Devils Pre-Game 2/28/15

New Jersey Devils (25-27-10) at Columbus Blue Jackets (26-30-4)

5:00 PM ET • Nationwide Arena • MSG Plus 2 • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will not have a morning skate. President/General Manager Lou Lamoriello will be available outside of the Devils’ locker room at approximately 2:50 PM. Select player availability to follow.

Coming Into Tonight

  • Tonight’s game is the Devils’ lone road contest during a 23-day stretch from February 15-March 9. New Jersey has lost each of its last three road games and is 10-18-2 away from Prudential Center overall. 
  • New Jersey is closing-out its 15th of 18 sets of back-to-back games tonight. The club is now 6-5-4 in first games and 5-6-3 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
  • The Devils will return to Prudential Center/open a three-game homestand on Tuesday vs. Nashville.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Columbus has dropped four straight games (0-3-1) following Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Montreal.
  • David Clarkson is expected to make his Blue Jackets’ debut tonight. He was acquired from Toronto on Thursday in exchange for Nathan Horton. Clarkson had 10g-5a-15pts in 58 games for the Maple Leafs this season.
  • Nick Foligno is Columbus’ leading scorer and has posted career-highs across the board with 23 goals, 32 assists (tie, 2011-12) and 55 points this season.
  • Brandon Dubinsky scored on Thursday and has 5g-3a-8pts over his last eight games. He was injured on the goal, however, and did not return to the game. 
  • Curtis McElhinney is 5-3-1 with a 2.32 goals-against average & .929 save-percentage in his last nine appearances. 

Last Game: February 27 – Devils 2 vs. Boston 3 (OT)

  • New Jersey finished its season-high six-game homestand with a record of 4-1-1. 
  • The Devils now have points in 15 of their last 18 games at The Rock (11-3-4) and are 15-9-8 at home overall.
  • The Devils went 0-2-1 vs. Boston this season and are now 3-11-3 vs. the Bruins since the start of the 2010-11 season.
  • Boston outshot New Jersey, 34-31.
  • Cory Schneider (31 saves) made his league-leading (tie, Braden Holtby) 53rd start in goal and fell to 22-23-6 on the season. Despite the loss, Schneider is 10-5-2 with one shutout, a 1.79 goals-against average & .941 save-percentage in 19 appearances in 2015.
  • Jordin Tootoo tied the game with his sixth goal of the year and extended his point streak to a career-high five straight games (2g-3a-5pts).
  • Travis Zajac scored his first goal since January 19 at San Jose (14 games). It was his fourth power play tally of the season/ninth overall. 
  • Mike Cammalleri collected an assist on Tootoo’s goal and has tied the team season-high with points in five straight games (5g-2a-7pts). Cammalleri also had points in five straight from October 9-18 (5g-2a-7pts).
  • Adam Larsson also picked up an assist and, with 2g-16a-18pts on the season, has matched his career-high (2g-16a-18pts, 2011-12). Larsson has posted 1g-13a-14pts in 22 games since January 3; he had 2g-11a-13pts in his previous 85 appearances dating back to the start of 2012-13.
  • Adam Henrique registered the primary assist on Zajac’s tally and has 1g-3a-4pts over the last six contests. He’s tied (Cammalleri, 23g-9a-32pts) for the team-lead with 12g-20a-32pts on the year.
  • Jacob Josefson also assisted on Zajac’s marker for his first point since February 7 at Montreal (g).
  • Jon Merrill appeared in his 100th NHL game.
  • Mark Fraser returned to the lineup for the first time since ? and played in the 200th game of his NHL career.

Devils vs. Blue Jackets

  • Tonight’s game is the second of four games between the Metropolitan Division rivals and the first of two to be played at Nationwide Arena. 
  • New Jersey leads the season series 1-0-0 following a 3-2 win on November 1 at Prudential Center. The Blue Jackets outshot the Devils, 34-29.
  • Marek Zidlicky posted 1g-1a-2pts in the first meeting to lead the Devils, while Nick Foligno (1g-1a) and Brian Gibbons (2a) each had 2pts for the Blue Jackets. 
  • Cory Schneider (32 saves) earned the win in goal for New Jersey; Anton Forsberg (26 saves) took the loss for Columbus.
  • Zidlicky leads New Jersey in career scoring with 8g-30a-38pts in 47 games vs. Columbus.
  • Adam Henrique scored a goal in the first meeting and now has 4g-1a-5pts in six career games vs. the Blue Jackets.
  • Schneider is now 8-2-1, with a 2.04 goals-against average & .930 save-percentage in 11 appearances, while Scott Clemmensen is 0-1-1 with a 2.90 GAA & .910 save % in two career games vs. the Blue Jackets.
  • The Devils lead the all-time series vs. the Blue Jackets 10-4-3 and are 4-4-1 in the previous nine games played in Columbus.
  • The remainder of the series is as follows: March 6 at NJ; March 31 at Columbus.

