Florida Panthers (27-40-8) at New Jersey Devils (31-28-15)
7:30 PM ET • Prudential Center • NBC Sports Network, Sports Radio 66 & 101.9 FM WFAN
New Jersey will have an 10:30 AM morning skate at Prudential Center.
The Devils are 7-6-2=15pts in 15 games since the returning from the Olympic break following Saturday’s 2-1 shootout loss at the New York Islanders.
New Jersey is 10-3-3=23pts in its last 16 games at Prudential Center, including Thursday’s 3-2 SO loss to Phoenix. Five of the team’s remaining eight games will be played at The Rock.
Tonight’s contest opens the club’s 20th of 22 sets of back-to-back games. New Jersey is 7-9-3 in first games and 9-6-4 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
On Saturday, New Jersey fell to 0-10 in the shootout this season and extended its NHL record losing streak to 14, dating back to March 15, 2013 at Philadelphia. The Devils were 0/2 Saturday and are 1/30 in overall shootout attempts this season.
The Devils have scored three-or-more goals in eight of their last 15 games. The Devils’ power play unit has converted 6/27 (22.2%) attempts over the last nine home games and is ninth in the NHL overall (44/221, 19.9%).
New Jersey’s top-ranked penalty-kill (205/236, 86.9%) was 2/2 Saturday and is 27/30 (90.0%) over the last nine games.
The Devils are allowing just 25.5 shots per-game, which is the fewest in the NHL.
New Jersey’s 8.1 PIM per game are the fewest in the league.
Head Coach Peter DeBoer won his 98th game as coach of the Devils on March 23 vs. Toronto, passing Brent Sutter for third in franchise history. DeBoer now trails Doug Carpenter by just two wins for second place. Jacques Lemaire is first with 276 victories.
Martin Brodeur is expected to make the start in goal tonight. He made 25 saves (+ 1/2 SO) but took the shootout loss in his last start vs. Phoenix on Thursday.
Adam Henrique scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season on Sunday. He has points in three straight games (2g-1a-3pts) and is tied for 18th in the NHL with 11g-5a-16pts since returning from the Olympic Break on February 25; his 12g rank third in that span (tie).
Patrik Elias assisted Henrique’s goal on Saturday, has points in three straight (1g-2a-3pts) and is ninth (tie) in the NHL with 6g-12a-18pts since play resumed following the Winter Olympic break.
Damien Brunner recorded the primary assist on Henrique’s goal and now has 1g-1a-2pts over the last three games.
Jaromir Jagr scored his 23rd goal of the season on March 20 vs. Minnesota. It was the 704th goal of his career goal, just four behind Mike Gartner (708g) for sixth-place in NHL history. He’s also 5a behind Gordie Howe (1,049a) for eighth and is 7pts behind Steve Yzerman (692g-1,063a-1,755pts) for sixth place all-time. Jagr has 6g-5a-11pts over the last 12 games.
Adam Larsson, who was recalled from Albany (AHL) this morning under emergency conditions, is looking to return to the lineup for the first time since November 23 at San Jose. He was activated from injured reserve/assigned to Albany January 9 after missing 21 games November 25-January 7 (lower body).
Stephen Gionta (lower body), Jon Merrill (cheek), Bryce Salvador (lower body) and Anton Volchenkov (lower body) are out tonight.
Devils vs. Panthers
Tonight’s game between the Devils and Panthers is the third/final meeting between the teams this season and the second to be played at Prudential Center.
Florida leads the series 1-0-1=3pts following a 5-3 win at BB&T Center on March 14. Patrik Elias (1g-1a) and Jaromir Jagr (1g-1a) are among five Devils with two points each, while four Panthers are tied with two points apiece. Cory Schneider (1-1-0, 2.42 goals-against average & .902 save-percentage) has started both games in goal for New Jersey, while Roberto Luongo made 28 saves and earned the victory on March 14.
The Devils lead the all-time series 48-24-10, including a 26-10-4 mark in the previous 40 games played in New Jersey.
Elias is New Jersey’s all-time leading scorer vs. Florida with 26g-24a-50pts in 55 games. Scott Gomez leads all Panthers’ active skaters in career scoring vs. the Devils with 4g-14a-18pts in 24 games.
Martin Brodeur is 39-16-9 with 6 ShO, a 2.03 GAA & .915 save % in 64 games vs. Florida. Schneider is now 2-1-0 with a 2.61 GAA & .889 save % in three games vs. the Panthers.
Luongo is now 10-13-0, with 3 ShO, a 2.75 GAA & .917 save % in 23 games vs. the Devils, while Dan Ellis is 1-2-0 with a 3.24 GAA & .875 save % in four games vs. New Jersey.
Steve Bernier needs nine points to reach 200 in his NHL career.
Damien Brunner needs four games to reach 100 in his NHL career.
Ryane Clowe needs eight assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
Patrik Elias needs eight goals to reach 400 in his NHL career.
Stephen Gionta (lower body) is out tonight.
Jon Merrill (cheek) is out tonight.
Bryce Salvador (lower body, two games missed) is out tonight.
Tim Sestito (upper body, four games missed) is day-to-day.
Anton Volchenkov (lower body, three games missed) is out tonight.
Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 227
Mar. 31: Recalled defenseman Adam Larsson from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions.
Mar. 18: Recalled forward Tim Sestito from Albany.
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.