Devils Pre-Game 4/4/15

New Jersey Devils (32-33-13) at New York Rangers (49-21-7)

7:00 PM ET • Madison Square Garden • MSG Plus 2 • 970 AM

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 5:00 PM. Select player availability to follow.

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey snapped its season-high six-game winless streak (0-4-2) with a 3-2 SO victory last night vs. Montreal.
  • Tonight’s contest closes-out the team’s 18th/final set of back-to-back games. The Devils are 8-6-4 in first games and 6-8-3 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
  • New Jersey is 10-11-7 vs. the Metropolitan Division this season, and are 4-7-3 in divisional games on the road.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • New York clinched the Metropolitan Division with a 3-2 win at Minnesota on Thursday.
  • The Rangers have won 19 of their last 26 contests (19-5-2), including 15 of the last 21 games (15-5-1).
  • Rick Nash leads the Rangers/is second in the NHL with a career-high (tie, 2003-04) 41 goals this season. He’s reached the 40g mark for the third time in his career & for the first time since 2008-09.
  • Chris Kreider has 4g-3a-7pts over the last seven games. He leads the team with seven power play goals and is second with five game-winners (Nash, 8).
  • Keith Yandle has posted 1g-6a-7pts and a +5 mark in 16 games with New York since being acquired from Arizona on March 1. Yandle ranks second in the NHL with 26 power play assists behind Nicklas Backstrom (29 PPA). He leads all defensemen & is eighth overall with 28 power play points.
  • Henrik Lundqvist is 2-1-0 with a 2.67 goals-against average & .913 save-percentage in three starts since returning from injury.

Last Game: April 3 – Devils 3 vs. Montreal 2 (SO)

  • The Devils finished the season series vs. the Canadiens 1-2-0. 
  • New Jersey is now 13-7-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, including 8-2-2 at home.
  • The team’s penalty-kill unit was 5/6, which included successfully killing a 5:00 major and 0:33 of five-on-three.
  • The Canadiens out shot the Devils, 33-18 overall & 16-4 over the third period + overtime.
  • Keith Kinkaid (31 saves + 1/1 SO) made the start in goal and improved to 6-5-3 on the season. He’s 5-2-0 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .926 save-percentage in eight appearances since January 31.
  • Jacob Josefson scored his third game-determining goal of the season and improved to 5/8 (62.5%) in the shootout overall.
  • Patrik Elias also scored in the shootout and is 3/5 (60.0%) on the season.
  • Stefan Matteau scored his first goal of the season/the second of his NHL career (also, February 9, 2013 vs. Pittsburgh).
  • Reid Boucher also scored his first goal of the season. It was the third goal of his NHL career/first since January 16, 2014 at Colorado (nine games).
  • Adam Larsson notched the primary assist on Matteau’s goal and now has points in back-to-back games.
  • Andy Greene also assisted on Matteau’s tally, his second in the last three games.
  • Jon Merrill collected the primary assist on Boucher’s marker, his first assist/point since February 23 vs. Arizona (17 games).
  • Steve Bernier posted 1a and now has 13g-15a-28pts in 63 games in 2014-15; he totaled 11g-16a-27pts in 125 games over the previous two seasons combined.

Devils vs. Rangers

  • Tonight’s contest is the third of four meetings between the Metropolitan Division rivals this season and the second of two to be played at Madison Square Garden.
  • New York leads the season series 2-0-0 following a 3-1 win at MSG on December 27.
  • The Rangers have outscored the Devils 7-4 overall and hold a 53=51 advantage in total shots on goal.
  • Adam Henrique (1g-1a), Jaromir Jagr (1g-1a) and Damien Brunner (2a) each have 2pts to lead New Jersey through the first two games; Derek Stepan (3g) and Martin St. Louis (3a) have each recorded 3pts for New York. C
  • Cory Schneider (0-1-1, 2.94 goals-against average & .885 save-percentage) has started both games for the Devils, while Henrik Lundqvist (2-0-0, 1.96 GAA & .922 save %) has been in goal for the Rangers.
  • Patrik Elias is the Devils’ career leader with 22g-50a-72pts in 82 games vs. the Rangers.
  • Mike Cammalleri has posted 7g-9a-16pts in 15 appearances vs. New York.
  • Schneider is now 1-2-1 with one shutout, a 1.83 GAA & .930 save % in five career games vs. the Rangers.
  • The Devils are 31-45-20 in the previous 96 games played in New York but lead the all-time series 86-80-27.
  • The teams will meet again on Tuesday at Prudential Center.

New York Connections

  • Ryane Clowe appeared in 12 regular season games and two playoff contests for the Rangers in 2012-13.
  • Scott Gomez played two seasons for New York from 2007-09. He totaled 32g-96a-118pts in 158 regular season games and added 6g-10a-16pts in 17 playoff contests with the Rangers.
  • Stefan Matteau is the son of former Ranger Stephane Matteau.
  • Jon Merrill and Carl Hagelin were teammates at the University of Michigan in 2010-11.
  • Rangers Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld was New Jersey’s Coach for parts of three seasons from January 26, 1988-November 6 1989.

Notes

  • GOMEZ APPEARS IN 600TH GAME AS A DEVIL: Scott Gomez appeared in his 600th game with New Jersey on March 29 vs. Anaheim, becoming the 15th player (ninth forward) to do so. He joined Travis Zajac (February 17 vs. Buffalo) as the second player to reach the milestone this season. Gomez, who also played in his 1,000th career game on December 27 at the New York Rangers, made his NHL debut on October 2, 1999 at Atlanta.
  • 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 (1,771, tie, Braden Holtby), is second in shots against (1,910), is third in games played (66, tie, Tuukka Rask) and games started (65, tie, Kari Lehtonen), ranks fourth in save-percentage (.927), goals-against average (2.20) and minutes (3,793) & is seventh with five shutouts this season (tie, seven others).
  • ROCK SOLID: Cory Schneider is 14-12-6 with two shutouts, a 1.83 goals-against average & .934 save-percentage in 33 games at Prudential Center this season. Schneider is 26-16-10 with five shutouts, a 1.71 GAA & .935 save % in 54 career games played at The Rock.
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.10 goals-against average (2nd, Jonathan Quick, 2.18) and a .928 save-percentage (2nd, Tuukka Rask, .926) among goaltenders that have played in at least 100 games since the start of 2010-11.
  • LARSSON GETTING OFFENSIVE: Adam Larsson has posted 2g-18a-20pts in 38 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-21a-24pts 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 79 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
  • 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 225 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.
  • 1,200 CLUB: Dainius Zubrus and Patrik Elias each appeared in their 1,200th NHL game this season. Zubrus became the 102nd NHL player to reach the milestone on Dec. 31 at Detroit. Elias joined him on February 13 at Chicago. Zubrus has played 550 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). Elias has spent his entire career with New Jersey; he ranks 17th all-time in games played for one NHL franchise.
  • 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.
  • 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 two power play goals to reach 100 in his NHL career.
  • Martin Havlat needs seven points to reach 600 in his NHL career.
  • Tuomo Ruutu needs two games played to reach 700 in his NHL career.
  • Ruutu needs four assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
  • Cory Schneider needs three wins to reach 100 in his NHL career.

Injuries

  • Stephen Gionta (lower body, one game missed) is day-to-day.
  • Bryce Salvador (I.R., lower body, 63 games missed) is out.
  • Ryane Clowe (I.R., hit to head, 65 games missed) is out for the remainder of the season.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 304.

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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