New Jersey Devils (38-28-8) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (51-19-4)
7:00 PM ET • Prudential Center • MSG+2 • The One Jersey Network
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4:30 PM outside of the Devils Locker Room*
LAST GAME – MARCH 23: NEW JERSEY DEVILS 4 at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 3 OT
New Jersey defeated Pittsburgh, 4-3, in overtime to improve to 3-0-0 in their four-game season series against the Penguins. The two clubs will meet for the fourth and final time in the regular season on Mar. 29 at Prudential Center.
The Devils scored three goals in the second period, in a span of 3:39, to earn their 20th road win of the season. The 20 wins is the most the club has recorded on the road since the 2011-12 season.
New Jersey finished their season long six-game road trip 4-2-0 and are 24-15-5 against the Eastern Conference and 13-9-1 vs the Metropolitan Division.
This is the first time the Devils have gone undefeated at Pittsburgh in a season series since the 2009-10 season, when they went 3-0-0 and 6-0-0 overall. New Jersey is 4-8-1 at Pittsburgh and are 12-11-2 overall against the Penguins since the 2012-13 season.
New Jersey started their 15th of 16 back-to-back sets and improved to 8-5-2 in first games of back-to-backs.
The Devils defeated Penguins goalie Matt Murray, handing him the first loss of his career against New Jersey (4-0-1).
Taylor Hall scored the game-winning goal in overtime and added two assists to surpass his previous career high of 80 points in a season, in six fewer games played (2013-14: 27-53-80, 75 GP; 2017-18: 33-48-81, 69GP). Hall also notched his 24th multi-point game this season, tying Ilya Kovalchuk (2011-12), Kirk Muller (1989-90), and Petr Sykora (1998-99) as Devils who have recorded 24 multi-point games in a season.
Keith Kinkaid reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in his career, stopping 40 out of 43 shots (.930 SV%). Kinkaid has won all three games against the Penguins this season, improving to 3-2-1 in his career.
Will Butcher scored his third goal of the season and his first career power play goal to open the scoring for New Jersey. The goal was his first since Nov. 20 at MIN, snapping a 52-game goal drought. Butcher is now tied for the third for most power play points by a Devils rookie defenseman (Eric Weinrich-20, Scott Niedermayer-19, Eric Gelinas-17, Will Butcher-17) in the team’s history.
Blake Coleman notched the second goal for New Jersey and has four goals in the last five games.
John Moore ended a 14-game point drought by assisting Nico Hischier’s 17th goal of the season. Hischier earned his 11th multi-point game of the year (1G-1A), passing Slava Fetisov (1989-90) for fourth all-time in New Jersey Devils history for multi-point games by a rookie.
Drew Stafford assisted Coleman’s goal, and now has three assists in his last two games.
Pavel Zacha and Damon Severson also recorded assists on the night. It was Zacha’s first game back after missing six games due to an upper-body injury.
TONIGHT vs TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
The Devils will close out their 15th of 16 back-to-back sets against the Lightning. The club is 8-5-2 in first games and 6-8-0 in second games.
New Jersey is 6-3-0 against Tampa Bay at home and 8-7-2 overall against Tampa Bay since the 2012-13 season. Additionally, the Devils are 18-14-3 at home this season, while the Lightning are 24-11-2 on the road and own the second-best road record in the league.
In their last meeting the Devils defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, in their only meeting at Amalie Arena this season. The Devils lead the season-series, 2-0-0 and defeated the Lightning 5-4 in a shootout on Oct. 17th. The last time New Jersey swept Tampa Bay in a season series was the 2008-09 season (4-0-0). It will be the Devils first game at Prudential Center since they lost, 3-2, to the Winnipeg Jets on March 8th.
Eddie Lack earned his first victory as a Devil, stopping 48 of 51 shots in the victory on Feb. 17th. The 48 saves and 51 shots against were both career highs for Lack.
Miles Wood scored the game-winning goal for the Devils, but received a two-game suspension for boarding former Tampa Bay forward Vladislav Namestnikov.
Additionally, Pavel Zacha scored his first shorthanded goal/point of his career, while Ben Lovejoy had a goal and an assist for his second two-point game of the season.
Nico Hischier leads the Devils in their season series with three points (1G-2A), while five other Devils have recorded two points against the Lightning in 2017-18. Steven Stamkos leads all Lightning with 4 points (2G-2A) against the Devils this season.
In their careers against the Lightning, Cory Schneider is 4-4-1 (.904 SV%, 3.07 GAA) and Keith Kinkaid is 1-1-1 (.892 SV%, 2.84 GAA). Schneider stopped 33 of 37 shots and all three attempts in the shootout, in the Devils first win against the Lightning on Oct. 17.
JOHANSSON – IR, retro. to Jan. 23 (concussion), 27 games missed
WOOD – day-to-day (upper-body), two games missed.
Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 216
KINKAID – Played his 100th game, 3/17 at LA.
MOORE – 1PT for 100 NHL
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
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.
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 11 of his last 13 games played.
*Not including Vatanen’s last game played against PIT.
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 80-point mark (33G-48A-81PTS) in a season since Ilya Kovalchuk (37G-46A-83PTS) in 2011-12.
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 .95 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club. This season he has 1.17 points-per-game.
- Taylor Hall – .95 (141 GP)
- Kirk Muller – .94 (556GP)
- Alex Mogilny – .94 (121 GP)
- Ilya Kovalchuk- .91 (222 GP)
- 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 (17G-31A-48PTS), Will Butcher (3G-33A-36PTS), 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).
The Devils are 20-8-8 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 28-0-2, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 47-0-12 when leading after 40 minutes of play.