Devils Pre-Game 3/28/15

New Jersey Devils (31-31-12) at Carolina Hurricanes (39-24-10)

7:00 PM ET • PNC Arena • MSG Plus • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

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

Coming Into Tonight

  • The Devils are 10-5-3 over their last 18 contests following Thursday’s 3-2 OT loss at Washington.
  • New Jersey has points in a season-high four straight road games (2-0-2) and is 3-1-2 over its last six matches away from Prudential Center.
  • Tonight’s contest opens the team’s 17th of 18 sets of back-to-back games. New Jersey is 7-5-4 in first games and 6-7-3 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
  • The Devils are 10-10-6 vs. the Metropolitan Division this season, including 4-6-2 on the road. 

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Carolina snapped a four-game winless streak (0-2-2) with a 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday.
  • Eric Staal posted 1g-2a-3pts vs. Pittsburgh on Thursday and leads the Hurricanes with 20g-27a-47pts overall this season.
  • Jeff Skinner has 10g-2a-12pts in 17 career games vs. New Jersey.
  • Justin Faulk ranks tenth (tie, Keith Yandle) among NHL defensemen with 14g-32a-46pts this season.
  • Ryan Murphy scored a goal on Thursday and now has 2g-2a-4pts in eight appearances since being activated from Injured Reserve on March 6. 
  • Cam Ward made 27 saves and earned the win on Thursday in his first start since March 14 vs. Florida.
  • Anton Khudobin started the previous five games March 15-23 and was 1-2-2 with a 2.33 goals-against average & .909 save-percentage during that span.

Last Game: March 26 – Devils 2 at Washington 3 (OT)

  • New Jersey lost the season series vs. Washington, 1-3-1.
  • The Devils outshot the Capitals, 31-24.
  • Cory Schneider (21 saves) made the start in goal.
  • Travis Zajac scored his second shorthanded goal of the season (also, January 6 vs. Buffalo) and the fifth of his NHL career. It was Zajac’s 11th goal overall and his first since February 28 vs. Columbus (10 games). Zajac also recorded a season-high five shots on goal. 
  • Steve Bernier scored with 30 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. The goal was Bernier’s 13th of the season and third in the last four games. 
  • Scott Gomez collected the primary assist on Bernier’s goal. He now has points in back-to-back games (1g-1a-2pts) and 2g-2a-4pts over the last four. 
  • Mike Cammalleri also assisted on Bernier’s tally, giving him 1g-2a-3pts over his last four appearances. 
  • Patrik Elias and Adam Larsson each picked up their second SHA of the season on Zajac’s goal.

Devils vs. Hurricanes

  • Tonight’s contest is the fourth/final meeting between the Metropolitan Division rivals this season and the second game to be played at PNC Arena.
  • New Jersey is 2-0-1 vs. Carolina this season following a 3-1 win at Prudential Center on February 21.
  • The Devils have outscored the Hurricanes 6-4 overall, but Carolina holds a 105-54 advantage in total shots on goal.
  • Scott Gomez leads New Jersey with 0g-3a-3pts through the first three games; Ron Hainsey has totaled 1g-1a-2pts to lead Carolina.
  • Cory Schneider (1-0-1, 1.19 goals-against average & .966 save-percentage) & Keith Kinkaid (1-0-0, 0.00 GAA & 1.000 save %) have shared the goaltending duties for the Devils, while Anton Khudobin (1-1-0, 2.00 GAA & .895 save %) and Cam Ward (0-1-0, 2.07 GAA & .875 save %) have each seen action for the Canes.
  • Gomez now has 4g-36a-40pts in 48 career appearances vs. Carolina. 
  • Patrik Elias is the Devils’ all-time leader with 21g-34a-55pts in 55 games vs. the Hurricanes/Whalers.
  • Schneider is now 4-1-1 with a 1.70 goals-against average & .947 save-percentage in seven career games vs. Carolina.
  • The Devils are 15-6-1 vs. the Hurricanes since the start of the 2009-10 season, are 27-22-8 in the previous 57 games played in Carolina/Hartford and lead the all-time series 63-42-11.

