Devils Pre-Game 3/20/14

Minnesota Wild (36-23-10) at New Jersey Devils (29-27-13)

7:00 PM ET • Prudential Center • MSG Plus, Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will have a 10:30 AM morning skate at Prudential Center.

Game Notes

  • Tonight’s contest is the second of New Jersey’s season-high five-game homestand. Nine of the the team’s remaining 13 games will be played at Prudential Center.
  • New Jersey is 8-2-2=18pts in its last 12 games at The Rock following Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Boston.
  • The Devils have scored three-or-more goals in six of their last ten games. Their power play has converted 5/16 (31.3%) attempts over the last five home games and is the fourth-best in the NHL overall (43/207, 20.8%).
  • New Jersey’s  top-ranked penalty-kill unit (190/218, 87.2%) was 2/2 on Tueday and is 12/12 over the last three games.
  • The Devils are allowing just 25.6 shots per-game, which is the fewest in the NHL. New Jersey’s 2.49 goals-against per-game overall ranks ninth (tie, Montreal & Chicago).
  • New Jersey’s 8.1 PIM per game are the fewest in the league.
  • Head Coach Peter DeBoer is looking for his 200th NHL win tonight. DeBoer is 199-181-65 in 445 games in six NHL seasons with Florida and New Jersey. He’s 96-74-29 in 199 games in three seasons with the Devils. With 96 wins, DeBoer is fourth in team history behind Jacques Lemaire (276), Doug Carpenter (100) and Brent Sutter (97).
  • Cory Schneider is expected to make the start in goal tonight. He’s 0-3-0 in his last three appearances, but his 2.12 goals-against average is fifth in the NHL.
  • Travis Zajac recorded 1g-1a-2pts on Tuesday for his sixth multiple-point game of the season. Zajac has 4g-4a-8pts over the last seven games.
  • Patrik Elias scored his 16th goal of the season/fourth on the power play on Tuesday. He leads the Devils with 17pts with the man-advantage this season. Elias has 4g-8a-12pts in ten games since returning from the Olympic break.
  • Jaromir Jagr posted 1,044th career assist and is now just five helpers behind Gordie Howe (1,049a) for eighth in NHL history. He scored his 703rd career goal last Friday at Florida and is now just five behind Mike Gartner (708g) for sixth-place in NHL history. Jagr has 5g-5a-10pts over the last ten games.
  • Michael Ryder picked up an assist on Elias’s tally on Tuesday and became the sixth Devil to reach the 30-pt. mark this season.
  • Eric Gelinas collected the primary assist on Zajac’s marker on Tuesday and has 7g-20a-27pts this season, which is third-most among all NHL rookie defensemen.

Devils vs. Wild

  • Tonight’s game between the Devils and Wild marks the second/final meeting between the teams this season.
  • Minnesota leads the season 1-0-0 following a 4-0 win at Xcel Energy Center on November 3. Nino Niederreiter had three assists to lead the Wild, while Eric Gelinas recorded a game-high four shots on goal for the Devils. Josh Harding made 19 saves in the shutout, while Cory Schneider (16 saves + ENG) took the loss in goal for New Jersey.
  • The Devils are hosting the Wild at Prudential Center for the first time since January 4, 2011 (L, 1-2).
  • The Devils lead the all-time series 7-4-2, including a 4-1-1 advantage in the previous six games played in New Jersey.
  • Patrik Elias is New Jersey’s all-time leading scorer vs. Minnesota with 4g-4a-8pts in 11 games. Dany Heatley leads the Wild’s active skaters with 11g-15a-26pts in 31 career games vs. the Devils.
  • Martin Brodeur is 7-2-2 with 1 ShO, a 2.49 goals-against average &  .917 save-percentage in 11 games vs. Minnesota, while Schneider is now 6-5-0 with a 2.21 GAA &  .917 save % in 12 appearances vs. the Wild.
  • Niklas Backstrom is 1-2-1 with a 4.11 GAA and .840 save % in four career games vs. the Devils, Harding is now 1-0-0 with 1 ShO, a 0.47 GAA and .983 save % in three appearances vs. New Jersey, while Ilya Bryzgalov is 5-5-1 with 2 ShO, a 2.07 GAA &  .919 save % in 12 games.

Milestone Watch

  • Steve Bernier needs nine points to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Damien Brunner needs seven games to reach 100 in his NHL career.
  • Ryane Clowe needs one point to reach 300 in his NHL career.
  • Patrik Elias needs nine goals to reach 400 in his NHL career.

Injuries

  • Ryan Carter (upper body, two games missed) is day-to-day.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 217

Recent Transactions

  • Mar. 18: Recalled forward Tim Sestito from Albany (AHL).
  • Mar. 5: Acquired forward Tuomo Ruutu from Carolina in exchange for forward Andrei Loktionov and a conditional third-round choice in the 2017 NHL Entry draft.
  • Feb. 24: Recalled defenseman Eric Gelinas from Albany (AHL).
  • Feb. 20: Recalled defenseman Jon Merrill from Albany.

Game Resources

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