New Jersey Devils (10-12-4) vs. Washington Capitals (11-10-4)
7:00 PM ET • Prudential Center • MSG Plus • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN
New Jersey will have an 10:30 AM morning skate at AmeriHealth Pavilion.
New Jersey is 3-4-1 vs. the Metropolitan Division this season. Tonight’s game is the club’s tenth on home-ice (3-3-3), which is the fewest in the NHL.
The Devils were 2/3 on the power play on Thursday at Toronto, the sixth time this season they’ve scored two-or-more PPGs, and are 4/15 (26.7%) over the last four games.
New Jersey was 1/2 on the penalty kill on Thursday and is 36/39 (92.3%) over the past 11 games.
Washington defeated Carolina, 2-1, on Thursday at PNC Arena. The Capitals are 4-5-1 over their last ten games and, with 26 points overall, are tied (New York Rangers) for third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Nicklas Backstrom leads the Capitals with 5g-20a-25pts this season. His 20a is tied (Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay) for fifth in the NHL. Backstrom had a six-game point-scoring streak (1g-8a-9pts) snapped on Thursday.
Alex Ovechkin is the club’s leading goal-scorer with 12 on the year.
Braden Holtby is 4-4-1 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .922 save-percentage over his last nine appearances (eight starts) since November 14.
Last Game: December 4 – Devils 5 at Toronto 3
New Jersey snapped a five-game winless streak (0-3-2) and finished 1-2-0 on its three-game road trip.
The Devils scored five goals for the first time since October 11 at Florida.
Toronto out shot New Jersey, 32-26.
Cory Schneider (29 saves) made his NHL-leading 25th start and improved to 10-11-3 on the season.
Steve Bernier registered 1g-1a-2pts, including the game-winning goal, for his first multi-point effort since March 30, 2013 at Florida. The GWG was his first since November 30, 2013 vs. Buffalo. He’s now just three points shy of 200 (90g-107a-197pts) in his NHL career.
Mike Cammalleri scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season/fifth on the power play. He now has 90 PPG since 2005-06, which ranks ninth among active players/11th overall.
Eric Gelinas recorded his third goal of the season/first on the power play. He added an assist to record his third multiple-point game of the season. Nineteen (6g-13a) of Gelinas’ 38 career points have come with the man-advantage.
Michael Ryder, who was a healthy scratch on Tuesday at Pittsburgh, posted his third multiple-point game of the season with 2a tonight.
Adam Henrique scored his seventh goal of the season and now has 3g-3a-6pts over his last six appearances.
Stephen Gionta netted his first goal of the season/since March 4 vs. Detroit (41 games).
Jon Merrill posted two assists for his second career multiple-point game (March 23 vs. Toronto, 1g-1a-2pts). He was activated from I.R. earlier in the day and returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with an arm injury.
Marek Zidlicky also notched 2a, the second of which was the 300th helper of his NHL career. It was Zidlicky’s fourth multiple-point game of the season. He leads all Devils’ defensemen and is fourth overall with 3g-11a-14pts this season.
Dainius Zubrus collected his first assist of the season/since March 4 & first point since October 28 at Pittsburgh (16 games).
Damien Brunner assisted on Gelinas’ goal and now has 1g-2a-3pts over his last four appearances.
Mike Sislo, who was recalled from Albany (AHL) earlier in the day, was in the lineup for the first time since November 7.
Jaromir Jagr (flu) missed his first game since joining the Devils. He had played in 107 consecutive games dating back to last season’s opener on October 3 at Pittsburgh.
Devils vs. Capitals
Tonight’s contest is the third of five meetings between the Metropolitan Division rivals and the first of two at Prudential Center. The season series is tied 1-1-0 following New Jersey’s 1-0 win at Verizon Center on November 14.
Damon Severson has 2g in two games to lead the Devils, while Troy Brouwer, Mike Green, Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik each have 2a to lead the Caps.
Cory Schneider (1-1-0, 1 ShO, 2.91 goals-against average & .911 save-percentage) has made both starts in goal for New Jersey but was relieved by Scott Clemmensen (16:35, 1 GA, 7 SA) in the first meeting on October 16.
Braden Holtby (1-1-0, 1.52 GAA & .946 save %) has started both games for Washington.
Patrik Elias is the Devils’ career leader with 21g-35a-56pts in 61 games vs. the Capitals.
Schneider is now 3-2-0 with 1 ShO, 1.70 GAA & .941 save % in four career games vs. Washington.
The Devils are 13-8-0 vs. the Capitals since the start of the 2009-10 season & are 44-32-4 in the previous 80 games played in New Jersey but trail the all-time series 77-80-8.
The remainder of the series is as follows: December 20 at NJ; March 26 at Washington
Jaromir Jagr played two-plus seasons with the Capitals from 2001-2004 before being traded to the New York Rangers on January 23, 2004.
Dainius Zubrus spent five seasons with Washington from 2001-2007 and was traded to Buffalo on February 27, 2007.
