Devils Pre-Game: 4/12/18

New Jersey Devils (44-29-9) at Tampa Bay Lightning (54-23-5)
7:00 PM ET • Amalie Arena • MSG+ • The One Jersey Network 
• NHLN-US • SN • TVAS2

Round 1 • Game 1

*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 at Amalie Arena*

 

MARCH 24 – NEW JERSEY DEVILS 2 vs TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 1

 

New Jersey defeated Tampa Bay, 2-1, and swept the season-series, 3-0-0. The last time the Devils swept Tampa Bay in a season series was during the 2008-09 season (4-0-0).

 

The Devils are 7-3-0 against the Lightning at home and 9-7-2 overall against Tampa Bay since the 2012-13 season. Additionally, New Jersey finished 23-14-4 at home this season, while the Lightning finished 25-13-3 on the road, with the second-best road record in the league.

 

New Jersey closed out their 15th of 16 back-to-back sets against the Lightning. The club finished 9-5-2 in first games and 8-8-0 in second games.

 

Nico Hischier opened the scoring for New Jersey with his 18th goal, and 49th point of the season.  Hischier led all rookie European born skaters with 52 PTS (20G-32A).

 

Will Butcher notched his 34th assist of the season on Hischier’s goal. With the assist, Butcher tied Eric Weinrich (1990-91) and Viacheslav Fetisov (1989-90) for most assists by a Devils rookie defenseman. Butcher finished with 39A, the most by a Devils rookie defenseman and the 13th most by an NHL rookie defenseman.

 

Kyle Palmieri netted the game-winning goal for New Jersey, his 21st of the year 10:59 into the second frame.

 

Taylor Hall recorded the secondary assist on Palmieri’s goal, which extended his point streak to four games.  Hall set career highs in all offensive categories this season with 93 PTS (39G-54A).

 

Pavel Zacha added the primary assist on Palmieri’s goal. Zacha had an assist in each of his first two games played, since he returned from an upper-body injury.

 

Mirco Mueller returned to the Devils lineup and added an assist on Hischier’s goal in 17:06 TOI. The assist was Mueller’s first point since Nov. 11 vs Edmonton.

 

Keith Kinkaid stopped 35 of 36 shots in the victory and improved to 2-1-1 with a .915 SV% and 2.43 GAA in his career against the Lightning.

 

FEB. 17 – NEW JERSEY DEVILS 4 @ TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 3

 

New Jersey defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, in their only meeting at Amalie Arena this season. The Devils allowed a season-high 51 shots against in the victory.

 

Pavel Zacha scored the Devils eighth shorthanded goal of the season for his first career SHG.  Ben Lovejoy had 2 PTS (1G-1A) for his second multi-point game of the year. His shorthanded assist on Zacha’s goal was the first shorthanded point of his NHL career.

 

Nico Hischier, scored his 12th goal of the season to mark a season-high four-game, point-streak 7PTS (3G-4A).

 

Taylor Hall and Sami Vatanen collected assists on Hischier’s marker. Hall extended his career-high, point-streak to 10 games, Jan. 30-Feb. 17 (6G-7A-13PTS). Hall also extended his personal scoring streak to 17 straight games, 11G-14A-25PTS from Jan. 2-Feb. 17. Vatanen added a second assist for his second helper of the game.

 

Miles Wood notched his 16th goal of the season, which was the game-winner. He finished the season with a career high 19 goals and 13 assists.

 

Eddie Lack made a career-high 48 saves for his first win as a Devil (also career-high 51 shots against).

 

OCT. 17 – NEW JERSEY 5 vs. TAMPA BAY 4 (SO)

 

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-4, in their first shootout of the season.

 

Kyle Palmieri led the way for NJ, scoring the game-deciding goal in round three of the shootout. It was his second career GDG.  He also scored his second goal of the season (PP) at 16:19 of the second period.

 

Drew Stafford opened the scoring for New Jersey at 2:45 of the first period. He then tied the game at four on the power play with just 4:06 remaining in the game.  It was his first multi-goal game as a Devil and has 14 goals in 35 career games against Tampa Bay.

 

Brian Gibbons notched his third goal of the season at 19:08 of the second first period.  Before signing with New Jersey, Gibbons had five goals over 66 combined NHL games with Pittsburgh and Columbus. He finished his first season with the Devils with 12G-14A-26PTS in 59 GP.

 

Nico Hischier had his first ever multi-point NHL performance, notching two assists (both primary) on Stafford’s goals.

 

Will Butcher continued his scoring-streak, which stood at four games (6A).  Butcher had one assist on Stafford’s opening goal.

 

Cory Schneider stopped 33 of 37 shots (.891 save%) and was perfect in the shootout; denying all three Lightning shooters.

