Devils’ debut and led the club with 23:13 of action.  He was traded to New Jersey with a conditional 3rd-rnd. pick in 2019 or 2020 from Anaheim in exchange for Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and NJD’s 3rd-rnd. pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Jesper Bratt opened the scoring with an unassisted marker at 13:58 of the first period. He also tallied an assist on Brian Boyle’s game-winning PPG at 6:11 of the final frame. It was Bratt’s fourth multi-point game of the season. The 19-year-old forward has 17PTS (8G-9A), which ranks fourth overall on the squad.

Boyle scored New Jersey’s second goal of the night (PP/GWG). Boyle has four points (3G-1A) over the past five games.

Cory Schneider stopped 22 of 23 shots (.957 save%) to improve to 10-5-3 in 2017-18. He is one win shy of 100 in his Devils’ career.

Devils’ scoring leader, Taylor Hall, had the primary assist on Boyle’s game-winner. He has six points (2G-4A) over his last four games. He led the club with five shots and was 3-for-3 in faceoffs.

Marcus Johansson was activated off I.R. that afternoon and skated in 16:09 of action on line with Travis Zajac and Boyle. He had missed the previous 13 games, Nov. 3-27, after suffering a concussion, Nov. 1 at VAN.

John Moore led the Devils with four hits, while Andy Greene led club with four blocked shots.

 

TONIGHT’S GAME VS. ARIZONA

Tonight is the second and final regular-season game between New Jersey and Arizona in 2017-18.  The Devils climbed-back from a one-goal deficit to defeat the Coyotes in their first contest this season, 4-3, on Oct. 28 at Prudential Center.  A Devils’ victory tonight would give them the season-series sweep for the third time in last four seasons (2-0-0 in 2014-15, 2015-16).  In 2016-17, the club fell, 3-5, in their only visit to Gila River Arena on Mar. 11, 2017.  The Devils are 6-1-0 overall against the Yotes since the 2014-15 season and have a 24-32-8 overall facing the Winnipeg/Arizona since franchise moved in NJ in 1982-83.

New Jersey is 3-2-2 (1-1-1 on road) against the Pacific Division and is 7-4-2 (4-2-1 road) thus far vs. the Western Conference.

Tonight’s game is the second matches of New Jersey’s three-game, road-trip.  The Devils defeated the Avalanche, 2-1, last night at Pepsi Center and will conclude the trip on Tues., at Nationwide Arena against CBJ. This evening’s game is the second-half the Devils’ sixth of 16 sets of back-to-back games (5-1-0 first/4-1-0 second).

  On Oct. 28 at Prudential Center, Jesper Bratt (PP) and Taylor Hall (PP) both scored during the third period to give New Jersey the 4-3 win over Arizona.  Bratt’s game-winner was scored with just 4:13 remaining in regulation. Hall (2G-1A) and Bratt (1G-2A) each finished the evening with 3PTS. Brian Gibbons also scored 1G.

Just hours before puck-drop, Devils’ netminder Scott Wedgewood was traded to Arizona in exchange for ARI’s fifth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft. He dressed as the backup goaltender against New Jersey that evening.

Cory Schneider stopped 34 of 37 shots (.912 save%) and is 9-1-1 with a 1.57 GAA and a .946 save% with four shutouts in 12 career games vs. ARI. Keith Kinkaid has faced the Coyotes just once in his career, Mar. 11, 2017 (4-5 L).  He was credited with the loss, after entering the game in a relief effort; stopping 20-21 (.952 save%) shots in 35:02.

  

 CURRENT INJURIES

  • MUELLER (IR, retro. to Nov. 12, fractured clavicle, 8GP missed).
  • PALMIERI (IR, retro to Nov. 20, broken right foot, 5GP missed).

Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 84

MILESTONES

SCHNEIDER – 1 WIN for 100 NJD

LOVEJOY – 3GP for 100 NJD

HALL – 3GP for 100 NJD

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

JOHANSSON – 5PTS for 300 NHL

VATANEN – 7A for 100 NHL

ZACHA – 8GP 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 for Adam HenriqueJoseph Blandisi and New Jersey’s 2018 third-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Dec. 1: Activated F Marcus Johansson (concussion) off I.R.

  

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.  He made his Devils’ debut, Dec. 1 at COL and led all New Jersey skaters with 23:13

NO SWEAT

The Devils are 10-1-4 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 11-0-2, when leading after two periods. Last season, NJD finished with an 18-10-4 record in games decided by a single-goal.

MILES & MILESTONES

On Nov. 12 at CHI., New Jersey stormed-back from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Blackhawks, 7-5. 

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.

DEVILS ALL-ACCESS W/ NICO

The first episode of this season’s Devils All-Access: Rookie Diaries features 18-yr-old, Nico Hischier. The 2017 NHL Draft’s first overall selection discusses his first few weeks in the NHL, adjusting to life in New Jersey. Available for free on newjerseydevils.com or any Devils’ social channel.

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

ROAD WARRIORS

The Devils are 9-2-2 away from Prudential Center and were the final of all 31 clubs 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 club started 9-0-0 on the road.   

JOHNNY ROCKET

John Moore has scored two overtime goals this season (Oct. 19 at OTT & Nov. 12 at CHI) and six OT tallies since joining NJD in 2015-16. His six career sudden-death tallies leads all NHL defensemen since 3-on-3 overtime was implemented in the 2015-16 season. He ranks second among all active players, behind LA’s Jeff Carter (7). In just his third season with the Devils, he ranks second in franchise history in OT goals by a defenseman (6, 2015-17) in behind Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer (8, 1991-2004).

THAT’S HIGHLY OFFENSIVE

After 25 games, the Devils have a total of 78 regulation/OT goals, which ranks 10TH (tie, PIT) in the NHL.  In 2016-17, the club had scored just 63 regulation/OT goals after 25 GP.

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)

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.

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

A BUTCHER’ED 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.

DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS!

  • Nathan Bastian – AHL – 12/6
  • Mackenzie Blackwood – AHL – 12/9
  • BRIAN BOYLE – 12/18
  • Yaroslav Dyblenko – AHL – 12/28


NJD by NATION (*most NHL/^fewest NHL): As of DEC. 2

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