New Jersey Devils 4 vs. New York Rangers 3 (SO)
Attendance: 16,514 (sellout)
Three Stars: 1. Brian Boyle – NJD 2. Blake Coleman 3. Kyle Palmieri
**See @NJDevils on twitter and newjerseydevils.com for post-game pressers and sound**
The Devils defeated the Rangers, 4-3 SO, after a four-round shootout to take a 2-1-0 season-series lead. It was New Jersey’s fifth shootout of 2017-18; they have three wins and two losses). New Jersey had lost its past two shootout games (Nov. 22 vs. BOS, 2-3 SO & Nov. 5 at CGY, 4-5 SO). The clubs will play the fourth and final game of the season-series and the second of two to be hosted at Prudential Center on Apr. 3.
The win moved New Jersey into first place, 45PTS, in the Metropolitan Division (2nd in Eastern Conf.). The Washington Capitals also have 45PTS but have played one more game, 35GP, than the Devils (34GP). The club is 3PTS ahead of New York.
After tonight’s league-wide action, only six points separate the second and eighth position in the Eastern Conference. Only 7PTS separate the Metro Division leaders, NJD & WSH (45PTS), from 8TH-place Carolina (37PTS).
After 34GP, New Jersey is 20-9-5 overall. In 2016-17, the Devils did not reach 20 wins until game 48 (Jan. 21, NJD 4 at PHI 1).
The Rangers have not defeated the Devils at Prudential Center in four consecutive games (last time, Apr. 7, 2015. NJD 2 vs NYR 4, L). The Devils have a strong 58-36-9 record on home-ice against New York since their inaugural season, 35 years ago (91-84-30 overall).
The Devils are now 3-3-0 overall (1-2-0 home) vs. Metropolitan Division opponents and are .500 W% or greater against all NHL Divisions.
-It was the third of New Jersey’s season-high, six-game, home-stand, spanning 14 days from Dec. 15-29: Thus far they are 3-0-0 and have out-scored the competition, *13-8.
*excludes OT/SO goals.
Fri., Dec. 15: NJD 5 vs. DAL 2
Mon., Dec. 18 NJD 5 vs. ANA 3
Thurs., Dec. 21 NJD 4 vs. NYR 3 SO.
Sat., Dec. 23: NJD vs. CHI
Wed., Dec. 27: NJD vs. DET
Fri., Dec. 29: NJD vs. BUF
The win is New Jersey’s third straight, which matches the season-high (also, Oct. 7-11 & Oct. 14-19). They have won a team, season-high, four consecutive games at Prudential Center (Dec. 12-21) and are undefeated in regulation in their past five matches (4-0-1).
Defenseman John Moore, in his 400TH career NHL game, opened the scoring tonight at 7:22 of the first period to put New Jersey ahead, 1-0. Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri recorded the assists on the tic-tac-toe play.
It was Moore’s fourth goal of the season, snapping a 13-game, point-drought (Nov. 20 at MIN, 1G).
Hischier notched his 16th assist (21PTS) on Moore’s tally. It was his first point in six-games, which is the longest he has gone in his rookie season. With 21pts on the campaign, he is tied with Devils’ rookie defenseman, Will Butcher, for third overall in points on the club.
Kyle Palmieri also had a helper (secondary) on Moore’s opening-goal. He also added a second assist on Brian Boyle’s game-tying goal for his fourth multi-point game (2A) this season. in his second game since returning to action after missing 13 games (Nov. 22-Dec. 18) with a broken right-foot. At 15:15 of the second period, he was called for a cross-checking violation. The referee waved-off New Jersey’s apparent goal due to the minor penalty.
- Palmieri also beat Lundqvist in the shootout. He is 2/2 this season and is 3/10 (30%) in his NHL career.
- He led the club with 6 shots on net tonight.
The Rangers responded with a goal, less than three minutes later when Jimmy Vesey scored. New York took the lead, 2-1, at 11:59 of the first period when defenseman Nick Holden notched his second of the season. New Jersey trailed, 1-2, after 20 minutes of play. The Devils out-shot New York, 15-10, in the first period.
The Devils scored the only goal in the second period when Blake Coleman, sniped a no-look, wrist-shot over Henrik Lundqvist’s glove with 3:36 remaining. It was the first SHG of Coleman’s career. Only eight NHL rookies (J. Bratt and 6 others) have shorthanded points. He and Jesper Bratt rank second among rookies with 1SHG each.
- The Devils are ranked 1ST with 6 SHG this season (four other teams also have 6) (at home, 2nd w/ 4).
Defenseman, Steven Santini, tallied the lone assist of the SHG. It was his 7th of the season (1st career point shorthanded).
New Jersey had a season-high 23 shots on net in the second period and out-shot New York, 48-28 overall.
- New Jersey is now 2-2-3 overall when they are tied after 40 minutes of play.
- 6-1-3 when out-shooting opponents.
With the game tied 2-2 entering the third period, Rangers’ forward Kevin Hayes (brother of Devils’ forward Jimmy Hayes), scored his 9th goal of the season to put NYR ahead, 3-2. Jimmy Hayes was a healthy-scratch this evening.
New Jersey’s December points-leader, Brian Boyle, scored the Devils’ third goal in regulation, to force overtime, at 11:54, on a powerplay. It was his seventh point (3G-4A) in the past three games. He has 10 points this month.
- Boyle had the game-deciding-goal, scoring in the fourth round of the shootout.
- He was his 3rd GDG, 3/9 in NHL career. His first with NJD.
- He was awarded as the game’s First Star for his clutch performance.
Cory Schneider stopped 25 of 28 shots and stopped three of four shootout attempts. It was his fifth consecutive start (Dec. 12-21), which matches his season-high.
- Schneider is 4-0-1 in his past five games and has a .918SV%.
- He is 2-1 this season in shootouts (stopped 15 of 18 opponent).
Marcus Johansson had missed the previous four games with a contusion in his ankle after blocking a shot, Dec. 9 at NYR. He returned to the lineup tonight after being activated off I.R. this afternoon.
Jesper Bratt missed his first game of the season and is day-to-day (right foot).
UPCOMING SCHEDULE *Subject to change
Tomorrow: 12:15PM Practice at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House
Saturday: 10:30AM Morning Skate at Prudential Center.
7PM vs. Chicago Blackhawks (7PM, MSG+, TOJN)
Wed: 10:30AM Morning Skate at Prudential Center.
7PM vs. Detroit Red Wings (7PM, MSG+, TOJN)