New Jersey Devils (32-22-8) at Pittsburgh Penguins (36-23-4)
7:00PM • PPG Paints Arena • MSG+ • The One Jersey Network
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11:30AM Morning Skate at PPG Paints Arena
LAST GAME – FEB 24: NEW JERSEY DEVILS 2 vs NEW YORK ISLANDERS 1
New Jersey bounced back from trailing 1-0 heading into the third period with two unanswered goals to defeat the NY Islanders, 2-1, in regulation-time. They lead the season-series 2-0-1 and play their season-series finale on March 31 at Prudential Center.
Kyle Palmieri notched both goals for the Devils and now ranks second behind Taylor Hall (5) with four game-winning goals this season. Hall recorded assists on both of Palmieri’s goals and extended his personal points-streak to 21 games, Jan. 2-Feb. 23 (14G-16A-30PTS). He has points in 14 consecutive games, a franchise record, with 9G-9A-18PTS, from Jan. 30-Feb. 23.
Sami Vatanen and Nico Hischier both chipped in recording one assist each (1PT).
Keith Kinkaid extended his career-high, season win-total, stopping 30 of 31 shots, to earn his 14th win in his 25th game of 2017-18. His career-high for games played is 26GP in 2016-17.
Michael Grabner made his Devils debut, recording two shots in 13:34 of action, becoming just the 11th player in NHL history to play at least one game for the Devils, Islanders (297GP), and Rangers (135GP).
The Devils retired Patrik Elias’ no. 26 in a pre-game ceremony. His number is the fifth to be retired by the franchise along (M. Brodeur #30, S. Niedermayer #27, K. Daneyko #3 and S. Stevens #4). The Devils all-time leading-scorer is the first forward and first European-born Devil to be honored with a jersey retirement ceremony.
TONIGHT @ PITTSBURGH
Tonight is the Devils final game in the month of February and the beginning of their three-game road-trip, which will also make stops in Florida (Thurs) and Carolina (Fri). New Jersey At 7-6-0=14PTS the club has recovered from their January-slump, where they only gained 8PTS in 11 games (3-6-2).
New Jersey sits in the first Wildcard position, 31-26-5=72PTS, in the Eastern Conference behind Pittsburgh, who currently occupy the Metropolitan’s third playoff position with 76PTS.
Gaining the lead tonight will be crucial for both clubs as the Devils are 23-0-2 when leading the game after who periods and the Penguins are 20-0-1 in the same scenario.
Keith Kinkaid is expected to make the start in goal for his 26th game-played of 2017-18, which matches his career-high set in 2016-17.
GIBBONS – IR, retro. to Jan. 20 (broken right thumb), 18 games missed
JOHANSSON – IR, retro. to Jan. 23 (concussion), 16 games missed
SCHNEIDER – IR, retro to Jan. 23 (groin/hip), 16 games missed
Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 188
NOESEN -Expected to play in 100th NHL game tonight.
KINKAID – 2GP for 100 NHL/NJDMOORE – 2PTS for 100 NHL
HEAD COACH JOHN HYNES – 2 wins for 100 NHL/NJD
LOVEJOY – 8PTS for 100 NHL
STAFFORD – 9G for 200 NHL
JOHANSSON (IR)– 3A for 200 NHL
Feb. 4: Assigned G Ken Appleby to Binghamton. Recalled G Eddie Lack from Binghamton.
Feb. 8: Recalled F Jimmy Hayes from conditioning load in Binghamton. Acquired F Christoph Bertschy and F Mario Lucia from Minnesota for D Viktor Loov.
Feb. 12: Placed G Cory Schneider on I.R., retro. to Jan. 23. Recalled F Nick Lappin from Binghamton.
Feb. 16: Placed F John Quenneville (right knee) on I.R., retro. to Feb. 10.
Feb. 17: Recalled F Blake Pietila from Binghamton (AHL).
Feb. 21: Assigned F Nick Lappin to Binghamton (AHL)
Feb. 22: Acquired Michael Grabner from NY Rangers for New Jersey’s 2018 second-round pick and the rights to Yegor Rykov.
Feb. 24: Assigned F Blake Pietila to Binghamton (AHL).
Feb. 25: Removed F John Quenneville from I.R. and assigned him to Binghamton (AHL).
Feb. 26: Acquired Patrick Maroon from Edmonton for New Jersey’s 2019 third-round pick and the rights to J.D. Dudek.
On Feb. 23, the Devils retired Patrik Elias’ no. 26 jersey before defeating the NY Islanders, 2-1. The club’s all-time leading scorer and two-time Stanley Cup Champion became first forward and the fifth player in franchise history to have his jersey number retired. He joins Scott Stevens (no. 4 retired Feb. 3, 2006), Ken Daneyko (no. 3 retired on Mar. 24, 2006), Scott Niedermayer (no. 27 retired Dec. 16, 2011), and Martin Brodeur (no. 30 retired Feb. 9, 2016). Born in Trebic, Czech Republic, he is also the first European-born Devil to have his jersey number retired.
