Devils Pre-Game 12/31/14

New Jersey Devils (13-18-7) at Detroit Red Wings (19-9-9)

7:30 PM ET • Joe Louis Arena • MSG Plus/Plus 2  • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will have a 11:30 AM morning skate at Joe Louis Arena.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey is 31-31-17=79pts (.500) in 2014 entering the final game of the calendar year tonight; the club was 36-35-18=90pts (.506) in 2013.
  • The Devils are playing their NHL-leading 23rd game on the road tonight (8-12-2). Beginning Friday vs. Montreal, four of their next five games will be played at Prudential Center.
  • New Jersey was 3/3 on the penalty-kill on Monday vs. Pittsburgh and is 32/35 (91.4%) over the past 11 games.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Detroit lost, 5-2, at Boston on Monday and is 2-3-4 over its last nine contests.
  • Henrik Zetterberg has 3g-3a-6pts over the last five games and leads the Red Wings with 8g-24a-32pts oveall this season.
  • Pavel Datsyuk carries a four-game scoring streak (1g-3a-4pts) into tonight and is second on the club with 13g-14a-27pts in 26 games overall.
  • Jimmy Howard made a season-high 40 saves on Monday at Boston. He’s 14-6-7, with two shutouts, a 2.12 goals-against average and a .921 save-percentage in 28 games overall. Petr Mrazek is 4-2-1 with a 2.35 GAA and .917 save % in seven appearances.

Last Game: December 29 – Devils 3 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 1

  • The Devils snapped a three-game (0-2-1) winless streak.
  • New Jersey improved to 5-8-3 vs. the Metropolitan Division, to 5-6-5 at Prudential Center and to 13-18-7 overall.
  • The Devils have won five straight and are 14-3-0 vs. the Penguins at The Rock since 2008-09.
  • It was also the team’s 100th win vs. the Pens all-time.
  • Cory Schneider (27 saves) made his NHL leading 34th start in goal and improved to 12-17-4. The win was the first vs. Pittsburgh in his career (1-4-0).
  • Jaromir Jagr scored his sixth goal of the season (GWG) & the 711th of his career, moving him within six of Phil Esposito (717) for fifth-place in NHL history. It was his 126th game-winner, which extends his NHL record.
  • Travis Zajac posted 1g-1a-2pts for his second multiple-point game of the season (November 10 at Boston). His goal came on the power play, his third with the man-advantage and fifth overall, and snapped an eight-game goal-less drought (last goal, November 22 at Calgary). 
  • Adam Henrique scored his tenth goal of the season and remains tied with Jagr for the team-scoring lead with 21pts this season.
  • Dainius Zubrus recorded the primary assist on Zajac’s goal, his third helper in his last five games played.
  • Marek Zidlicky also assisted on Zajac’s tally for his first point since December 15 at the New York Islanders. He leads the team with 3g-7a-10pts on the power play this season.
  • Jon Merrill assisted on Jagr’s marker for his first point since December 13 at Dallas (six games).
  • Jordin Tootoo received two fighting majors (both vs. Robert Bortuzzo) and registered a team-season high 10 PIM. He leads the club with 45 PIM overall.
  • Joe Whitney, who was recalled from Albany (AHL) earlier in the day, played in the second game of his NHL career (January 24, 2014 vs. Washington).

Devils vs. Red Wings

  • Tonight’s game is the third/final game between the Eastern Conference rivals this season and the second contest to be played at Joe Louis Arena. 
  • Detroit leads the series 2-0-0 following a 5-4 shootout win on Nov. 28 at Prudential Center. The Red Wings have outscored the Devils, 9-6, and hold a 63-42 advantage in shots on goal through the first two games overall.
  • Five players have 2pts each, including Mike Cammalleri with 2g, to lead the Devils through two games, while Niklas Kronwall has totaled 1g-3a-4pts to lead the Wings.
  • Cory Schneider (0-1-1, 4.58 goals-against average & .857 save-percentage) has started both games for New Jersey but was relieved by Keith Kinkaid (ND, 16:50, 0 GA/7 SA) at the start of the third period in the first meeting on Nov. 7.
  • Jimmy Howard (1-0-0, 2.00 GAA & .882 save %) and Petr Mrazek (1-0-0, 3.69 GAA & .840 save %) have each made a start for Detroit.
  • Cammalleri now has 11g-16a-27pts in 25 games all-time vs. the Red Wings.
  • Schneider is now 1-4-1, with a 3.50 GAA & a .887 save % in seven career appearances vs. Detroit.
  • The Devils are 26-26-9 vs. the Wings all-time and are 11-18-2 in the previous 31 games played in Detroit.

