New Jersey Devils (23-21-11) at Nashville Predators (24-23-8)
8:00 PM ET • Bridgestone Arena • MSG Plus, News Radio 880 WCBS
Only a few players will skate this morning. Head Coach Peter DeBoer will be available outside of the Devils’ Locker Room at 5:00 this evening.
Tonight’s contest concludes the team’s three-game, Western Conference road trip. The Devils are now 6-10-5=15pts vs. the West this season following last night’s 3-2 OT win at Dallas.
Tonight’s game also closes-out New Jersey’s 14th of 22 sets of back-to-back games. The Devils are now 5-6-3 in first games and 7-2-4 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
New Jersey has points in nine of its last 12 games (6-3-3=15pts) and in 16 of its last 22 contests (11-6-5=27pts).
New Jersey was 2/3 on the power play last night and is 8/20 (40.0%) with the man-advantage over the last eight games. The Devils’ penalty-kill unit was 3/3 last night and is 23/25 (92.0%) over the last eight.
Despite losing two straight, New Jersey has points in eight of its last 11 games (5-3-3=13pts) and in 15 of its last 21 contests (10-6-5=25pts).
New Jersey has played 30 road games entering today, tied for the most in the NHL (Anaheim, Edmonton, Philadelphia & San Jose). Following tonight’s contest, 16 of the Devils’ 27 remaining games will be played at Prudential Center.
Cory Schneider (14 saves) made the start in goal lat night, his eighth in the last 11 games. Schneider is now 6-2-2 with one shutout, a 1.33 goals-against average & .949 save-percentage in his last 11 appearances.
Patrik Elias scored scored the 16th overtime goal of his career 0:40 into the extra session last night. He has passed Sergei Fedorov and Mats Sundin for sole-possession of second place in NHL history behind Jaromir Jagr (18 OTG). Elias also notched an assist and now has 3g-3a-6pts over the last five games.
Travis Zajac also scored a power play goal yesterday, his ninth overall and second with the man-advantage. Zajac added an assist on Elias’ game-winner and now has 2g-4a-6pts in his last five games.
Jagr recorded two assists last night and now has 1,037 in his NHL career, just three behind Marcel Dionne (1,040a) for ninth place all-time..
Dainius Zubrus scored his tenth goal of the season at 10:59 of the first period last night to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.
Marek Zidlicky assisted on Zubrus’ goal, and now has 21 on the season, the most he’s had since 2009-10 (37).
Damien Brunner collected the primary assist on Zajac’s goal and now has 2g-2a-4pts in five games since being activated off Injured Reserve.
The Devils dressed seven defensemen last night as Jon Merrill returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the previous four games. Jacob Josefson DND after playing in the last two games.
Devils vs. Predators
Tonight’s game between the Devils and Predators is the second/final meeting between the teams this season and the only contest to be played at Bridgestone Arena.
New Jersey won the first meeting, 5-0, at Prudential Center on November 10. Jaromir Jagr and Marek Zidlicky led the Devils with 1g-1a-2pts each, while Patric Hornqvist led the Predators with four shots on goal. Martin Brodeur (15 saves) recorded his second shutout of the season/123rd of his NHL career and Carter Hutton (18 saves) took the loss for Nashville in his first-ever start vs. the Devils.
The Devils lead the all-time series 11-5-2, including a 7-1-1 mark in the nine previous games played in Nashville.
Patrik Elias is New Jersey’s all-time leading scorer vs. Nashville with 5g-11a-16pts in 16 games, while David Legwand has 3g-4a-11pts in 14 games vs. the Devils to lead the Predators.
Brodeur is now 7-5-1 with one shutout, a 2.35 goals-against average and a .910 save-percentage in 13 games vs. Nashville. Cory Schneider allowed three goals in 20 minutes of action in his only career start against the Predators on Dec. 1, 2011.
Devan Dubnyk is 0-0-1 with a 3.81 GAA and .897 save % in one appearance vs. New Jersey.
Ryane Clowe needs eight points to reach 300 in his NHL career.
Adam Henrique needs seven points to reach 100 in his NHL career.
Jaromir Jagr needs three goals to reach 700 in his NHL career.
Travis Zajac needs five assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
Peter Harrold (non-displaced foot fracture, 24 games missed) was placed on Injured Reserve December 12, retroactive to December 7. He has resumed practicing.
Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 207
Jan. 31: Assigned defenseman Eric Gelinas to Albany (AHL). Recalled forward Mike Sislo from Albany.
Jan. 25: Assigned forward Joe Whitney to Albany.
Jan. 23: Recalled forward Joe Whitney from Albany.
Jan. 22: Assigned forward Reid Boucher to Albany.
Jan. 21: Forward Cam Janssen cleared waivers and was assigned to Albany. Activated forward Damien Brunner from Injured Reserve.