Devils Pre-Game Notes: Feb. 3 vs Pittsburgh Penguins

New Jersey Devils (26-16-8) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (29-21-3)

 7PM • Prudential Center • MSG+2 • The One Jersey Network

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

*Devils Game Notes Contacts: James Stolfi / Scott Litwack

Pre-Game Availability *subject to change

10:30 AM Morning Skate at Prudential Center

LAST GAME: FEB 1. NEW JERSEY DEVILS 4 vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 3

The Devils defeated Philadelphia, 4-3, for their first time in three games this season (1-2-0).  The clubs will conclude their 2017-18 season-series on Feb. 13 in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center.

 

Kyle Palmieri scored the game’s first goal, his 10th, to put New Jersey ahead, 1-0, on the power play. It was his team-leading, seventh power play goal. He added an assist to give him two-points on the evening.

 

Drew Stafford also scored a PPG in the opening frame to respond to PHI’s captain Claude Giroux’s tying goal and regain New Jersey’s lead.

 

The Devils trailed Philadelphia by one goal, 3-2, after 40 minutes of play, however responded in the third period with two goals to win the game in regulation time.  Defenseman Damon Severson extended his career-high, scoring his seventh of the season with 9 minutes remaining.  Rookie Nico Hischier notched his second career game-winning tally, 9TH season, with just 87 seconds left to play in the game.

 

Pavel Zacha had two assists in the evening for his third two-point game of the season (Oct. 11 at TOR- 2G, Oct. 27 at OTT, 2A).

Keith Kinkaid made won his second consecutive game (also; Jan. 31 at BUF) and stopped 22 of 25.  He is now 5-1-0 in his career against the Flyers and has tied his career high with nine wins on the season (also, 2015-16).

 

Sami Vatanen, Ben Lovejoy, John Moore, Taylor Hall and Blake Coleman each had one assist.

 

TONIGHT vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Tonight is New Jersey’s first match-up against the 2017 Stanley Cup Champion Penguins.  The clubs will face-off three more times in this season series; Feb. 27, Mar. 23 at PPG Paints Arena, and Mar. 29 at Prudential Center).

 

Coming into tonight Taylor Hall has notched at least 1PT in his last 8GP, Dec. 23-Feb. 1. (7G-8A). He missed three games from Jan. 22-25 with a right hand/thumb injury.

 

In 2016-17, the Devils were 0-4-1 vs. Pittsburgh and will seek their first win against the Metropolitan Division rival since Nov. 11, 2015 (4-0). Kyle Palmieri led NJD with 7PTS (4G-3A), with John Moore (1G-3A) and Taylor Hall (1G-3A) both finishing with 4PTS.

 

Keith Kinkaid is expected to start in goal for the Devils.  He is 0-2-1 with a 4.56 GAA and a .884 save-percentage against the Pens.

 

The Devils are 6-6-1 against division opponents and are 15-9-5 against all Eastern Conference competition.

 

 

CURRENT INJURIES

GIBBONS – IR, retro. to Jan. 20, broken right thumb, five games missed
JOHANSSON – IR, retro. to Jan. 23, three game missed.
SCHNEIDER – day-to-day, three games missed.
Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 140
MILESTONES

JOHANSSON (IR) – 3A for 200 NHL
HALL – 3GP for 500 NHL
MOORE – 6PTS for 100 NHL
PALMIERI – 8GP for 100 NJD.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Jan. 16: Assigned D Steven Santini to Binghamton. Recalled G Ken Appleby from Binghamton.

Jan. 17: Assigned G Ken Appleby to Binghamton. Recalled D Steven Santini from Binghamton.

Jan. 18: Assigned D Mirco Mueller to Binghamton on a conditioning stint.

Jan. 19: Recalled G Ken Appleby from Binghamton under Emergency Conditions.

Jan. 21: Placed F Brian Gibbons on I.R., retroactive to Jan. 20.  Placed G Keith Kinkaid on I.R. retroactive to Jan. 20.

Jan. 22: Recalled F Mirco Mueller from his conditioning stint in Binghamton. Remains on Long-Term I.R.

Jan. 25: Recalled G Mackenzie Blackwood from Binghamton.  Placed F Marcus Johansson on I.R, retro. to Jan. 23.  Recalled F Kevin Rooney from Binghamton.

Jan. 26: Assigned G Mackenzie Blackwood to Binghamton.  Assigned F Kevin Rooney to Binghamton.

Jan. 30: Activated G Keith Kinkaid and D Mirco Mueller off I.R.

Feb. 2: Assigned D Steven Santini to Binghamton. Recalled F John Quenneville from Binghamton. Assigned F Jimmy Hayes to Binghamton on a conditioning stint.

 

 

BUTCHER LEADS ROOKIE D-MEN

Devils’ defenseman and 2017 Hobey Baker winner, Will Butcher, leads or is among the league leaders in multiple rookie and league-wide categories

16 Power Play Assists – 1st NHL
16 Power Play Points – 1st NHL Rookie D-men
27 Assists – 1st Among NHL Rookie D-men
29 Points (2G-27A) – 1st NHL Rookie D-Men / tied 14th NHL D-men (K. Letang – PIT, J. Muzzin – LAK, T. Krug – BOS, N. Leddy – NYI)

 

*As of Feb. 2.