Detroit Connections

  • Jordin Tootoo played 53 games for Detroit over the previous two seasons 2012-14.
  • Andy Greene hails from Trenton, MI. Jon Merrill was born in Oklahoma City, OK but grew up in Brighton, MI.
  • Merrill and Mike Cammalleri both attended the University of Michigan. Merrill and Detroit’s Luke Glendening were teammates at UM for two seasons 2010-12.
  • Red Wings’ forward Drew Miller was born in Dover, NJ.

Notes

  • DEVILS RESTRUCTURE COACHING STAFF: On December 27, New Jersey restructured its coaching staff by adding Scott Stevens and Adam Oates. They join Tommy Albelin, Mike Foligno and Chris Terreri on the team’s staff. Peter DeBoer and Dave Barr were relieved of their coaching duties.
  • ZUBRUS APPROACHING 1,200 GAMES: Dainius Zubrus is expected to appear in his 1,200th game tonight, becoming just the 102nd player in NHL history to do so. He made his NHL debut as the youngest player in Flyers’ franchise history (18 years, 3 months & 19 days) on October 5, 1996 vs. Florida and scored a goal that night vs. former Devil John Vanbiesbrouck. Zubrus has played 510 games with the Devils entering tonight, the most among the five NHL teams he’s skated for, followed by Washington (331), Philadelphia (200), Montreal (139) and Buffalo (19).
  • ONE-THOUSAND GAMES FOR GOMEZ: Scott Gomez appeared in the 1,000th game of his career on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, becoming the 296th player in NHL history to do so.
  • JAGR CLIMBING UP THE CHARTS: Jaromir Jagr has career totals of 711g-1,065a-1,776pts in 1,510 NHL games. Jagr scored the 711th goal of his career on December 29 vs. Pittsburgh and now trails Phil Esposito (717g) by six 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. On December 15 at the NY 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. 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 his 126th GWG December 29 & the 19 OT goal 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.
  • 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 2.13 goals-against average (2nd, Jonathan Quick, 2.16) and a .925 save-percentage (2nd, Tuukka Rask, .924) 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 (711g-1,065a-1,776pts), 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-303a-385pts and 27th overall.
  • 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 Friday in Montreal, Que. and Toronto, Ont. Forward Miles Wood, New Jersey’s third choice (fourth round) in the 2013 Entry Draft, is skating for Team USA for the first time; he’s recorded 2 PIM and is a +1 through three games thus far. The U.S. improved to 2-1-0-0 in the preliminary round with a 3-0 win over Slovakia on Monday. They’ll return to action today vs. Canada at Bell Centre.

Milestone Watch

  • Mike Cammalleri needs five 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. 
  • Tuomo Ruutu needs six assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Michael Ryder needs seven games to reach 800 in his NHL career.
  • Dainius Zubrus is expected to appear in his 1,200th NHL game tonight.

Injuries

  • Stephen Gionta (I.R., broken hand) is out.
  • Michael Ryder (I.R., mumps, two games missed) is out.
  • Patrik Elias (I.R., mumps, three games missed) is out.
  • Martin Havlat (I.R., virus, three games missed) traveled with the team.
  • Jacob Josefson (ill, one game missed) is out.
  • Damon Severson (I.R., left ankle, six games missed) is out.
  • Bryce Salvador (I.R., lower body, 23 games missed) is out.
  • Ryane Clowe (I.R., hit to head, 25 games missed) is out.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 150.

Recent Transactions

  • December 30 – Stephen Gionta was placed on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Dec. 29. Jacob Josefson was placed on I.R., retroactive to Dec. 27. Mike Sislo was recalled from Albany (AHL).
  • December 29 – Michael Ryder was placed on I.R. Stefan Matteau and Joe Whitney were recalled from Alb.
  • December 27 – Patrik Elias and Martin Havlat were placed on I.R., retroactive to December 20. Dainius Zubrus was activated from I.R. Tim Sestito was recalled from Alb.
  • 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.  

Game Resources

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