Devils Pre-Game 2/7/15

New Jersey Devils (21-22-9) at Montreal Canadiens (32-15-3)

7:00 PM ET • Bell Centre • MSG Plus • News Radio 880 WCBS

Pre-Game Availability

  • The Devills will have an 11:30 AM morning skate at Bell Centre.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey is playing its first game on the road since January 19 at San Jose. The Devils concluded a five-game homestand last night vs. Toronto (4-0-1).
  • Tonight’s contest closes-out the club’s 12th of 18 sets of back-to-back games. The team is 5-4-3 in first games and 4-4-3 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
  • The Devils have points in six straight games (5-0-1), their longest stretch since March 23-April 5, 2014 (seven games, 4-0-3).

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Montreal has dropped two in a row following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Buffalo, but is 6-3-1 over its last ten games.
  • Max Pacioretty is eighth (tie, John Tavares & Corey Perry) in the NHL with 23 goals & has scored nine over the last 13 games.
  • Alex Galchenyuk is second on the club with 15g-19a-34pts this season, including 5g-1a-6pts over his last seven appearances.
  • Carey Price leads the NHL in save-percentage (.932), is second in goals-against average (2.06) and wins (27, tie, Jaroslav Halak)  & is fifth (tie, four others) with four shutouts. 
  • Price had a five-game personal winning streak snapped on Tuesday. He posted a 0.98 GAA & .968 save % during that stretch and recorded back-to-back shutouts on January 29 at Madison Square Garden & January 31 vs. Washington.

Last Game: February 6 – Devils 4 vs. Toronto 1

  • The Devils won the season series vs. the Maple Leafs, 3-0-0; it was the team’s first season sweep of Toronto since 2007-08 (4-0-0).
  • New Jersey now has points in a season-high six straight games (5-0-1), in ten of their last 12 games (8-2-2) and is 7-1-2 over its last ten at Prudential Center.
  • The team’s five-game point-streak is its longest since a seven-game stretch from March 23-April 5, 2014 (4-0-3).
  • Toronto outshot New Jersey, 34-17, tonight.
  • Cory Schneider (33 saves) made his NHL-leading 45th start and improved to 19-19-5 on the season. He’s now 7-1-1 in his last nine decisions & has a 1.70 goals-against average & .944 save-percentage in ten appearances in 2015.
  • Patrik Elias (GWG) scored the 400th goal of his career, becoming the 91st player in NHL history to reach the milestone. The goal was his seventh of 2014-15 & first since January 6 vs. Buffalo (nine games).
  • Steve Bernier recorded his ninth goal of the season & has 6g-1a-7pts over his last eight appearances. 
  • Tuomo Ruutu scored his sixth goal of the season/first since November 22 at Calgary to snap a 27-game drought.
  • Jaromir Jagr scored an empty-netter, his 11th goal of the season, and has points in a season-high three straight games (2g-1a-3pts). It was the 716th goal of his career and now trails Phil Esposito (717g) by one for fifth-place in NHL history.
  • Adam Larsson collected 2a to record his second career multiple-point game (December 16, 2011 vs. Dallas, 2a) and has totaled 1g-7a-8pts over his last 12 games.
  • Travis Zajac and Jon Merrill assisted on Elias’s 400th, ending a four-game point-less streak for both.
  • Scott Gomez picked up an assist and, with 120g-348a-468pts in his Devils’ career, is now just four points behind Bobby Holik (202g-270a-472pts) for fifth in team history.
  • Mark Fraser picked up the primary assist on Ruutu’s goal, his second assist/point of the season.
  • Jordin Tootoo also assisted on Ruutu’s tally, his first assist of the season/since December 21, 2013 at Toronto.