HALLIN’ IN THE POINTS
Taylor Hall ranks fourth in franchise history with .88 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club.  This season he has 1.11 points-per-game.
1. Kirk Muller – .94 (556 GP)
2. Alex Mogilny – .94 (121 GP)
3. Ilya Kovalchuk – .91 (222 GP)
4. Taylor Hall – .88 (117 GP)
5. Patrik Elias – .83 (1240GP)
PHWA ANNOUNCE MIDSEASON WINNERS
The Professional Hockey Writers Association announced the winners of 10 Midseason Awards on Jan. 26.
First year Devil and 2018 NHL All-Star, Brian Boyle, came in second place (behind S. Stamkos – TBL) for the Comeback Player of the Year Award, which goes to the player who most, “returned to a previous high level of performance that was interrupted by sub-par play, long-term injury or major illness.”
Devils EVP/GM, Ray Shero, came in third for the GM of the Year Award, which is awarded to the GM who has most contributed to his team’s success.  Shero won the General Manager of the Year Award in 2013 at the annual NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
EPISODE V
The fifth episode of the 2017-18 Devils 82 Game Odyssey is now available to stream on newjerseydevils.com.  This episode focuses on Head Coach John Hynes and how he teaches this young Devils squad to fight together when facing adversity.
Episode five and all past episodes are available to view on newjerseydevils.com.
BOYLE REPLACES HALL FOR ALL-STAR WEEKEND
Brian Boyle replaced Taylor Hall due to injury (right hand/thumb) as New Jersey’s representative for the Metropolitan Division at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay.
During the Skills Competition on Saturday, Boyle participated in the Honda Accuracy Shooting event and described played in Sunday’s All-Star Game in front of his fan’s who gave him ovation throughout the weekend.

“It’s been fun. It’s been really, really fun,” Boyle said. “The ovations, the support, it’s incredible. I didn’t expect it to be like this. I came here, tried to enjoy it, and it was better than I thought it could ever be.”

FORMER DEVILS GOING FOR GOLD
Former New Jersey Devil, Brian Gionta, will represent the United States as the team’s captain at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  The Rochester, NY native scored 152 goals, 160 assists for 312 points in 473 regular-season games from 2001-09.  In 2005-06, he scored 48 goals, 24 were PPGs, which still is the single-season record for the franchise.  He was a member of New Jersey’s 2003 Stanley Cup Championship Team.
Bobby Butler (2012-13, 14GP) and Brian O’Neill (2015-16, 22GP) were also named to the team. While Karl Stollery (2016-17, 11GP) was named to Team Canada.
Sergey Kalinin (2015-17, 121GP) and Ilya Kovalchuk (2009-13, 222GP) were named to Team Russia.
NO SWEAT

The Devils are 13-3-8 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 19-0-2, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 38-0-11 when leading after 40 minutes of play.

 

WE NEED BACK-UP!

On Jan. 25 vs. NSH, Binghamton Devils (AHL) goaltenders Ken Appleby (L, 24-27) and Mackenzie Blackwood (backup) dressed for the New Jersey.  It was the first time since Oct. 18, 1986 at PIT (4-8 L) that the club dressed two goalies, Chris Terreri and Karl Friesen, where both had not yet started an NHL contest. Credit Elias Sports Bureau.

 

Keith Kinkaid (IR, groin) and Cory Schneider (day-to-day, groin) were unavailable to play.

 

JOHNNY ROCKET

John Moore has scored two overtime goals this season (Oct. 19 at OTT & Nov. 12 at CHI) and has six OT tallies since joining NJD in 2015-16.

 

His six-career, sudden-death tallies lead all NHL defensemen, since 3-on-3 overtime was implemented before the 2015-16 season. He ranks second among all active players, behind LA’s Jeff Carter (7). In just his third campaign with the Devils, he is second in franchise history in OT goals by a defenseman (6, 2015-18) behind Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer (8, 1991-2004)

 

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 with 18PTS this season after scoring his 12th goal, third shorthanded on Dec. 12 vs. Los Angeles in just his 30th game of 2017-18.

 

Gibbons notched a SHG on a penalty shot, Oct. 28 vs. ARI.  His three SHGs this season ranks 2nd (tie, E. Kane – BUF, B. Comeau – COL) in the NHL and 4 shorthanded points rank tied for 2nd (B. Point – TBL, D. MacKenzie – FLA).

 

IT’S ABOUT TIME

Defenseman Sami Vatanen leads the club with an average time on ice of 21:39  Since his trade to New Jersey on Nov. 30, Vatanen has collected 11PTS (1G-9A) in 26 games with the Devils this season.  He had 1G-3A-4PTS in 15GP with Anaheim, from Oct. 28-Nov. 29.

Vatanen tied his career-high with points in four consecutive games, 1G-3A, from Dec. 27-Jan. 2.  It was the first time in his Devils’ career collecting points in four straight contests. He did so on four other occasions as an Anaheim Duck.

 

He also set a new career-high with three assists (3PTS) on Jan. 18 vs. WSH.  His 3PTS also tied his career high, accomplished twice with ANA (Nov. 18, 2014 @ CGY, 1G-2A, Jan. 15 vs. VAN, 1G-2A).

 

NJD by NATION (*most NHL/^fewest NHL)

  • USA – 12
  • Canada – 5^
  • Switzerland – 1
  • Sweden – 1
  • Czech Republic – 1
  • Finland – 1

*active roster only

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the fewest Canadian players used by a team over a full season is seven by the 2014-15 Red Wings.  Devils have used six so far this season.

 

About New Jersey Devils PR

Sr. Manager, Hockey Communications & Team Operations
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