Devils Pre-Game Notes: 3/4/18

New Jersey Devils (33-24-8) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (41-18-5)
5:00 PM • Prudential Center • MSG+ • The One Jersey Network

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

Check @NJDevils on Twitter for Morning Skate Interviews

*Devils Game Notes Contact:
James Stolfi – Sr. Mgr., Hockey Communications & Team Operations
jstolfi@newjerseydevils.com

Pre-Game Availability *
subject to change

New Jersey will not have a morning skate on Sunday.

Head Coach John Hynes will be available to the media in the hallway outside of the Devils Locker Room at 2:45pm.

LAST GAME – MARCH 2: NEW JERSEY DEVILS 1 @ CAROLINA HURRICANES 3

New Jersey fell, 3-1, to the Carolina Hurricanes and finished 1-2-0 on their three-game road trip. On the trip, the Devils also made stops in Pittsburgh (Feb. 27, 3-2 W) and Florida (Mar. 1, 3-2 L). With the loss, the Devils concluded the second half of their 13th of 16 back-to-back sets this season, and are now 6-5-2 in first games and 6-7-0 in second games of back-to-backs.  

 

New Jersey is 22-15-5 vs. Eastern Conference opponents and 12-9-1 against the Metropolitan Division. 

 

Keith Kinkaid made his career-high 27th start of the season, stopping 27 of 29 shots and falling to 15-9-2 overall. Even with the loss, Kinkaid boasts a 10-5-0 record, 2.73 GAA and .911 SV% against Metropolitan Division opponents in 2017-18.   

 

Taylor Hall extended his league-leading 17 game points-streak (12G-10A-22PTS) and three-game goal streak, when he scored the Devils lone goal of the game on the power play with 33 seconds remaining in the second period. The tally was Hall’s 29th goal of the season and 10th on the power play. 

 

Sami Vatanen and Kyle Palmieri had the assists on Hall’s goal and were both tied for the team-lead with five shots apiece. Vatanen led the Devils with 23:04 TOI and has 10 assists in his last 11 games played. Additionally, with the assist, Palmieri has five points (3G-2A) in his last 5GP. 

 

Nico Hischier still leads the Devils with four points (2G-2A) in their season-series against Carolina, while Brett Pesce, Justin Williams and Victor Rask each have three points for the Hurricanes. 

 

Feb. 15 – CAR 2 @ NJD 5 W
Feb. 18 – NJD 3 @ CAR 2 Wo
Mar. 02 – NJD 1 @ CAR 3 L
Mar. 27 – CAR @ NJD

 

  

TONIGHT vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Tonight’s game will be the first between the Devils and the Vegas Golden Knights, with the two teams meeting for the second and final time in the regular season on Mar. 14 at T-Mobile Arena. The Devils are 6-2-1 in their first game against expansion teams, and 19-3-3 overall against teams in their inaugural season. 

 

The Golden Knights are 41-18-5 and sit at the top of the Pacific Division. Vegas is 14-9-3 against the Eastern Conference, but only 6-5-1 against Metropolitan Division opponents. New Jersey is 11-9-3 against the Western Conference and 5-4-2 against the Pacific Division. 

 

The Vegas Golden Knights selected Jon Merrill from the New Jersey Devils in the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21st. Merrill was the Devils first selection (2nd RD, 38th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft and played four seasons in New Jersey, totaling six goals and 30 assists in 216 games played. Merrill has appeared in 19 games this season and signed a two-year contract extension with the Golden Knights on January 16th. 

 

Marc-Andre Fleury leads Vegas with 51 career games played against New Jersey after spending 13 seasons (2003-17) with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fleury is 23-24-4, with a 2.35 GAA and a .918 SV% against the Devils in his career. 

 

CURRENT INJURIES

GIBBONS – IR, retro. to Jan. 20 (broken right thumb), 20 games missed

JOHANSSON – IR, retro. to Jan. 23 (concussion), 18 games missed

Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 195

 

MILESTONES

NOESEN -Played in 100TH career NHL Game, Feb. 27 @ PIT.
MOORE – Played in 200TH game with NJD Mar. 2 @ CAR. Needs 2PTS for 100 NHL.
HEAD COACH JOHN HYNES – Needs just one win for 100 in NHL career/as NJD Head Coach.

KINKAID – 4GP for 100GP
LOVEJOY – 8PTS for 100 NHL
STAFFORD – 9G for 200 NHL
JOHANSSON (I.R.)– 3A for 200 NHL

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Feb. 22: Acquired F 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.