Devils vs. Canadiens

  • Tonight’s game is the second of three meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals this season and only contest to be played at Bell Centre.
  • Montreal leads the season series 1-0-0 following a 4-2 win at Prudential Center on January 2. The Canadiens outshot the Devils, 26-24, that night.
  • Mike Cammalleri and Michael Ryder scored for New Jersey in the first meeting.
  • Michal Bournival scored two goals for Montreal and P.K. Subban recorded 3a. 
  • Keith Kinkaid (22 saves + ENG) made the start in goal for the Devils, while Carey Price (22 saves) earned the win for the Habs.
  • Patrik Elias is the Devils’ all-time leader with 25g-25a-50pts in 61 career games vs. the Habs.
  • Ryder now has 3g-2a-5pts in four games vs. Montreal as a Devil. 
  • Cory Schneider (27 saves + 0/2 SO) took the loss in his only career start vs. Montreal on December 4, 2013.
  • The Devils are 9-1-1 at Bell Centre since 2008-09, are 27-24-5 in Montreal overall & lead the all-time series vs. the Canadiens 61-41-10.
  • The final game of the season series will be played April 3 at The Rock.

Montreal Connections

  • Mike Cammalleri played three seasons with Montreal from 2009-12.
  • Scott Gomez also skated for the Habs from 2009-12.
  • Michael Ryder was Montreal’s ninth choice (eighth round), and the 216th overall selection of the 1998 Entry Draft. He played the first four seasons of his NHL career, 2003-08, with the Canadiens. He was later re-acquired in a trade with Dallas on Feb. 26, ’13 and played in 27 regular season & five playoff games in his second stint with the Habs.
  • Dainius Zubrus played for parts of three seasons with Montreal from 1999-01.
  • Steve Bernier was born in Quebec City and played four seasons with Moncton of the QMJHL from 2001-05.
  • Eric Gelinas played four seasons in the QMJHL with Lewiston, Chicoutimi and St. John from 2007-11.
  • Special Assignment Coach Jacques Lemaire played his entire Hall-of-Fame career with Montreal and won eight Stanley Cup Championships with the Habs. He also served as the team’s Head Coach for one-plus season from 1984-85.
  • Special Assignment Coach Jacques Laperriere also played his entire Hall-of-Fame career with the Canadiens and was a member of six Stanley Cup Championship teams.