Columbus Connections

  • Coach Mike Foligno’s son, Nick, plays for the Blue Jackets. Mike served as Nick’s Head Coach in Sudbury (OHL) for three seasons from 2004-07.
  • Andy Greene played collegiate hockey at the University of Miami of Ohio from 2002-06.
  • Peter Harrold was born in Kirtland Hills, OH.
  • Columbus forward David Clarkson played six-plus seasons with New Jersey from 2006-13.
  • Scott Gomez and Brandon Dubinsky both hail from Anchorage, AK and were teammates with the New York Rangers for two seasons from 2007-09.
  • Albany Devils’ captain Rod Pelley played four seasons at Ohio State University from 2002-06.

Notes

  • GOMEZ PASSES HOLIK, CLOSING IN ON MacLEAN: Scott Gomez scored his fifth goal of the season on February 23 vs. Arizona and, with 121g-352a-473pts in his Devils career, has passed Bobby Holik (202g-270a-472pts) for sole-possession of fifth-place on the team’s all-time scoring list. Scott Niedermayer (112g-364a-476pts) is fourth. Gomez is also just two assists behind John MacLean (354a) for third-place in Devils’ history. He posted the 338th assist of his Devils’ career on December 15 at the NY Islanders to pass Scott Stevens (337a) for fourth-place. On December 8 at Carolina, he recorded 2a to tie/surpass Kirk Muller (335a) on New Jersey’s all-time list.
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.10 goals-against average (2nd, Henrik Lundqvist, 2.18) and a .927 save-percentage (2nd, Tuukka Rask, .925) among goaltenders that have played in at least 100 games since the start of 2010-11.
  • LARSSON GETTING OFFENSIVE: Adam Larsson has posted 1g-13a-14pts in 22 games since January 3; he had 2g-11a-13pts in his previous 85 appearances dating back to the start of 2012-13. He posted a career-high 3a/pts Feb. 20 vs. Vancouver and, with 2g-16a-18pts on the season, has matched his career-high (2g-16a-18pts, 2011-12).
  • WINNING TOUCH: Mike Cammalleri scored his eighth game-winning goal of the season on February 20 vs. Vancouver,  which ties his career-high (also, 2013-14) & leads the NHL (tie, Matt Beleskey, Alex Ovechkin & Max Pacioretty) this season. Cammalleri has 13 GWG over his last 65 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
  • ZAJAC APPEARS IN 600TH GAME: On February 17 vs. Buffalo, Travis Zajac became the 14th player (eighth forward) to play in 600 games with Devils. Zajac made his NHL debut on October 6, 2006 in the season-opener at Carolina and played in a franchise record 401 consecutive games from October 26, 2006-April 10, 2011.
  • PATRIK PLAYS IN 1,200TH GAME: Patrik Elias appeared in his 1,200th career game on February 13 at Chicago, becoming the 103rd player in NHL history to do so. Dainius Zubrus was the last NHL player to reach the milestone on December 31 at Detroit. Elias made his NHL debut on December 7, 1995 vs. Toronto and has spent his entire career with New Jersey; he ranks 16th all-time (tie, Larry Robinson, Montreal) in games played for one NHL franchise.
  • ELIAS REACHES THREE NHL MILESTONES: Patrik Elias scored the 400th goal of his career on February 6 vs. Toronto, becoming the 91st player in NHL history to reach the milestone. He posted 1g-2a-3pts Jan. 6 vs. Buffalo, including his 600th assist/1,000th point. Elias was the 80th player 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
  • IRON MAN: Andy Greene has played in 209 straight games dating back to March 6, 2012 and is just the sixth player (Aaron Broten did so twice) in team history to appear in 200-or-more 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).
  • 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)
  • 1995 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: The Devils will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their 1995 Stanley Cup Championship on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, 2015, when more than 20 players and coaches reunite during two days of festivities at Prudential Center. The weekend will get underway at AmeriHealth Pavilion on Saturday with an alumni charity game featuring the stars of the 1995 Stanley Cup Championship. Members of the franchise’s first Stanley Cup team will then be honored on Sunday in a special ceremony prior to the Devils’ game against the Philadelphia Flyers at 5:00 PM.

Milestone Watch

  • Steve Bernier needs two goals to reach 100 in his NHL career.
  • Martin Havlat needs seven points to reach 600 in his NHL career.
  • Tuomo Ruutu needs five assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Cory Schneider needs four games played to reach 200 in his NHL career.

Injuries

  • Keith Kinkaid (lower body, three games missed) is day-to-day.
  • Damon Severson (I.R., left ankle, 30 games missed) has resumed skating.
  • Bryce Salvador (I.R., lower body, 47 games missed) is out.
  • Ryane Clowe (I.R., hit to head, 49 games missed) is out for the remainder of the season.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 264.

Recent Transactions

  • February 26 – Acquired Florida’s second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and New Jersey’s option of Florida or Minnesota’s (acquired by Florida, February 25, 2015) third-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for right wing Jaromir Jagr.
  • February 23 – Scott Clemmensen was recalled from Albany (AHL).
  • February 17 – Stephen Gionta was activated from Injured Reserve.
  • January 28 – Tuomo Ruutu was activated from I.R.

Game Resources

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