Carolina Connections

  • Tuomo Ruutu was acquired from Carolina for Andrei Loktionov and a conditional third-round choice in the 2017 Entry Draft on March 5, 2014.
  • Cory Schneider and Nathan Gerbe were teammates at Boston College for two seasons from 2005-07.
  • Carolina’s Pro Scouting Director Marshall Johnston formerly served the Devils as an Assistant Coach for one-plus season from 1982-83. He was named New Jersey’s Director of Player Personnel in November, 1983 and held that position for ten years.

Notes

  • SCHNEIDER TIES HEDBERG: On March 17 vs. Pittsburgh, Cory Schneider tied his career-high (also, 2012-13) with his fifth shutout of the season. Schneider is the only Devils’ goaltender other than Martin Brodeur to post five-or-more shutouts in a single-season. With eight shutouts in his Devils’ career, he’s tied Johan Hedberg for second in franchise history (1st, Brodeur, 124). 
  • TOOTOO NOMINATED FOR MASTERTON: Jordin Tootoo was nominated by the New Jersey chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association for the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Tootoo was signed by the Devils on October 7 after attending training camp on a tryout basis.  He has played in 57 games with New Jersey this season after spending most of 2013-14 with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Tootoo has scored nine goals, the second-highest total of his NHL career (11, 2007-08) and leads the Devils with 70 PIM. In addition, he recorded points in a career-high five straight games from February 20-27 (2g-3a-5pts). Tootoo is looking to join Ken Daneyko (2000) and become the second Devil to win the Masterton Trophy.
  • GOMEZ PASSES MacLEAN, NIEDERMAYER: Scott Gomez has 7g-24a-31pts this season & 123g-358a-481pts in his Devils’ career. He scored his sixth goal of 2014-15 on March 10 at Minnesota to surpass Scott Niedermayer (112g-364a-476pts) for sole-possession of fourth-place on the team’s all-time scoring list. On March 8 vs. Philadelphia, Gomez recorded 2a, his 354th/355th with New Jersey, to tie/surpass John MacLean for third-place in Devils’ history. He posted 1a March 26 at Washington and is now just 6a behind Niedermayer for second-place. Gomez scored his fifth goal of the season on February 23 vs. Arizona to pass Bobby Holik (202g-270a-472pts) for sole-possession of fifth-place on the team’s all-time scoring list. 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.
  • SCHNEIDER AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS: Cory Schneider leads the league in saves (1,720) and shots against (1,854) & is third (tie, Cam Talbot) among all NHL goaltenders in save-percentage (.928), games-played (64), games started (63) and minutes (3,674). Additionally, he ranks seventh with a 2.19 goals-against average & is tied for seventh (with seven others) with five shutouts this season.
  • ROCK SOLID: Cory Schneider is 14-11-6 with two shutouts, a 1.83 goals-against average & .935 save-percentage in 32 games at Prudential Center this season. Schneider is 26-15-10 with four shutouts, a 1.71 GAA & .935 save % in 53 career games played at The Rock.
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.09 goals-against average (2nd, Jonathan Quick, 2.17) and a .928 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 2g-16a-18pts in 34 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 February 20 vs. Vancouver and, with 3g-19a-22pts on the season, has established new career-highs across the board (previously, 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) & is third the NHL (tie, Rick Nash & Matt Beleskey) this season. Cammalleri has 13 GWG over his last 75 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 17th all-time 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 221 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 546 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)

Milestone Watch

  • Mike Cammalleri needs three power play goals to reach 100 in his NHL career.
  • Scott Gomez needs two games played to reach 600 with New Jersey.
  • Martin Havlat needs seven points to reach 600 in his NHL career.
  • Tuomo Ruutu needs four assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Cory Schneider needs three wins to reach 100 in his NHL career.
  • Jordin Tootoo is expected to appear in his 600th NHL game tonight.

Injuries

  • Bryce Salvador (I.R., lower body, 59 games missed) is out.
  • Ryane Clowe (I.R., hit to head, 61 games missed) is out for the remainder of the season.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 295.

Recent Transactions

  • March 21 – Reid Boucher and Stefan Matteau were recalled from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions.
  • March 3 – Damon Severson was activated from Injured Reserve.
  • March 2 – Acquired a conditional third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft from Detroit for Marek Zidlicky.
  • March 1 – Scott Clemmensen was assigned to Albany (AHL).
  • 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.

Game Resources

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