Feb. 25: Removed F John Quenneville from I.R. and assigned him to Binghamton.

Feb. 26: Acquired Patrick Maroon from Edmonton for New Jersey’s 2019 third-round pick and the rights to J.D. Dudek.

Feb. 27: Assigned G Cory Schneider to Binghamton on a conditioning loan.

Feb. 28: Recalled G Cory Schneider from his conditioning stint with Binghamton.

Mar. 1: Removed G Cory Schneider from I.R.  Assigned G Eddie Lack to Binghamton (AHL).

 

 

#26 FOREVER

On Feb. 23, the Devils officially retired the jersey of Patrik Elias’ no. 26.  The Devils’ franchise’s all-time leading scorer and two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2000, 2003) became first forward and fifth player Devils’ franchise history to have his number retired.  Born in Trebic, Czech Republic, he is also the first European-born Devil to have his jersey number retired.

 

“For someone growing up in Eastern Europe, in a communist country, there’s no way I could have ever dreamed of this day,” said Elias.

 

HALL’S STREAKING

Taylor Hall continued his points-streak by scoring his 29th goal of the season Mar. 2 at CAR surpassing his career-high (27), which he accomplished on two occasions as an Edmonton Oiler during the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons.

 

Hall’s consecutive point-streak now stands at 17 games from Jan. 30-Mar. 2, 12G-10A-22PTS. It is the longest in the NHL this season and he has passed the Devils franchise record (Patrik Elias, 1999-00; Brian Gionta, 2005-06).  Hall has recorded at least one point in 24 straight appearances (17G-17A-34PTS) dating back to Jan. 2 at STL.

 

During that 24-game span, he missed three games due to an injury (right hand/thumb), Jan. 22-25.

 

According to NHL PR, Hall is just the 9th player since the 1987-88 season to record at least 1PT in 24 consecutive appearances.  

 

With his goal against CAR on Mar. 2, Hall is the first Devils player to reach the 70-point mark (29G-41A-70PTS) in a season since 2011-12, when Ilya Kozachok (37G-46A-83PTS) and Patrik Elias (26G-52A-78PTS). (Credit NHL PR) 

 

NICO’S 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 game 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 .93 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club.  This season he has 1.17 points-per-game.

  1. Kirk Muller – .94 (556GP)
  2. Alex Mogilny – .94 (121 GP)
  3. Taylor Hall – .93 (132 GP)
  4. Ilya Kozachok – .91 (222 GP)
  5. Patrik Elias – .83 (1240GP)

 

JOIN THE CLUB

On Feb. 22, New Jersey acquired RW Michael Grabner from the NY Rangers for the New Jersey’s 2018 second-round selection and the rights to defensive prospect Yegor Rykov.  Grabner became just the 11th player in NHL history to play in at least one game for the Devils, Islanders (297GP), and Rangers (135GP).

 

The Devils acquired Patrick Maroon from Edmonton in exchange for New Jersey’s 3rd-rd pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and forward prospect J.D. Dudek. He made his Devils debut on Mar. 1 at FLA and led New Jersey with 2A (2PTS) and five PIM.

 

According to Elias Sports Bureau/Devils’ Radio Statistician Craig Seiden, Maroon set a Devils’ record with his fight at 1:54 into the first period. It was the earliest fight in a players’ debut with New Jersey (previously, Nov. 8, 2005 – Darren Langdon vs. Eric Godard (NYI).'”

 

HOCKEY WEEKEND ACROSS AMERICA

The 11th annual Hockey Weekend Across America is this weekend, Mar. 2-4, and features a theme for each of the three days, including Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day on Friday (March 2); Try Hockey Day on Saturday (March 3) and Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day on Sunday (March 4).

 

NOTHING LACK-ING

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 are 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 (13G-21A-34PTS) 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 Kozachok 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.  Kozachok scored 5G-2A-7PTS in 6GP.

 

NO SWEAT

The Devils are 18-6-8 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 average time-on-ice of 22:10. He tied his career-high with points in four consecutive games, 1G-3A, from Dec. 27-Jan. 2. On Feb. 13 at Philadelphia he skated in a career-high, 27:53.

 

Since Dec. 1, 2017, Vatanen leads all Devils defensemen with 21PTS (1G-20A).

 

He also set a new career-high with 3A (3PTS) on Jan. 18 vs. WSH.

 

 

 

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