Devils Pre-Game 12/27/14

New Jersey Devils (12-17-7) at New York Rangers (18-10-4)

7:00 PM ET • Madison Square Garden • MSG Plus 2 • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey had a 10:30 AM morning skate at AmeriHealth Pavilion.

Coming Into Tonight

  • The Devils are playing their NHL-leading 22nd game on the road tonight (8-11-2). Beginning Monday vs. Pittsburgh, five of New Jersey’s next seven games will be played at Prudential Center.
  • Tonight’s contest is the second of four straight games vs. the Metropolitan Division. The Devils are 4-7-3 within the division this season, including 3-5-1 on the road
  • New Jersey was 2/2 on the penalty-kill on Tuesday vs. Carolina and is 27/29 (93.1%) over the past nine games.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • New York has won seven in-a-row following Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over Washington at Madison Square Garden.
  • Rick Nash recorded a hat trick on Tuesday and leads the Rangers/is second in the NHL with 23 goals overall this season.
  • Henrik Lundqvist enters tonight’s game on a personal six-game winning streak. He has one shutout, a 1.63 goals-against average & a .938 save-percentage over that span. Lundqvist is expected to appear in the 600th game of his NHL career tonight.

Last Game: December 23 – Devils 1 vs. Carolina 2 (SO)

  • The Devils concluded their four-game homestand (1-2-1). 
  • New Jersey fell to 2-6 in the shootout, to 4-6-5 at Prudential Center and to 12-17-7 overall. 
  • The Hurricanes outshot the Devils 33-19 & have a 73-35 edge over the first two games of the season series.
  • Cory Schneider (32 saves + 2/3 SO) made his NHL leading 32nd start in goal and fell to 11-16-4.
  • Stephen Gionta scored his third goal of the season/in the last 11 games.
  • Steve Bernier and Tuomo Ruutu were credited with the assists. 
  • Scott Gomez, who was celebrating his 35th birthday, appeared in the 999th game of his career. He’s looking to become the 296th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000 games-played milestone.
  • Adam Larsson returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 2 at Pittsburgh (mumps).
  • Mike Cammalleri also returned to the lineup after missing the previous four games (lower body).

Devils vs. Rangers

  • Tonight’s contest is the second of four meetings between the Metropolitan Division rivals this season and the first of two to be played at Madison Square Garden. 
  • New York leads the season series 1-0-0 following a 4-3 overtime victory at Prudential Center on October 21. The Devils outshot the Rangers, 31-25.
  • Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr (1g-1a) each had 1g-1a-2pts to lead New Jersey; Chris Kreider (1g-1a), Chris Mueller (1g-1a) and Ryan McDonagh (2a) each recorded 2pts for New York.
  • Cory Schneider (31 saves) made the start in goal for the Devils, while Henrik Lundqvist (28 saves) earned the win for the Rangers.
  • Patrik Elias is the Devils’ career leader with 22g-50a-72pts in 82 games vs. the Rangers.
  • Schneider is now 1-1-1 with one shutout, a 1.78 goals-against average & .931 save-percentage in four career games vs. New York.
  • The Devils were 2-0-0 at MSG last season, are 31-44-20 in the previous 95 games played in New York and lead the all-time series 86-79-27.
  • The remainder of the series is as follows: April 7 at NJ; April 4 at New York Rangers.

New York Rangers Connections

  • Marek Zidlicky was New York’s sixth choice (176th overall) in the 2001 Entry Draft.
  • Ryane Clowe (2012-13), Scott Gomez (2007-09) and Jaromir Jagr (2004-08) each had stints with the Rangers.
  • Jon Merrill and Carl Hagelin were teammates at the University of Michigan in 2010-11.
  • Rangers Asst. GM Jim Schoenfeld was New Jersey’s Coach for parts of three seasons from January 26, 1988-November 6 1989.

