Devils Pre-Game 12/15/15

New Jersey Devils (15-11-4) at Buffalo Sabres (13-15-3)

7:00 PM ET • First Niagara Center • MSG Plus 2 • Sports Radio 66 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN

Pre-Game Availability

  • New Jersey will have an 11:30 AM morning skate at First Niagara Center,

Coming Into Tonight

  • New Jersey has points in five of its last six (3-1-2=8pts) & eight of its last 11 games (5-3-3=13pts). 
  • The Devils have points in four of their last five on the road (3-1-1) and are 8-5-1 away from Prudential Center overall.
  • New Jersey is 5-0-2 vs. the Atlantic Division this season, including 3-0-1 on the road.

Last Game – December 14 – Devils 0 at NY Islanders 4

  • New Jersey was shut out for just the second time this season (also, Nov. 10 vs. St. Louis).
  • The Devils fell to 1-2-0 in their season series vs. the Islanders; they’re 0-3-2 in the last five road games of the series (last win, Mar. 1, 2014, 6-1). 
  • New Jersey is now 5-5-1 vs. the Metropolitan Division this season, including 3-3-0 on the road. 
  • The Islanders outshot the Devils, 30-27.
  • Eric Gelinas led the Devils/tied a season high (Nov. 22 at Vancouver) with four shots on goal. 
  • Adam Larsson recorded his first fighting major (vs. S. Bernier) at 4:54 of the second period and tied his season high 17 PIM overall (also, Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver).
  • Cory Schneider (L, 27:28, 3 GA/18 SA) was relieved by Keith Kinkaid (32:32, 1 GA/12 SA) for the first time this season/since Apr. 4 at the NY Rangers.

Tonight’s Opponent

  • Buffalo has won two in a row following last night’s 2-1 win at Detroit. The Sabres are 5-3-1 over their last nine games.
  • Tonight’s game closes-out Buffalo’s fifth set of back-to-back games. The Sabres are 2-3-0 in first games and  2-2-0 in second games when playing on consecutive  dates.
  • Buffalo is 5-2-0 vs. the Metropolitan Division this season.
  • The Sabres own the league’s fifth-ranked power play unit (22/97, 22.7%).
  • Ryan O’Reilly scored a goal last night to extend his point scoring streak to eight games (4g-7a-11pts). He also scored the OT game-winner on Saturday vs. Los Angeles; it was also the 100th goal of his NHL career. O’Reilly leads the Sabres with 11g-17a-28pts overall.
  • Johan Larsson scored the game-winning goal last night, his first of the season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen ranks second on the club/is fourth (tie) among all NHL defensemen with 7g-16a-23pts. He recorded his first career hat trick on Dec. 10 at Calgary. Ristolainen has 6g-12a-18pts over the last 18 games.
  • Jack Eichel has been held without a point in each of his last four appearances but is sixth (tie) among first-year players with 9g-5a-14pts this season. 
  • Sam Reinhart has posted 4g-2a-6pts over his last eight games, including his first career 2g game on Nov. 28 at Nashville. He ranks eighth among all rookies with 8g-5a-13pts overall.
  • Evander Kane recorded three straight 2pt. games from Nov. 28-Dec. 4 (4g-2a-6pts) and has 5g-3a-8pts over his last ten contests since Nov. 25.
  • Chad Johnson made a season-high 32 saves last night and is 4-2-0 with a 2.18 GAA & .924  save % over his last six starts. He’s 8-9-1 with a 2.46 GAA and .911 save % in 20 games overall.
  • Linus Ullmark made 20 saves and earned the OT win vs. the Kings on Saturday. He’s 5-6-2 with a 2.69 goals-against average & .911 save-percentage in 13 appearances this season.

Devils vs. Sabres

Last Game – Oct. 24 – Devils 4 at Buffalo 3

Adam Henrique (2g-1a) and Mike Cammalleri (1g-2a) each registered three point games. Henrique’s unassisted, shorthanded goal at 9:15 of the third period stood as the game-winner. David Schlemko also scored for the Devils. Cory Schneider (26 saves) earned the win in goal.


Record: 1-0-0 (1-0-0 on the road)

Goals/Against: 4-3 (4-3 on the road)

Shots For/Against: 28-29 (28-29 on the road)

Power Play/Penalty Kill: 0-2 (0.0%)/3-5 (60.0%)

Leading Scorers: NJ – Adam Henrique (2g-1a-3pts), Mike Cammalleri (1g-2a) three others with 1pt each; Buf. – Ryan O’Reilly (1g-2a-3pts), Tyler Ennis (1g-1a-2pts), three others with 1pt. each.

Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (1-0-0, 3.00 GAA, .897 save %); Buf. – Linus Ullmark (0-1-0, 4.14 GAA, .857 save %).


Record: 54-41-20 (25-21-12 on the road)

Goals For/Against: 342-333 (182-179 on the road)

Career Leading Scorers: NJ – Patrik Elias (12g-30a-42pts), Mike Cammalleri (8g-6a-14pts), Adam Henrique (4g-10a-14pts), Travis Zajac (5g-6a-11pts); Buf. – Matt Moulson (8g-5a-13pts), Evander Kane (9g-2a-11pts), David Legwand (5g-6a-11pts), Tyler Ennis (6g-5a-11pts).

Career Goaltending: NJ – Cory Schneider (4-2-2, 1 ShO, 1.71 GAA, .928 save %), Keith Kinkaid (1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .966 save %); Buf. – Chad Johnson (1-1-0, 2.50 GAA, .909 save %), Linus Ullmark (0-1-0, 4.15 GAA, .857 save %).

Notable: New Jersey has points in 13 of its last 14 games vs. Buffalo (9-1-4=22pts), is 4-1-3=11pts over the last eight on the road, and is 30-10-10=70pts vs. the Sabres since 2001-02…The Devils are 17-10-1 vs. Dan Bylsma’s teams all-time…New Jersey has played 12 shootouts all-time vs. Buffalo (5-7), more than any other team; the New York Rangers (10, 5-5) are second…Cory Schneider is 4-1-1 with one shutout, a 1.44 GAA & .935 save & in six games vs. Buffalo as a Devil.

Connections: Stephen Gionta’s brother, Brian, was New Jersey’s fourth choice (third round) and the 82nd overall selection of the 1998 Entry Draft. He played seven seasons with the Devils from 2001-09 and was a member of the 2003 Stanley Cup Championship team…Executive VP/General Manager Ray Shero and Buffalo’s Head Coach Dan Bylsma served in the same capacity and won a Stanley Cup Championship with Pittsburgh in 2008-09…John Hynes (2010-15) and Bylsma (2008-09) both served as Head Coach of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)…Hynes (1993-97) and Buffalo forward Jack Eichel (2014-15) both played collegiately at Boston University…Development Coach Eric Weinrich served six seasons with the Buffalo organization: Director of Player Development (2011-12), NHL Scout (2012-14) & Assistant Coach with AHL’s Portland Pirates (2008-11)…Sabres’ Assistant Coach Dave Barr served in the same role with the Devils for three-plus seasons and played in 103 games with New Jersey from 1991-93.