Notes

  • ELIAS REACHES THREE NHL MILESTONES: Patrik Elias scored the 400th goal of his career last night vs. Toronto, becoming the 91st player in NHL history to reach the milestone. He posted 1g-2a-3pts January 6 vs. Buffalo, including the 600th assist & 1,000th point of his NHL career. He became the 80th player in NHL history to record 600a and the 82nd to compile 1,000pts. Of the 81 previous players to reach 1000pts, only one matched Elias in also hitting a century milestone in either goals or assists in the same game in which he scored his 1,000th point. That was Boston’s Jean Ratelle, whose 1,000th career point was also his 600th assist (April 3, 1977 vs. Toronto). Ratelle had scored his 400th goal the day before. credit Elias Sports Bureau
  • JAGR CLIMBING UP THE CHARTS: Jaromir Jagr has career totals of 716g-1,067a-1,783pts in 1,521 NHL games. He scored his 11th goal of the season last night vs. Toronto and now trails Phil Esposito (717g) by one goal for fifth-place 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. He now has 1,067a and trails Adam Oates (1,079a) by 12 for sixth all-time. 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 appeared in his 1,515th game January 8 at Boston and passed Yzerman for 14th all-time. Brendan Shanahan (1,524) is 13th. 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 127th GWG January 3 & 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.
  • WINNING TOUCH: Mike Cammalleri leads the NHL (tie, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Ovechkin & Matt Beleskey) with seven game-winning goals and has 12 in his last 55 appearances dating back to March 12, 2014. He scored the game-winning goal in four consecutive non-shootout victories from January 14-February 3, matching the longest single-season streak of its kind in franchise history. The only other player to do so was Colorado’s Denis Dupere in 1977-78. Montreal’s Lars Eller (October 25 – November 13) is the only other NHL player to do so this season. credit Elias Sports Bureau
  • IRON MAN: Andy Greene has played in 199 straight games dating back to March 6, 2012 and tonight will become just the sixth player (Aaron Broten did so twice) in team history to appear in 200 consecutive games. The stretch is the second-longest ever by a Devils’ defenseman; he passed Scott Stevens (196 games, November 23, 1993-October 5, 1996) on January 31 vs. Florida. Ken Daneyko (388 games, November 4, 1989-March 29, 1994) holds the record for d’men, while Travis Zajac (401 games, October 26, 2006-April 10, 2011) is first overall.
  • AN ALL-STAR AGAIN: Patrik Elias recorded 2a and was +5 for Team Toews in its 17-12 win over Team Foligno at the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus on Sunday. Elias now has 1g-6a-7pts in four career All-Star Games (2000, 2002 & 2011).
  • HATS OFF TO JAROMIR: On January 3 vs. Philadelphia, Jaromir Jagr scored the 15th hat trick of his NHL career. At 42 years, 322 days, Jagr became the oldest player in NHL history to post a hat trick. Gordie Howe previously held the record, notching his final three-goal game at 41 years, 216 days on November 2, 1969. Jagr’s hat trick came 23 years, 11 months and one day after his first on February 2, 1991, which is the longest gap between a player’s first and final hat tricks. Howe previously held the record; his last three-goal game came 19 years, 264 days after his first one (on February 11, 1950). credit Elias Sports Bureau
  • GOMEZ CLOSING IN ON HOLIK: 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. Gomez ranks sixth in Devils’ history with 120g-348a-468pts; Bobby Holik (202g-270a-472pts) is fifth. He 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; John MacLean (354a) is fourth. He previously recorded 2a on December 8 at Carolina to tie/surpass Kirk Muller (335a) for fifth-place on New Jersey’s all-time list.
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.12 goals-against average (2nd, Henrik Lundqvist, 2.18) and a .926 save-percentage (tie, Tuukka Rask) 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.
  • 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.
  • QUICK STRIKE: Steve Bernier, Martin Havlat and Mike Cammalleri all scored in a span of 68 seconds in the second period of New Jersey’s 5-3 win at Los Angeles on January 14. It was the third-fastest three goals in Devils history: November 23, 1991, Kevin Todd, Peter Stastny and Douglas Brown, 0:42 of 2nd period,  5-5 tie at Philadelphia; and February 16, 1985, Tim Higgins, Uli Hiemer and Phil Russel, 0:42 of 2nd period, 6-3 win at Toronto. credit Elias Sports Bureau 
  • 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.
  • ZUBRUS PLAYS IN 1,200TH GAME: Dainius Zubrus appeared in his 1,200th game on December 31, 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 513 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).
  • 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)
  • CZECH IT OUT: Jaromir Jagr (716g-1,067a-1,783pts), Patrik Elias (400g-605a-1,005pts) are the two highest-scoring players from the Czech Republic in NHL history, while Martin Havlat (241g-351a-592pts) ranks third among active players and 14th all-time. Marek Zidlicky is fourth among all Czech defensemen with 82g-306a-388pts and 27th overall.

Milestone Watch

  • Steve Bernier needs three goals to reach 100 in his NHL career.
  • Bernier needs six games played to reach 200 with New Jersey.
  • Patrik Elias needs three games to reach 1,200 in his NHL career.
  • Mark Fraser needs three games played to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Eric Gelinas needs five games played to reach 100 in his NHL career.
  • Martin Havlat needs eight points to reach 600 in his NHL career.
  • Tuomo Ruutu needs six assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Travis Zajac needs five games to reach 600 in his NHL career.

Injuries

  • Stephen Gionta (I.R., broken hand, 14 games missed) is out.
  • Damon Severson (I.R., left ankle, 20 games missed) is out.
  • Bryce Salvador (I.R., lower body, 37 games missed) is out.
  • Ryane Clowe (I.R., hit to head, 39 games missed) is out.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 230.

Recent Transactions

  • January 28 – Tuomo Ruutu was activated from Injured Reserve.
  • January 27 – Tim Sestito cleared waivers/was assigned to Albany (AHL).
  • January 20 – Joe Whitney was assigned to Alb.
  • January 14 – Eric Gelinas was activated from Injured Reserve; Tuomo Ruutu was placed on I.R. Forward Joseph Blandisi (Barrie, OHL) was signed to an entry-level contract.

Game Resources

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