Taylor Hall extended his career-high, point-streak to 14 consecutive games, 9G-9A-18PTS from Jan. 30-Feb. 24. He has recorded at least one point in 21 straight appearances dating back to Jan. 2 at STL (14G-16A-30PTS). He missed three games during that span due to a right hand/thumb injury, Jan. 22-25.
*It is the longest active streak in the NHL and the longest by a Devil since I. Kovalchuk notched 14PTS (7G-7A) in 12GP during the 2010-11 season.
*Overall, Hall’s personal stretch of 21 consecutive games with at least 1PT is the longest such run in NJD franchise history. The record was previously owned by Patrik Elias (15G-9A-24PTS in 15GP from Dec. 27, 1999-Jan. 28, 2000) and Brian Gionta (12G-13A-25PTS from Mar. 12-Apr. 18, 2006).
*Credit NHL PR
NUMBER ONE, AGAIN
New Jersey’s leading rookie scorer Nico Hischier was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the week ending Feb. 18. Hischier scored in all four of his appearances, sharing the league-lead with four goals and ranking second overall with 4G-3A-7PTS to power the Devils to a perfect 4-0-0 week. He posted 1G-1A-2PTS in a 5-4 Ws against PHI, Feb. 13. Hischier then registered 1G-2A-3PTS, his third 3PT performance of 2017-18, in a 5-2 win against CAR, Feb. 15. He added one goal in each of his next two games, a 4-3 over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Feb. 17 and a 3-2 Wo at CAR, Feb. 18.
Hischier became the 5th rookie in franchise history to score in four-straight team-games and the first to do so since 1984-85 (Greg Adams). The 19-year-old Brig, Switzerland native and first overall selection of the 2017 NHL Draft is the only player on New Jersey to play in every games this season, ranking in the top 10 among rookies in assists, shots on goal, points and goals.
HALLIN’ IN THE POINTS
Taylor Hall is ranked third in franchise history with .92 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club. This season he has 1.16 points-per-game.
1. Kirk Muller – .94 (556 GP)
2. Alex Mogilny – .94 (121 GP)
3. Taylor Hall – .92 (129 GP)
4. Ilya Kovalchuk – .91 (222 GP)
5. Patrik Elias – .83 (1240GP)
JOIN THE CLUB
On Feb. 22, Devils acquired forward Michael Grabner from the NY Rangers in exchange for the club’s second round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft and the rights to defenseman Yegor Rykov.
The trade was the first between the clubs in team history. Grabner is just the 11th player in NHL history to play at least one game for the Devils, Islanders (297GP), and Rangers (135GP).
Goaltender Eddie Lack set new career-highs in both saves (48) and in shots-against (51) during his first-ever win, in his second start as a Devil, Feb. 18 at TBL.
Lack’s 48 saves is the second-most saves for a goaltender in a Devils win in team history; trailing only Martin Brodeur’s 51-save shutout victory, Jan. 12 @ NYR (1-0 Wo).
30 FOR 3
Devils’ rookies Nico Hischier (13G-28A-41PTS), Will Butcher (2G-28A-30PTS), and Jesper Bratt (12G-21A-33PTS) each have at least 30PTS this season. It is the second time in franchise history where three rookies hit the 30PT-mark; 1984-85 (Kirk Muller, Bruce Driver, and John McLean).
FORMER DEVILS WIN GOLD
Former New Jersey Devils Sergey Kalinin and Ilya Kovalchuk won the Gold Medal with team Olympic Athletes from Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. Kalinin had 1G-2A-3PTS through 6GP. Kovalchuk scored 5G-2A-7PTS in 6GP.
The Devils are 17-5-8 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 23-0-2, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 42-0-12 when leading after 40 minutes of play.
IT’S ABOUT TIME
Sami Vatanen leads the Devils with an avg. time-on-ice of 21:59. He tied his career-high with points in four consecutive games, 1G-3A, from Dec. 27-Jan. 2.
Since Dec. 1, 2017, Vatanen leads all Devils defensemen with 19PTS (1G-18A).
He also set a new career-high with 3A (3PTS) on Jan. 18 vs. WSH.
NJD by NATION
- USA – 12
- Canada – 4
- Switzerland – 2
- Sweden – 2
- Czech Republic – 1
- Finland – 1
- Austria – 1
*active roster only
^Per Elias Sports Bureau, the fewest number of Canadian-born players that played in a minimum of one game played over a full-season is seven (2014-15 Red Wings). John Quenneville is the 7TH Canadian-born player to dress in a game for New Jersey in 2017-18.
NJD is the only NHL club to have two Texas-born players, Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman, on their active roster.
Noesen has been on the only three teams in NHL history to have more than one player from Texas skate in at least one regular-season game.
2016-18 – NJD – Noesen, Coleman
2016-17 – ANA – Noesen, Nic Kerdiles