The Devils traded Washington’s second-round choice in the 2012 Entry Draft (acquired along with David Steckel for Jason Arnott, February 28, 2011) and three players to Minnesota in the trade that brought Marek Zidlicky to NJ.
Adam Larsson scored his first NHL goal vs. Washington on November 11, 2011 (vs. T. Vokoun).
Seth Helgeson and Caps’ defenseman Nate Schmidt were teammates at the University of Minnesota for three seasons from 2010-2013.
Capitals’ defenseman John Carlson played for the New Jersey Rockets (ATJHL) for two seasons from 2005-07.
Washington’s Assistant Coach Todd Reirden was New Jersey’s 14th choice (12th round) and the 242nd overall pick in the 1990 Entry Draft.
BACK ON TRACK: Cory Schneider is 4-5-1 with two shutouts, a 1.91 goals-against average and .936 save-percentage over his last ten starts from November 11-December 2, seven of which have come on the road.
WELCOME BACK GOMER: Scott Gomez, who signed a new contract with New Jersey on December 1, made his season debut a day later at Pittsburgh and became the 25th player in Devils’ history to be re-acquired and see action with the team. Prior to December 2, Gomez last played for the Devils on May 5, 2007 in game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Ottawa; his last regular season appearance was April 8, 2007 vs. the New York Islanders. Gomez ranks sixth in Devils’ history with 334a/450pts. He posted a career-high 33g-51a-84pts in 2005-06, which is the seventh-highest single-season total in team history and led the NHL with 56a in 2003-04. In addition, Gomez has recorded 21g-44a-65pts in 97 career playoff contests with New Jersey, which ranks third.
POWER PLAY SPECIALIST: Mike Cammalleri scored his team-leading fifth power play goal on Thursday at Toronto. He now has 90 PPG since 2005-06, which ranks ninth among active players/11th overall.
ELIAS APPROACHING MILESTONES: Patrik Elias recorded 1a on November 22 at Calgary and now has career totals of 395g-599a-994pts in 1,180 games. He’s looking to become just the 91st player in league history to reach the 400-goal mark, the 80th to collect 600 assists, the 81st to compile 1,000 points and the 101st to appear in 1,200 games.
JAGR CLIMBING UP THE CHARTS: Jaromir Jagr recorded three shots on goal on December 2 at Pittsburgh and, with 5,160 in his NHL career, has passed Al MacInnis (5,157) for third-place in NHL history. Marcel Dionne (5,366) is second.Jagr scored the 709th goal of his career on November 28 to move past Mike Gartner for sole-possession of sixth place all-time; he had tied Gartner November 10 at Boston. Jagr also recorded 1a on November 28 and now has 709g-1,061a-1,770pts in his career. He now trails Marcel Dionne (731g-1,040a-1,771pts) by one point for fifth place in NHL history. He passed Steve Yzerman (692g-1,063a-1,755pts) for sole-possession of sixth-place with 2a on October 9 at Philadelphia. Jagr trails Phil Esposito (717g) by eight goals for fifth place all-time. His 1,061a places him just two helpers behind Yzerman for seventh in NHL history. Jagr has appeared in 1,498 games and trails Mike Modano (1,499 GP) by one for 15th-place all-time. He passed Phil Housley (1,495) for 16th on November 28. With 202 power play goals, Jagr has tied Yzerman for 15th-place; Wayne Gretzky is next on the list with 204 PPG. He extended his NHL records with the 19 OT/125th GWG of his career on October 25 at Ottawa.
SEVERSON ON RECORD PACE: Damon Severson leads New Jersey with 65 shots on goal this season. He’s currently on pace for 205 shots; the Devils’ single-season record by a defenseman is 215 (Scott Stevens, 1993-94). Bruce Driver holds the team-record for shots on goal by a rookie d’man (143, 1984-85), while Scott Gomez is tops among all first-year players in Devils’ history (204, 1999-00).
500 CLUB: Andy Greene skated in his 500th game with New Jersey on November 28 vs. Detroit, becoming the eighth defenseman/25th player in team history to reach the milestone. Dainius Zubrus appeared in his 500th game with the Devils on November 21 at Edmonton, becoming the 24th player in franchise history to do so.
WINNING TOUCH: Mike Cammalleri leads the Devils with three game-winning goals (November 14 at Washington, November 11 vs. Minnesota & October 14 at TB) and has eight in his last 35 appearances dating back to March 12.
SCHNEIDER ESTABLISHES NEW FRANCHISE RECORD: Cory Schneider started 20 consecutive games from Oct.9-Nov. 21 at Edmonton, the longest streak to begin a season in Devils’ history (Martin Brodeur, 19, Oct. 6-Nov. 2, ’01). (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
CORY’S NUMBER ONE:Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.13 goals-against average (2nd, Jonathan Quick, 2.14) and a .926 save-percentage (2nd, Tuukka Rask, .925) among goaltenders that have played in at least 100 games since the start of 2010-11. Schneider finished his first season in New Jersey with a 1.97 GAA, which ranked third in the NHL and first among goaltenders who appeared in at least 35 games. Schneider posted the third-best single-season GAA in franchise history behind Martin Brodeur’s 1996-97 (1.88 GAA) and 1997-98 (1.89 GAA) campaigns.