Notes

  • ONE-THOUSAND GAMES FOR GOMEZ: Scott Gomez is expected to appear in the 1,000th game of his career tonight, becoming the 296th player in NHL history to do so. Of those 1,000 games, 561 will have been played with the Devils and 158 with the Rangers.
  • JAGR CLIMBING UP THE CHARTS: Jaromir Jagr has career totals of 710g-1,065a-1,775pts in 1,508 NHL games. On December 15 at the New York Islanders, he posted the 1,064/65th assists of his career to pass Steve Yzerman (1,063a) for sole possession of seventh-place in NHL history. Adam Oates (1,079a) ranks sixth. He recorded 1g-1a-2pts on December 8 at Carolina to tie/surpass Marcel Dionne (731g-1,040a-1,771pts) for sole-possession of fifth-place on the NHL’s point-scoring list. Ron Francis (549g-1,249a-1,798pts) is fourth. Jagr scored the 710th goal of his career on December 8 and now trails Phil Esposito (717g) by seven for fifth in NHL history. He scored his 709th goal on November 28 vs. Detroit to move past Mike Gartner for sole-possession of sixth place all-time. He also appeared in his 1,500th career game on December 8 to pass Mike Modano for sole-possession of 15th-place all-time; Yzerman (1,514) is 14th. 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. Jagr recorded three shots on goal on December 2 at Pittsburgh to pass passed Al MacInnis (5,157) for third-place in NHL history.
  • WELCOME BACK GOMER: Scott Gomez, who signed a new contract with New Jersey on December 1, made his season debut on December 2 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 ECSF vs. Ottawa. Gomez posted the 338th assist of his Devils’ career on December 15 at the New York Islanders to pass Scott Stevens (337a) for sole-possession fourth-place in team history. He recorded 2a on December 8 at Carolina to tie/surpass Kirk Muller (335a) for fifth-place on New Jersey’s all-time list. Gomez ranks sixth in Devils’ history with 457pts; Bobby Holik (202g-270a-472pts) is fifth.
  • ELIAS APPROACHING MILESTONES: Patrik Elias scored his fourth goal of the season on December 19 vs. Tampa Bay and now has career totals of 397g-599a-996pts in 1,184 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 82nd to compile 1,000 points and the 101st to appear in 1,200 games.
  • THAT’S A FIRST: Keith Kinkaid (26 saves + 3/3 SO) earned the first win of his NHL career on December 19 vs. Tampa Bay. He became the first goaltender to win his first NHL game as a Devil since Scott Clemmensen (January 20, 2004 at Pittsburgh). Kinkaid also became the first goaltender in NHL history to have each of his first three starts go to the shootout.
  • POWER PLAY SPECIALIST: Mike Cammalleri scored his team-leading fifth power play goal on December 6 at Toronto. He now has 90 PPG since 2005-06, which ranks ninth among active players/11th overall.
  • 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 37 appearances dating back to March 12.
  • SCHNEIDER ESTABLISHES NEW FRANCHISE RECORD: Cory Schneider started 20 consecutive games from October 9-November 21 at Edmonton, the longest streak to begin a season in Devils’ history (Martin Brodeur, 19, October 6-November 2, 2001). (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.15 goals-against average (2nd, Jonathan Quick, 2.16) and a .925 save-percentage (tie, 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 (710g-1,065a-1,775pts), Patrik Elias (397g-599a-996pts) are the two highest-scoring players from the Czech Republic in NHL history, while Martin Havlat (239g-348a-587pts) ranks third among active players and 15th all-time. Marek Zidlicky is fifth among all Czech defensemen with 82g-302a-384pts and 27th overall.
  • 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)
  • 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).
  • WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2015 World Junior Championships began yesterday in Montreal, Que. and Toronto, Ont. Forward Miles Wood, New Jersey’s third choice (fourth round) in the 2013 Entry Draft, will be skating for Team USA for the first time. The U.S. opened the tournament yesterday with a preliminary round game vs. Finland at Bell Centre. They’ll return to action tomorrow vs. Germany.

Milestone Watch

  • Mike Cammalleri needs seven games played for 700 in his NHL career.
  • Patrik Elias needs three goals to reach 400, one assist to reach 600 and four points to reach 1,000 in his NHL career. 
  • Scott Gomez is expected to appear in his 1,000th NHL game tonight.
  • Tuomo Ruutu needs eight assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Michael Ryder needs seven games to reach 800 in his NHL career.
  • Dainius Zubrus needs three games played to reach 1,200 in his NHL career.

Injuries

  • Patrik Elias (mumps, one game missed) is out tonight. 
  • Martin Havlat (ill, one game missed) is out tonight.
  • Jacob Josefson (groin, three games missed) is expected to play tonight.
  • Damon Severson (I.R., left ankle, four games missed) it out 4-5 weeks.
  • Dainius Zubrus (I.R., leg lacerations, eight games missed) is expected to play tonight.
  • Bryce Salvador (I.R., lower body, 21 games missed) is out tonight.
  • Ryane Clowe (I.R., hit to head, 23 games missed) is out tonight.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 137.

Recent Transactions

  • December 27 – Tim Sestito was recalled from Albany (AHL).
  • December 24 – Tim Sestito was assigned to Alb.
  • December 23 – Mike Cammalleri was activated from Injured Reserve.
  • December 22 – Tim Sestito was recalled from Alb.
  • December 21 – Tim Sestito and Mike Sislo were assigned to Alb.
  • December 20 – Mike Cammalleri was placed on I.R., retroactive to December 13. Adam Larsson and Mike Sislo were recalled from Alb.
  • December 18 – Dainius Zubrus was placed on I.R., retroactive to December 8. Damon Severson was also placed on I.R. Adam Larsson was assigned to Alb. for conditioning; Tim Sestito was recalled. Mark Fraser was signed to a two-way contract and placed on waivers.  
  • December 17 – Patrik Elias was activated from I.R.
  • December 16 – Tim Sestito was assigned to Albany (AHL).
  • December 15 – Travis Zajac was activated from I.R. Mike Sislo was assigned to Alb.; Tim Sestito was recalled.
  • December 12 – Damien Brunner cleared unconditional waivers; contract was terminated.

Game Resources

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