Devils Pre-Game: 3/23/18

New Jersey Devils (37-28-8) at Pittsburgh Penguins (42-27-5)
7:00 PM ET • PPG Paints Arena • 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

Pre-Game Availability *
subject to change

11:30 AM ET Morning Skate at PPG Paints Arena*

 

LAST GAME – MARCH 18: NEW JERSEY DEVILS 2 at SAN JOSE SHARKS 6

The Devils fell to the San Jose Sharks, 6-2, and finished 0-2-0 in the 2017-18 regular season series against the Sharks. With the loss, New Jersey fell to 3-2-0 on their season long six-game road trip and played their final game against a Western Conference opponent in the 2017-18 regular season. The Devils finished the regular season 14-13-3 against the Western Conference, 7-6-1 vs the Central Division and 7-7-2 against the Pacific Division.

 

It was the third time this season that New Jersey surrendered six goals against, which is a season high (also, 11/3 at EDM 6-3 L & 2/10 at CBJ 6-1 L), and the second time this season New Jersey has allowed at least four goals in back-to-back games (Feb. 11 vs BOS 5-3 L & Feb. 13 at PHI 5-4 Ws).

 

In the Devils past four regular season matchups against the Sharks, they have been outscored 17-3 (0-4-0).  New Jersey is 2-3-0 at SAP Center since the 2013-14 season and 9-8-1 overall at San Jose since their inaugural season in 1991-92.

 

Brent Burns led the Sharks with 3PTS (3A) in the win.

 

Taylor Hall scored New Jersey’s first goal of the night, his 32nd of the season.  Hall now has the second most goals by a Devil in a single season since the 2011-12 regular season (I. Kovalchuk- 37 in 2011-12, T. Hall- 32 in 2017-18, Z. Parise- 31 in 2011-12).  Hall has four points in his past four games (2G-2A).

 

Blake Coleman added the Devils second goal late into the third period, notching his 10th of the season.

 

Drew Stafford picked up two assists for his first multi-point game since Oct. 17 vs Tampa Bay (2G).

 

Patrick Maroon also picked up an assist on Coleman’s goal, his eighth point in nine games since joining the Devils (2G – 6A).

 

Cory Schneider started his first game since Mar. 8 and stopped 10 out of 14 shots before being replaced by Keith Kinkaid in the second period. Kinkaid stopped 9 out of 11 shots the he faced in relief.

 

TONIGHT at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

 

New Jersey will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in their final matchup at PPG Paints Arena in the regular season. The Devils defeated the Penguins in their first two meetings, 3-1 on Feb. 3 at Prudential Center and 3-2 at PIT on Feb. 27. The two clubs will meet for the fourth and final time in the regular season on Mar. 29 at Prudential Center.

 

The Devils have not gone undefeated in a season series at Pittsburgh since the 2009-10 season, when they went 3-0-0. New Jersey is 3-8-1 at Pittsburgh and are 11-11-2 overall against the Penguins since the 2012-13 season. The Devils were swept (0-4-1) against the Penguins in the 2016-17 season.

 

New Jersey will conclude their season long six-game road trip (3-2-0) with their first game against an Eastern Conference opponent on the trip. The Devils are 23-15-5 against the East and 12-9-1 vs the Metropolitan Division.

 

Tonight’s game will also conclude the clubs 15th of 16 back-to-back sets. The Devils are 7-5-2 in first games of back-to-backs and 6-8-0 in second games. New Jersey will return home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night.

 

Travis Zajac leads the Devils with five points (2G-3A), while Taylor Hall (1G-2A), Stefan Noesen (1G-2A) and Damon Severson (3A) are all tied with three points each.

 

Keith Kinkaid is 2-0-0 against the Penguins this season with a 1.50 GAA, but is 2-2-1 with a 3.36 GAA in his career.

 

Jake Guentzel is the only Penguins player to have more than one point against New Jersey this season with two assists, while Derek Brassard had a goal and an assist against the Devils as a member of the Ottawa Senators earlier this season.