Devils in Detail

  • WORKING OVERTIME: Kyle Palmieri scored his second OT goal of the season (also, Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver) & the fourth of his NHL career on Dec. 11 vs. Detroit. It was his third career OT goal at Prudential Center, having also scored the OT game winner for Anaheim vs. the Devils on Dec. 20, 2013.
  • LEE-DING THE WAY: Lee Stempniak recorded the lone assist on Kyle Palmieri’s overtime goal vs. Detroit on Dec. 11 and has now factored into four of the Devils’ five OT-winning goals this season (1g-3a). Stempniak scored the OT game-winner on Oct. 18 at Madison Square Garden. He also assisted on Palmieri’s OT goal on Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver & Adam Larsson’s winner on Oct. 20 vs. Arizona. Stempniak recorded a team-season high five-game point-scoring streak (2g-3a-5pts) from Dec. 3-11. He’s tied for second on the club with 7g-16a-23pts overall, and needs just 5pts to match his total from all of last season (15g-13a-28pts in 71 games).
  • PALMIERI NEARS CAREER HIGH: Kyle Palmieri had points in a career-high (tie) four straight games (4g-1a-5pts) from Dec. 4-11 & has six goals over the past eight contests. He’s scored 13g in 30 games overall this season, and needs just 1g to tie his career-high (14g, 2014-15 & 2013-14). Palmieri is on pace for a career-best 35g-27a-62pts.
  • HEY JOE: Joseph Blandisi was recalled from Albany (AHL) on Dec. 10 and made his NHL debut the following night vs. Detroit. Blandisi ranked third on the A-Devils with 7g-9a-16pts in 18 games & led the club with 43 PIM at the time of his call-up. He has posted three multiple-point games, including a season-high 0g-4a-4pts on Oct. 31 vs. Utica. Blandisi made his AHL debut Oct. 10 at Binghamton. He appeared in three pre-season games for New Jersey and totaled 1g-1a-2pts (SHG), nine PIM & a +2 rating. Last season, Blandisi was named the OHL’s Overage Player of the Year. He led the league with 52g and was fourth with 112pts in 68 games with Barrie. Blandisi also led the OHL with 10 SHG, was 11th with 60a and ranked tenth with 126 PIM. He recorded 28 multi-point games, including two 5pt. contests: 4g-1a Feb. 22 at Sudbury & 1g-4a Oct. 4 vs. Ottawa. Blandisi added 6g-8a-14pts & 22 PIM in nine playoff games for the Colts. He was signed by the Devils as a free agent on January 14, 2015.
  • FEEL THE POWER: The Devils were 1/4 on the power play on Friday vs. Detroit and have scored at least one PPG in 19 of their 30 games this season. New Jersey’s PP unit is 13/51 on the road this season; their 25.5% success rate ranks second in the NHL. The Devils have converted 20.8% (22/106) of their opportunities overall, which ranks seventh in the league.
  • STAR STRUCK: Mike Cammalleri was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the period ending Dec. 6. Cammalleri led the NHL with 4g-3a-7pts in four games, including three straight multiple-point games. He was joined by Anaheim’s John Gibson (First Star) and Nashville’s Shea Weber (Second). Cammalleri is the first Devil to be honored as a Star of the Week since Adam Henrique was named Third Star for the period ending Mar. 9, 2014 (5g).
  • 30 FOR 13: Mike Cammalleri recorded 1g-1a-2pts on Dec. 6 vs. Florida and, with 11g-19a-30pts overall, has reached the 30pt. mark. By doing so in 27 games, Cammalleri is the fastest Devil to reach 30pts since Zach Parise in 2009-10 (24 games). He ranks eighth (tie) in the league in points, 16th (tie) in assists and is 11th (tie) with a +11 rating. Cammalleri has already surpassed his assist total from all of 2014-15 (15a in 68 games). On Dec. 6 vs. Florida, Cammalleri collected the 300th assist of his NHL career. He also scored the 100th power play goal of his NHL career on Friday vs. Philadelphia. Cammalleri has 96 PPG since his first full NHL season in 2005-06, which ranks 12th among all NHL skaters.
  • WINNING TOUCH: Adam Henrique’s game-winning goal on Dec. 6 vs. Florida was his fourth of the season, which ties his career-high (2013-14). He added 2a on Sunday for his second 3pt. game of the season and has 5g-4a-9pts over his last nine appearances, including three GWGs. He’s just 3g shy of his total from all of last season (16g in 75 games).
  • COUNT ON CORY: Cory Schneider has allowed two goals or less in 15 of his last 18 starts since Oct. 29. He’s 9-6-3 with one shutout, a 2.08 goals-against average & .928 save-percentage during that stretch. Schneider ranks sixth (tie) in the NHL in wins (13), 10th in GAA (2.17) and 12th (tie) in save % (.924).
  • WELCOME BACK, PATTY!: Patrik Elias returned to the lineup on Nov. 25 vs. Columbus after missing the first 20 games of the season due to a right knee injury. He has 1g-4a-5pts over the last nine games, including his first goal of the season on Nov. 28 at Montreal. Elias needs just 49 games to tie Ken Daneyko (1,283) for the most franchise history; he needs 25 appearances to tie Martin Brodeur (1,259) for second.
  • HENRIQUE-ING HAVOC: Adam Henrique scored his second shorthanded goal of the season on Nov. 8 vs. Vancouver. Henrique’s 11 SHG since 2011-12 are the second-most among all NHL players during that span (Brad Marchand, 13). He’s also tied Stephane Richer and Doug Brown for third in Devils’ history behind John Madden (17) and Patrik Elias (16).
  • ONE FOR THE BOOKS: On Oct. 22 at Ottawa, the Devils won (5-4 SO) after overcoming a two-goal deficit in the last six minutes of the third period for the first time in team history on the road & the fourth time overall (last time, Feb. 5, 2010, 4-3 vs. Toronto). (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
