Pittsburgh Penguins (29-11-1) at New Jersey Devils (16-16-8)
1:00 PM ET • Prudential Center • MSG Plus, Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN
New Jersey Head Coach Peter DeBoer will be available to the media in the interview corridor adjacent to the Devils’ Locker Room at 10:30 AM. Select player availability to follow.
The Devils will close-out 2013 with their first matinee game of the season. New Jersey is 35-35-18=88pts in the 2013 calendar year entering today’s contest.
Today’s game also marks the last of three straight vs. Metropolitan Division opponents & opens a stretch in which five of the team’s next six will be played at Prudential Center. New Jersey has played just 17 games at home this season entering today, which is the fewest in the Eastern Conference.
The Devils won, 2-1, on Saturday at the New York Islanders and now have points in six of their last seven games (4-1-2)..
New Jersey was 3/3 on the penalty kill tonight and is 16/17 (94.1%) over the past five games. The Devils have the league’s best penalty-killing record at home (52/57, 91.2%) behind Pittsburgh (48/52, 92.3%) and are ranked fifth (111/128, 86.7%) overall.
Cory Schneider made 30 saves ion Saturday and improved to 5-8-5 on the season.
Martin Brodeur (29 saves + 0/1 SO) is expected to start this afternoon. He took the loss and fell to 11-8-3 on the season in his last start on Friday vs. Columbus (29 saves + 0/1 SO).
Jaromir Jagr assisted on the game-winning goal Saturday and now has 694g-1028a-1722pts in his NHL career. He trails his former teammate Mario Lemieux by just one point for seventh-place on the league’s all-time scoring list.
Jagr scored the 694th goal of his NHL career on December 21 at Washington and is now tied Mark Messier for seventh place all-time.
Travis Zajac scored the game-winning goal Saturday, his second of the season and seventh overall. He now has 1g-4a-5pts over his last six games.
Adam Henrique has goals in back-t0-back games and 2g-2a-4pts over his last six.
Reid Boucher had the primary assist on Henrique’s tally on Saturday and now has 1g-3a-4pts in 12 games since being recalled from Albany on December 4.
Marek Zidlicky had the primary assist on Zajac’s goal on Saturday. He now has points in two straight and is second among Devils’ defensemen with 5g-14a-19pts on the season.
Bryce Salvador returned to the lineup Saturday for his first appearance since October 22 at Columbus. He had missed the previous 30 games due to a non-displaced stress fracture in his foot.
Mark Fayne appeared in his 200th career NHL game on Saturday.
Devils vs. Penguins
Tonight’s game between the Devils and Penguins marks the fourth/final meeting between the clubs this season, and the second/final contest to be played at Prudential Center. Pittsburgh leads the season series 2-1-0 following a 3-2 win at CONSOL Energy Center on December 13.
Jaromir Jagr (2g-1a) and Dainius Zubrus (1g-2a) lead the Devils with three points each, while four players each have two points to lead the Pens.
Martin Brodeur (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA & .964 save %) and Cory Schneider (0-2-0, 3.02 GAA & .864 save %) have split the goaltending duties for New Jersey, while Marc-Andre Fleury (2-1-0, 1 ShO, 1.67 GAA & .943 save %) has started all three games for Pittsburgh.
Schneider’s starts were the first of his career vs. Pittsburgh, while Brodeur is now 47-28-5 with 9 shutouts, a 2.47 goals-against average and .904 save-percentage in 82 games vs. the Penguins. Fleury is 17-21-4 with a 2.50 GAA and .915 save % in 42 games vs. the Devils.
Patrik Elias is New Jersey’s all-time leading scorer vs. Pittsburgh with 24g-46a-70pts in 83 career games. Sidney Crosby leads all active players in career scoring vs. the Devils with 21g-26a-47pts in 42 games.
Jagr began his career with Pittsburgh and played 11 seasons for the Penguins from 1990-2001. Since being traded to Washington on July 11, 2001, Jagr has scored 23g-21a-44pts in 46 games vs. the Pens.
New Jersey leads the all-time series 98-70-15, including a 51-31-11 mark in the previous 93 games played in New Jersey. The Devils are 12-3-0 vs. the Penguins at Prudential Center since the start of the 2008-09 season.
Jaromir Jagr needs six goals to reach 700 in his NHL career.
Anton Volchenkov needs three games to reach 200 with New Jersey.
Travis Zajac needs seven points to reach 300 in his NHL career.
Anton Volchenkov (total body soreness, 1 game missed) is day-to-day.
Damien Brunner (lower body, 4 games missed) was placed on Injured Reserve on December 27, retroactive to December 20
Peter Harrold (non-displaced foot fracture, 9 games missed) was placed on Injured Reserve December 12, retroactive to December 7.
Ryan Carter (leg, 13 games missed) was placed on Injured Reserve December 4, retroactive to November 30.
Adam Larsson (lower body, 17 games missed) was placed on Injured Reserve December 1, retroactive to November 23.
Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 161
Dec. 28: Assigned forward Tim Sestito to Albany (AHL) and activated defenseman Bryce Salvador from Injured Reserve.
Dec. 27: Placed forward Damien Brunner on Injured Reserve, retroactive to December 20, and activated forward Ryane Clowe from Injured Reserve.
Dec. 18: Activated forward Stephen Gionta from Injured Reserve.
Dec. 16: Recalled forward Mattias Tedenby from Albany.
Dec. 12: Placed defenseman Peter Harrold on Injured Reserve, retroactive to December 7, and assigned forward Mattias Tedenby to Albany for conditioning.