Devils Pre-Game Notes: Dec. 8 vs. CBJ

New Jersey Devils (16-7-4) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (17-10-1)

7PM ET • Prudential Center • 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): 10:30 AM Morning Skate at Prudential Center

LAST GAME: DEC. 5 – NEW JERSEY 4 at COLUMBUS 1

New Jersey defeated the Blue Jackets in the first-half of a home-and-home series, 4-1, and finished their three-game, road-trip with a 2-1-0 record. The two clubs will face-off two more times this season; Feb. 10 at CBJ & Feb. 20 at NJD.

The Devils, 36PTS, passed the Blue Jackets, 35PTS, with the victory and now lead the Metropolitan Division. *as of Dec. 7.The Devils are 7-7-2 all-time at CBJ and are 3-3-1 at Nationwide Arena since the 2014-15 season.  The Devils are now 12-0-1 when leading after two-periods. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, the Devils are 31-0-9 when leading after 40 minutes of play.

It was just the third time this season that the Devils faced a Metropolitan Division foe in 2017-18. New Jersey is 2-1-0 (2-0-0 road) against the Metro and is 9-2-2 (6-0-1 road) vs. Eastern Confernece competition.

Goaltender Cory Schneider recorded his 100th win as a New Jersey Devil, as he improved to 11-5-3 in the 2017-18 season. He stopped 41 of 42 shots (.976 save%) and has stopped 63 of 65 shots in his current, two-game, win-streak.  It was Schneider’s 21st career game vs. Columbus, which is the most games he has played against any NHL club.

Travis Zajac opened the scoring to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead in the first period. The goal was the alternate captain’s first point of the season and his first since March 25, 2017 vs. CAR (17 games).  Zajac’s new linemates, Stefan Noesen and Marcus Johansson assisted on the goal.  Noesen also notched the Devils’ third goal with just 46 seconds remaining in the second period for the first two-point game of his NHL career. He ended a 17-game, goal-drought with the marker (last goal; Oct. 9 at BUF).  Johansson’s secondary assist was his first point after from missing 13 games, Nov. 3-27, due to a concussion that he suffered on Nov. 1 at VAN.

Taylor Hall also had a two-point night (1G-1A). He scored the game-winner at 4:47 of the middle period to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead. It was his eighth multi-point game of 2017-18. Hall leads New Jersey with 29 points (9G-20A). He is scoring 1.15 points-per-game and is on projection to finish the regular-season with 88PTS.

Jesper Bratt scored New Jersey’s fourth and final goal of the evening. It was the rookie’s ninth goal of the season and his second on their three-game, road-trip (also; 1G, Dec. 1 at COL). He is ranked fifth among NHL rookies with nine goals (tie, K. Connor – WPG).  Bratt also had an assist on Hall’s GWG.

Nico Hischier had two assists tonight and was named as the Second Star of the Game. He has assists on Hall’s game-winner and Noesen’s goal. His 20 points (5G-15A) on the season rank fourth (tie; A DeBrincat – CHI, A. Kerfoot – COL) among NHL rookies.

New Jersey was out-shot, 36-42. Columbus peppered Schneider with 16 shots in the first period, where they scored their only goal of the evening.

The Devils were 6-6 on the penalty-kill tonight and are 17-18 (94.4%) over the last five games. They did not convert on their one power play opportunity.

Steven Santini returned to the lineup after being a healthy-scratch in the previous two games.

TONIGHT’S GAME VS. COLUMBUS

New Jersey will battle Columbus in the second-half of their home-and-home series.  New Jersey is 2-2-2 at Prudential Center in their past six home games after starting the 2017-18 home-campaign, 4-2-0.  NJD is ranked 22nd* in the NHL with their 6-4-2 record at home.  The Blue Jackets have the 12th*-best road-record in the NHL, 7-5-1.*

*As of Dec. 7

Taylor Hall (1G-1A), Stefan Noesen (1G-1A), Jesper Bratt (1G-1A) and Nico Hischier (2A) each lead the Devils with 2PTS.  Cory Schneider is 11-8-2 with two shutouts and a 2.20 GAA and a .923 save% in 21 career games vs. CBJ.  

New Jersey (36PTS) currently leads the Metropolitan Division while Columbus (35PTS) is second (tie; WSH).  In the Eastern Conference, six of the top eight clubs are from the Metro.

Among NHL power play units while at home, New Jersey’s 30.0% success rate at Prudential Center ranks fourth in the NHL (21.4%, 10th overall).  The Blue Jackets are ranked last in the league on the man-advantage with a 6.3% (2-32) away from Nationwide Arena (8.6% overall, 31st).

On the penalty-kill New Jersey is ranked ninth in the league, 82.4%, and also is ninth on home-ice, 85.7%, in the NHL.  Columbus, the least penalized team in the NHL (6.1 PIM/G), is ranked fourth overall in the league, 84.1%, but is 29th overall, 71.0%, on the road.  New Jersey has four shorthanded goals this season, while the Blue Jackets have scored just one.  However, both NJD and CBJ have surrended two shorthanded goals each in 2017-18.

The Devils are 7-5-2 all-time when facing the Blue Jackets on home-ice but are 3-5-1 since the 2013-14 season.  

 

CURRENT INJURIES

  • MUELLER (IR, retro. to Nov. 12, fractured clavicle, 10GP missed).
  • PALMIERI (IR, retro to Nov. 20, broken right foot, 7GP missed).

Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 88

MILESTONES

SCHNEIDER – 100 win w/ NJD, Dec. 5 at CBJ.

HALL – Expected to play in 100TH game w/ NJ tonight.

LOVEJOY – 2GP for 100 w/ NJ

BOYLE – 3G for 100 NHL / 8PIM for 500 NHL

JOHANSSON – 4PTS for 300 NHL / 9A for 200 NHL

VATANEN – 7A for 100 NHL

GIBBONS – 7GP for 100 NHL

ZACHA – 8GP for 100 NHL/NJ

COACH HYNES – 9GC for 200 in 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.

Fast Facts About Sami:

– This is his fifth full NHL season.
– Won Bronze Medal with Finland at 2014 Winter Olympics.
– 2012-13 AHL All-Rookie Team/AHL First All-Star Team
– Grew up in Jyvaskyla, Finland, where he spends his summers.
– He and his wife, Essi, were married this past summer in Finland.
– His favorite players growing up were Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.
– Favorite hockey memory was winning Bronze Medal with Finland at 2009 U-18 World Championship.

NO SWEAT

The Devils are 10-1-4 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 12-0-1, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 31-0-9 when leading after 40 minutes of play. 

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 4-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 tally.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Devils 22 road-points, 10-3-2, ranks first overall in the NHL.  They 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) behind Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer (8, 1991-2004).

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 past 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 

HALL OF A START

Taylor Hall leads New Jersey with 29 points in 27 GP this season.  His 1.07 points-per-game ranks 19th in the NHL, which puts him on pace for a career-best, 88 points.  

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, 10 others) with two shorthanded goals this season.

*as of Dec. 7

 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. 7

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

 

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