  • HYNES TIES RECORD: With a 5-4 SO win in Ottawa on Oct. 22, John Hynes became just the third coach in NHL history to record his first three wins in overtime or a shootout. He joined Charlie Querrie, who won three straight OT games with the Toronto St. Patricks in 1923, and Todd Richards, who won two OT & one SO as Minnesota’s Head Coach in 2009. (credit Elias Sports Bureau)
  • GREENE TIES DANO: Andy Greene recorded his 142nd career assist on Oct. 18 at the New York Rangers to tie Ken Daneyko for sixth among Devils’ defensemen all-time. Joe Cirella (147a) is fifth. With 33 career goals/175 career points, Greene is also just three goals/points behind Daneyko (36g/178pts) for sixth in team history.
  • SHERO’S DEVILS TAKE THE ICE: Ray Shero was named the fourth general manager in team history on May 4, 2015. Prior to joining the Devils, he spent eight seasons, 2006-07 through 2013-14, as executive vice president and general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. During that time, the team compiled a 373-193-56 (.645) mark, won the 2009 Stanley Cup Championship, two consecutive Eastern Conference titles in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and had three first-place divisional finishes. Shero received the General Manager of the Year Award in 2012-13, as voted on by the 30 NHL GMs, a panel of NHL executives, as well as print and broadcast media.
  • HYNES LEADS NEW COACHING STAFF: John Hynes was introduced as the 17th head coach in Devils’ history June 2, 2015. He joined the organization after spending the previous six seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), including the past five years, 2010-11 through 2014-15, as head coach. Hynes led the Penguins to a 231-126-10-17 (.637) mark during his tenure, including five straight 40-plus victory campaigns and five consecutive playoff berths, which included back-to-back AHL Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Geoff Ward and Alain Nasreddine will serve as his assistant coaches & Chris Terreri returns as goaltending coach. At, 40 years, 9 months-old, Hynes is the youngest head coach in the NHL. Upon making his debut Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg, he also became the third-youngest coach in Devils’ history behind Jim Schoenfeld, who was 35 years-old when he took over on Jan. 26, 1988 & Billy MacMillan, the team’s first-ever head coach, who was 39 on Oct. 5, 1982
  • GREENE NAMED CAPTAIN: Andy Greene was named the 11th captain in Devils’ history on Oct. 9. Mike Cammalleri, Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac will serve as alternates. He has played in a career-high 259 straight games since March 6, 2012, which stands as the second-longest stretch among defensemen in franchise history.
  • CORY’S NUMBER ONE: Cory Schneider ranks first with a 2.13 GAA (2nd, Jonathan Quick 2.16) and a .927 save % (2nd, Henrik Lundqvist, .925) among goaltenders that have played in at least 100 games since the start of 2010-11.
  • FUN WITH NUMBERS: Mike Cammalleri became the first player in Devils’ history to wear the no. 13 on his jersey Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg. He’s just the second player in franchise history to suit up with No. 13, joining Robin Burns – cousin of the late former Devils coach and Hall-of-Famer Pat Burns – who wore it with the Kansas City Scouts in the 1970’s. Eric Gelinas, who wore no. 22 last season, joined Stephane Richer as the second player in New Jersey history to wear no. 44. Jordin Tootoo is once again wearing no. 22, which he skated as with Nashville and Detroit from 2006-14, after wearing no. 20 last season. Tyler Kennedy is the first player in team history to wear no. 48. Sergey Kalinin, no. 51, became the first player in Devils’ history to wear any number in the 50’s. Joseph Blandisi is the first player in team history to wear no. 64.
  • THIS DAY IN DEVILS HISTORY: On December 15, 1988, John MacLean scored his third hat trick in five games in a 6-3 victory over Toronto at the Meadowlands.

Milestone Watch

  • Mike Cammalleri – Needs 2GP to reach 100 with New Jersey.
  • Adam Henrique – Needs 5a to reach 100 in his NHL career. Also needs 3 GP to reach 300 in his NHL career.
  • Lee Stempniak – Needs 8pts to reach 400 in his NHL career.
  • Jordin Tootoo – Needs 2GP to reach 100 with New Jersey.


  • Adam Henrique (lower body, two games missed) returned to practice yesterday.
  • Bobby Farnham (I.R., upper body, two games missed) is out.
  • Travis Zajac (I.R., upper body, five games missed) is out.
  • Tuomo Ruutu (I.R., right foot fracture, 26 games missed) has resumed practicing.
  • Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 76

Recent Transactions

  • Dec. 11 – Placed F Bobby Farnham on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Dec. 8. Activated F Jiri Tlusty from I.R.
  • Dec. 10 – Placed F Travis Zajac on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Dec. 3. Recalled F Joseph Blandisi from Albany (AHL).
  • Nov. 27 – Placed F Jiri Tlusty on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Nov. 20. Signed F Tyler Kennedy to a one-year, two-way contract for $600,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 at the AHL level.
  • Nov. 25: Activated F Patrik Elias.

Game Resources

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