Devils Pre-Game: 3/29/18

New Jersey Devils (40-28-8) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (43-28-6)
7:00 PM ET • 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

Pre-Game Availability *
subject to change

10:30 AM Morning Skate*

LAST GAME – MARCH 27: NEW JERSEY DEVILS 4 vs CAROLINA HURRICANES 3

 

New Jersey defeated Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth and final matchup of the regular season, 4-3, to reach the 40-win plateau for the first time since 2011-12.  Additionally, the club finished their season series against the Hurricanes, 3-1-0, and improve to 6-2-0 in their last eight games.

 

New Jersey is 6-4-1 at home and 14-8-1 overall against Carolina since 2012-13. This season, the Devils are 26-15-5 vs. Eastern Conference opponents and 14-9-1 against the Metropolitan Division.

 

Pavel Zacha opened the scoring for the Devils 5:47 into the first period, and has points in three consecutive games (1G-2A) since returning from injury on Mar. 23.

 

Taylor Hall led New Jersey with three assists for his 25th multi-point game of the season (tie, 2nd most in a single season, Z. Parise, 2008-09 & P. Elias, 2000-01) and is one assist away from tying his career high of 53, that he set in 2013-14. Hall is the first player to reach the 50-assist mark in a season since Patrik Elias had 52, in 2011-12.

 

Kyle Palmieri recorded his 10th multi-point game of the season (2G-1A), with both goals scored on the power play.  This is the sixth time in his career that Palmieri has recorded a three-point game (five with New Jersey).  Palmieri leads the club in power play goals, with 11.

 

Will Butcher added two assists on the night (35 and 36) for his seventh multi-point game of the season.  The first assist set a new record for most assists by a Devils rookie defenseman in a single season (34, E. Weinrich – 1990-91 & V. Fetisov – 1989-90).  

 

Stefan Noesen scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season, 18:27 into the third frame. Andy Greene and Michael Grabner had the assists on Noesen’s goal.

 

Keith Kinkaid started his fourth game this season against the Hurricanes stopping 31 out of 34 shots (.912 SV%).  In his career against Carolina, Kinkaid is now 7-2-0 with a .942 SV% and a 1.87 GAA.     

 

TONIGHT vs PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

 

The Devils will continue their four-game homestand, in which they are 2-0-0, and will look to sweep the regular season series against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since 2009-10 when they went 6-0-0. Only four points separate the two teams in the Metropolitan Division standings.

 

In their last meeting on Mar. 23, New Jersey defeated Pittsburgh, 4-3, in overtime to improve to 3-0-0 in their four-game season series.

 

The Devils scored three second period goals, 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.

 

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). He leads the Devils with six points (2G-4A) in three games against the Penguins this 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 second for most power play points by a Devils rookie defenseman (Eric Weinrich-20, Scott Niedermayer-19).

 

Blake Coleman notched the second goal for New Jersey with his career high 11th goal of the season.

 

John Moore ended a 14-game point drought by assisting on Nico Hischier’s 17th goal of the season, and needs one point for the 100th of his NHL career. 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, Pavel Zacha and Damon Severson also recorded assists.

 

Derick Brassard, Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel all have three points against the Devils this season.

 

CURRENT INJURIES

 

JOHANSSON – IR, retro. to Jan. 23 (concussion), 29 games missed
MAROON – day-to-day (upper-body), two games missed.
Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 220

 

MILESTONES

 

MOORE – 1PT for 100 NHL

NOESEN – 2GP for 100 w/ NJ

MAROON – 4A for 100 NHL

COLEMAN – 4GP for 100 NHL

BOYLE – 8PTS for 200 NHL

LOVEJOY – 8PTS for 100 NHL

SEVERSON – 8PTS for 100 NHL

STAFFORD – 9G for 200 NHL, 3PIM 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 22:38. On Feb. 13 at Philadelphia he skated in a career-high, 27:53, and is currently averaging 24:12 of ice-time in March. Additionally, he has played 23 minutes or more in 12 of his last 15 games played.

 

H-ALL NEW HEIGHTS

 

Taylor Hall has set new career highs in goals (33) and points (85) through 71 games played this season, passing his previous highs set in 2013-14 with Edmonton. Hall is one assist away from tying his previous career high of 53, also set during 2013-14.

 

Hall is also the first Devils player to reach the 80-point mark (33G-51A-85PTS) in a season since Ilya Kovalchuk (37G-46A-83PTS) in 2011-12. Hall ranks third since 2005-06, trailing only Zach Parise (2008-09) and Brian Gionta (2005-06), and is 7th all-time for points by a Devil in a single season with 85. Additionally, Hall (85) has a 36-point lead over Nico Hischier (49), which is the largest margin between the top two point producers on the Devils since the 2008-09 season (Z. Parise, 94 – P. Elias, 78 = 16 PT difference).

 

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).

 

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 .96 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club. This season he has 1.20 points-per-game.

  1. Taylor Hall – .96 (143 GP)
  2. Kirk Muller – .94 (556GP)
  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 (18G-31A-49PTS), Will Butcher (3G-36A-39PTS), 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).

 

Additionally, Butcher passed Eric Weinrich (1990-91) and Viacheslav Fetisov (1989-90) for the most assists by a Devils rookie defenseman with 36, and trails Kirk Muller (1984-85) by one assist for third most by a Devils rookie skater.

 

NO SWEAT

 

The Devils are 22-8-8 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 30-0-2, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 49-0-12 when leading after 40 minutes of play.

 

 

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