 

Damon Severson, Taylor Hall, Steven Santini, Miles Wood & Adam Henrique also had one assist. Santini led the club with a career-high 25:40 of ice-time and tied his previous career-high with five shots (also, Feb. 14, 2017 vs. COL.).

 

CURRENT INJURIES

 

JOHANSSON – day-to-day, retro. to Jan. 23 (concussion), 35 games missed in the regular season.

Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 226

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
Apr. 07: Recalled D Steven Santini and G Eddie Lack from Binghamton (AHL).

 

Playoff Bound

 

With their win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 5, the Devils clinched their 23rd playoff appearance in team history, and their first since the 2011-12 season. Andy Greene and Travis Zajac are the only players that remain from the Devils team that reached the 2012 Stanley Cup finals and are the only players to have played in a playoff game for the Devils.

 

15 of the 27 players on the Devils active roster have past Stanley Cup playoff experience. Brian Boyle leads New Jersey with 106 career playoff games, while Marcus Johansson leads the team with 30 playoff points. Patrick Maroon and Sami Vatanen are the only players with over .50 PTS/GP in their playoff careers. Maroon has 26 PTS in 42 GP (.62), while Vatanen has 22 PTS in 40 GP (.55).

 

N1CO

 

After clinching their spot in the playoffs, the Devils are one of six teams in the past 30 years, that had the Number One Overall Pick in the NHL draft and made the playoffs the following year*. (*Credit Craig Seiden WFAN/TOJN Statistician & Elias Sports Bureau)

1987 Pierre Turgeon (BUF)

1988 Mike Modano (MIN)

1997 Joe Thornton (BOS)

2013 Nathan MacKinnon (COL)

2016 Auston Matthews (TOR)

2017 Nico Hischier (NJD)

 

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 the 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 led the Devils with an average time-on-ice of 22:45 and all defensemen with 28PTS (3G-25A), after being traded to the club on Nov. 30. On Feb. 13, at Philadelphia, he skated in a career-high, 27:53, and averaged 24:23 of ice-time in March. Additionally, he played 23 minutes or more in 16 of his last 20 games played.

 

H-ALL NEW HEIGHTS

 

Taylor Hall set new career highs in goals (39), assists (54) and points (93) in 76 games played this season. In the 2018 calendar year, Hall recorded points in 36 of 40 games he played, registering 57PTS (27G-30A). (*Credit Chris Ryan, NJ.com) Hall only had less points than Connor McDavid (EDM-63PTS) and Evgeni Malkin (PIT-62PTS) in 2018.

 

Hall was also the first Devils player to reach the 90-point mark (39G-54A-93PTS) in a season since Zach Parise (45G-49A-94PTS) in 2008-09. Hall finished second in points since 2005-06, trailing only Zach Parise (94, 2008-09), and is 4th all-time for points by a Devil in a single season with 93. Additionally, Hall (93) has a 41-point lead over Nico Hischier (52), 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) and the most in the NHL since 2007-08 (A. Ovechkin, 112 – N. Backstrom, 69)*. (*Credit NHLPR)

 

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 (P. Elias, 1999-00; B. 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 had his nine-game point streak (8G-9A-17PTS), snapped on Apr. 5 vs. Toronto. The streak lasted from March 18 to April 3, and was the longest such streak in the NHL at the time.

 

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 win 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 points, goals, assists and shots on goal.

 

 

HALLIN’ IN THE POINTS

 

Taylor Hall is first in franchise history with .99 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club. This season he had 1.22 points-per-game which is the most by any Devil in a single season with at least 50 GP.

Devils Career

  1. Taylor Hall – .99 (148 GP)
  2. Kirk Muller – .94 (556 GP)
  3. Alex Mogilny – .94 (121 GP)
  4. Ilya Kovalchuk- .91 (222 GP)
  5. Patrik Elias – .83 (1240 GP)

Single Season

  1. Taylor Hall – 1.22 (76 GP, 2017-18)
  2. Kirk Muller – 1.18 (80 GP, 1987-88)
  3. John MacLean – 1.18 (74 GP, 1988-89)
  4. Patrik Elias – 1.17 (82 GP, 2000-01)
  5. Zach Parise – 1.15 (82 GP, 2008-09)

 

 

JOIN THE CLUB

 

On Feb. 22, New Jersey acquired RW Michael Grabner from the NY Rangers in exchange for 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 (20G-32A-52PTS), Will Butcher (5G-39A-44PTS), 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 is third, passing Kirk Muller (1984-85) for most assists (39) by a Devils rookie skater. He trails Kevin Todd (1991-92) by three assists for second and owns the record for most points by a Devils rookie defenseman.

 

 

NO SWEAT

 

The Devils are 25-8-9 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 34-0-2, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 53-0-12 when leading after 40 minutes of play.

 

About New Jersey Devils PR

Sr. Manager, Hockey Communications & Team Operations
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