CZECH IT OUT: Jaromir Jagr (709g-1,061a-1,770pts), Patrik Elias (395g-599a-994pts) are the two highest-scoring players from the Czech Republic in NHL history, while Martin Havlat (238g-347a-585pts) ranks third among active players and 15th all-time. Marek Zidlicky is fifth among all Czech defensemen with 81g-300a-381pts and 27th overall.
SHOOTOUT LOSING STREAK SNAPPED: On October 30 vs. Winnipeg, New Jersey won in the shootout for the first time since March 10, 2013 vs. Winnipeg. The Devils had lost an NHL-record 18 consecutive shootouts from March 15, 2013 at Philadelphia-October 24, 2014 vs. Dallas.
QUITE AN INTRODUCTION: Mike Cammalleri scored a goal in his first three games (4g) with New Jersey, becoming just the second player in Devils’ history to do so. Doug Gilmour scored in each of his first four games with New Jersey from February 26-March 4, 1997 (4g). Cammalleri recorded a point in each of his first five games (5g-2a-7pts) with New Jersey and joined Neal Broten (7 games, March 2-14, 1995, 3g-6a-9pts) and Bobby Holik (5 games, October 6-14, 1992, 5g-2a-7pts) as the only players to begin their Devils’ career with a point-scoring streak of five-or-more games. In the season-opener October 9 at Philadelphia, Cammalleri became just the sixth player to score 2g in his first game as a Devil, joining: Gary McAdam (11/2/83), Sylvain Turgeon (3g, 10/5/89), Claude Lemieux (10/4/90), Stephane Richer (10/5/91) and Mike Rupp (1/13/03). (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
MULTI-TALENTED: With 1g-1a-2pts on October 25 at Ottawa, Damon Severson recorded multiple points for the third time in his first eight NHL games, becoming the first defenseman in franchise history to do so. Tapio Levo set the previous mark with three multi-pt. games in his first 11 contests for the Colorado Rockies in 1981-82. (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
SEVERSON SCORES TWICE:Damon Seversonscored 2g on October 16 at Washington, becoming just the second rookie defenseman in Devils’ history to do so. He joined Uli Hiemer, who recorded a hat trick on October 31, 1984 vs. Pittsburgh. At 20 years, 70 days-old, Severson is the youngest Devil with multi-goal game sinceScott Gomezscored three on December 26, 1999 at the New York Rangers (20y 3d).
YOUTH MOVEMENT ON THE BLUE LINE: The Devils’ roster features five defensemen who are 24-years-old or younger: Seth Helgeson (24), Eric Gelinas (23 years), Jon Merrill (22), Adam Larsson (22) and Damon Severson (20).
RAFALSKI, VAIRO INDUCTED INTO U.S. HOCKEY HALL OF FAME: The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on Thursday in Minneapolis, MN. This year’s class included former Devils’ defenseman Brian Rafalski and Assistant Coach Lou Vairo. Rafalski spent eight seasons with New Jersey and was a member of its 2000 and 2003 Stanley Cup Championship teams. Vairo served the organization during the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.
Steve Bernier needs three points for 200 in his NHL career.
Patrik Elias needs five goals to reach 400, oneassist to reach 600 and six points to reach 1,000 in his NHL career.
Jaromir Jagr needs two games played to reach 1,500 in his NHL career.
Tuomo Ruutu needs eight assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
Dainius Zubrus needs five games played to reach 1,200 in his NHL career.
Jaromir Jagr (flu, one game missed) is day-to-day.
Adam Larsson (flu, one game missed) is day-to-day.
Martin Havlat (lower body, two games missed) is day-to-day.
Travis Zajac (I.R., lower body, three games missed) is day-to-day.
Bryce Salvador (I.R., lower body, 11 games missed) is day-to-day.
Ryane Clowe (I.R., hit to head, 13 games missed) is day-to-day.
Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 76.
December 6 – Damien Brunner cleared waivers; he was placed on waivers yesterday.
December 4 – Martin Havlat was placed on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Nov. 29. Peter Harrold was assigned to Albany (AHL) & Mike Sislo was recalled.
December 1 – Travis Zajac was placed on I.R., retroactive to November 28. Scott Gomez was signed to a new contract.
November 17 – Bryce Salvador was placed on I.R., retroactive to Nov. 10. Keith Kinkaid was assigned to Albany. Scott Clemmensen and Peter Harrold were recalled from Albany.
November 11: Martin Havlat was activated from I.R.; he was placed I.R. on October 27, retroactive to October 21. Ryane Clowe was placed on I.R., retroactive to November 6, and Seth Helgeson was recalled from Albany (AHL).