 

CURRENT INJURIES

 

JOHANSSON – IR, retro. to Jan. 23 (concussion), 26 games missed
ZACHA – day-to-day (upper-body), six games missed.
WOOD – day-to-day (upper-body), one game missed.

Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 214

 

MILESTONES

 

KINKAID – Played his 100th game, 3/17 at LA.

LOVEJOY – 8PTS for 100 NHL

STAFFORD – 9G for 200 NHL, 5PIM for 500 in career

ZAJAC – 9a for 300 NHL, 12PIM for 300 in career

JOHANSSON (I.R.)– 3A for 200 NHL

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

 
Feb. 25: Removed F John Quenneville from I.R. and assigned 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. 01: Removed G Cory Schneider from I.R. Assigned G Eddie Lack to Binghamton (AHL).
Mar. 08: Activated F Brian Gibbons off injured reserve.
Mar. 16: Signed F Brett Seney to a two-year, entry-level contract. The contract will begin with the 2018-19 season.

 

 

NHL ANNOUNCES GLOBAL SERIES

 

The NHL and the NHLPA, announced dates, local start times, locations and ticketing information for the 2018 NHL Global Series™ and the 2018 NHL Global Series Challenge™.

 

The Devils will travel to Bern, Switzerland, and play an exhibition game against SC Bern on Monday, Oct. 1 at PostFinance Arena at 7:30 p.m. CET as part of the 2018 NHL Global Series Challenge™. New Jersey will then open their 2018-19 season against the Edmonton Oilers in Gothenburg, Sweden on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Scandinavium at 7 p.m. CET, in the 2018 NHL Global Series™.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently announced that tickets for the 2018 Global Series, including the Devils pre-season game in Bern, Switzerland and season opener in Gothenburg, Sweden, sold out in a matter of minutes.

 

#26 FOREVER

 

On Feb. 23, the Devils officially retired the jersey of Patrik Elias’ no. 26. The franchise’s all-time leading scorer and two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2000, 2003) became first forward and fifth player to have his number retired by the organization. Born on Apr. 13, 1976 in Trebic, Czechoslovakia, he is the first European-born Devil to receive the honor.

 

“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.

 

IT’S ABOUT TIME

 

Sami Vatanen leads the Devils with an average time-on-ice of 22:32. On Feb. 13 at Philadelphia he skated in a career-high, 27:53, and is currently averaging 24:13 of ice-time in March. Additionally, he has played 23 minutes or more in 10 of his last 12 games played.

 

 

HALL’S STREAKING

 

Taylor Hall’s consecutive point-streak was snapped at 19 games on Mar. 8 vs. the Winnipeg Jets (Jan. 30-Mar. 6, 13G-13A-26PTS). It is the longest point streak in the NHL this season and set the Devils franchise record (Patrik Elias, 1999-00; Brian Gionta, 2005-06; 15 each). He registered at least one point in 26 straight appearances (18G-20A-38PTS) dating back to Jan. 2 at STL.

 

During that 26-game span, he missed three games, Jan. 22-25, due to an injury (right hand/thumb).

 

Hall is also the first Devils player to reach the 70-point mark (32G-46A-78PTS) in a season since 2011-12, when Ilya Kovalchuk (37G-46A-83PTS) and Patrik Elias (26G-52A-78PTS).

 

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 tied for first in franchise history with .94 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club. This season he has 1.15 points-per-game.

  1. Kirk Muller – .94 (556GP)
  2. Taylor Hall – .94 (140 GP)
  3. Alex Mogilny – .94 (121 GP)
  4. Ilya Kovalchuk- .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). Grabner scored his first points as a Devil Mar. 14 at Vegas, when he recorded a goal and an assist.

 

The Devils acquired Patrick Maroon from the Oilers for New Jersey’s 2019 third round draft pick 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.

 

 

THREE OF A KIND

 

Devils’ rookies Nico Hischier (16G-30A-46PTS), Will Butcher (2G-33A-35PTS), and Jesper Bratt (13G-22A-35PTS) 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).

 

NO SWEAT

 

The Devils are 19-8-8 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 27-0-2, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 46-0-12 when leading after 40 minutes of play.

 

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