Devils Pre-Game Notes: Dec. 14 at MTL

New Jersey Devils (17-9-4) at Montreal Canadiens (13-14-4)

7:30PM ET • Bell Centre • MSG+2 • The One Jersey Network

*Links for The One Jersey Network can be found on and all Devils’ social media channels.

*Devils Game Notes Contacts: James Stolfi / Scott Litwack

Pre-Game Availability *subject to change
–  11:30AM Morning Skate at Bell Centre


The Devils defeated Los Angeles, 5-1, to snap their season-long, two-game, losing-skid as well as end the Kings’ eight-game, winning-streak.  Before the game, Los Angeles was 5-0-0 against the Metropolitan Division.

The team improved to 7-5-2 at Prudential Center and, at 17-9-4 (38PTS), trail Columbus and Washington for the Metropolitan Division lead by just one point.

New Jersey scored on the man-advantage once in two opportunities for the first time in four games, Dec. 2-9 (0-11).  They were 3-3 on the penalty kill and have eliminated 30-33 (90.9%) man-advantage chances over their last 10 games.

Taylor Hall led the way with two goals (PP/GW, EV) for his second multi-goal game of the season. He now has 31PTS (11G-20A) and has surpassed the 30-point mark in each of his eight NHL seasons. His power play marker in the first period was the eventual game-winner.  Hall suffered a right-knee contusion during the third period and did not return.  He did not make the trip to Montreal.

Travis Zajac scored the game’s first goal, his second goal of the season, at 13:44 of the first period. At 157G, he trails Petr Sykora (166G) by nine goals for the seventh all-time in franchise history.

Brian Gibbons also had a two-point game (1G-1A) for his second multi-point effort of 2017-18. Gibbons notched his league leading third shorthanded goal (tie; A. Barkov – FLA, E. Kane – BUF) with just 11 seconds remaining in the final period.  He is the first Devil since Jacob Josefson (2014-15) to score three shorthanded goals in a season.  He also had the primary assist on Zajac’s goal.  Blake Coleman had the secondary assist on Zajac’s tally. He has points in three-consecutive games (1G-2A) for the first time in his NHL career.

Brian Boyle, notched his sixth goal of the campaign against his former club and has five goals in his last nine games.

Will Butcher notched his 18th assist (20PTS), his 11th on the power play, which leads all NHL rookies. He is the first Devil in team history to reach the 20-point-mark in his first 30 career games. Barry Beck (15G-13A, 1977-78) and Tapio Levo (8G-21A, 1981-82) did so with the Colorado Rockies.

Jesper Bratt also had a helper tonight on Hall’s goal. He is tied with Nico Hischier and Butcher with 20 points on the season for third on the club.


Cory Schneider’s shutout bid was ended at 12:04 of the third period.  He stopped 25 of 26 for fourth win in his past five starts.


Tomorrow is the first of three meetings between the Devils and Canadiens this season.  The clubs will face-off again on March 6 at Prudential Center before finishing their season-series on April 1 at Bell Centre.

New Jersey ranks first in the NHL with 22 road-points (tie; STL) and is undefeated in regulation, 5-0-1, on the road vs. Atlantic Division opponents. The club is 7-1-2 overall vs. the Atlantic and is 9-4-2 vs. all Eastern Conference opponents.

The Devils are 2-4-0 at Bell Centre since the 2013-14 season (last win; Nov. 28, 2015, 3-2 Wo) but are 28-27-5 in Montreal since the franchise settled in New Jersey. In 2016-17, the club was held to just win-less, 0-2-1, against the Canadiens for the first time since 1988-89 (0-3-0). Tomorrow opens the Devils’ eighth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season. They are 5-2-0 in first games and are 4-3-0 in second games that fall on consecutive dates. New Jersey will face the Dallas Stars on Friday at Prudential Center at 7PM.

Cory Schneider is expected to make the start in goal for the Devils.  He is 1-2-3 with a 2.89 GAA and a .908 save% vs. MTL in six career games (all with NJD).



  • MUELLER (IR, retro. to Nov. 13, fractured clavicle, 13 games missed).
  • PALMIERI (IR, retro to Nov. 20, broken right foot, 10 games missed)
  • JOHANSSON (I.R., retro to Dec. 9, ankle bruise, 2 games missed).
  • HALL (day-to-day, right-knee contusion) is out tonight.

Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 95

LOVEJOY – 1GP for 100 w/ NJ
BOYLE – 1G for 100 NHL / 8PIM for 500 NHL
JOHANSSON – 3PTS for 300 NHL / 9A for 200 I.R.
GIBBONS – 4GP for 100 NHL
ZACHA – 6GP for 100 NHL/NJ
VATANEN – 7A for 100 NHL
COACH HYNES – 6GC for 200 in NHL/NJ



Nov. 15: Activated F Michael McLeod (lower body) and assigned to Mississauga (OHL). Placed D Mirco Mueller (broken left clavicle) on I.R., retro to Nov. 12.

Nov. 16: Activated C Travis Zajac (torn left pectoral) off I.R.

Nov. 22: Placed RW Kyle Palmieri (broken right foot) on I.R., retro to Nov. 20.

Nov. 30: Acquired D Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round draft pick in the 2019 or 2020 NHL Draft from Anaheim for Adam HenriqueJoseph Blandisi and New Jersey’s 2018 third-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Dec. 1: Activated F Marcus Johansson (concussion) off I.R.

Dec. 13: Placed F Marcus Johansson (right knee contusion) on I.R., retro to Dec. 9. Recalled F Nick Lappin from Binghamton (AHL)


New Jersey will likely be well-represented 11 days from now when the 2018 IIHF U20 World Junior Championship begins in Buffalo, NY.  The Devils have eight prospects from five different countries that have made their respective country’s preliminary rosters.

  • CANADA – F Michael McLeod – (1st round, 12th overall, 2016)
  • UNITED STATES – F Joey Anderson (3rd round, 73rd overall, 2016), D Reilly Walsh (3rd round ‘4th selection’, 81st overall, 2017)
  • SLOVAKIA – F Marian Studenic (5th round, ‘7th selection’, 143rd overall, 2017)
  • SWEDEN – F Jesper Boqvist (2nd round, 36th overall, 2017), F Fabian Zetterlund (3rd round, 63rd overall, 2017)
  • RUSSIA – F Mikhail Maltsev (4th round, ‘5th selection’ 2016), D Yegor Zaitsev (7th round, ’10th selection’ 2017)



New Jersey acquired defenseman Sami Vatanen and a conditional third-round selection in the 2019 or 2020 NHL Draft from Anaheim in exchange for Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and New Jersey’s third-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, Nov. 30, 2014. He has averaged 21:49 minutes per-game through his first six games with New Jersey.

Fast Facts About Vatanen

– This is his 5th full NHL season; spent entire NHL career with ANA organization.
– Won a Bronze Medal representing Finland at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
– 2012-13 AHL All-Rookie Team/AHL First All-Star Team
– Grew up in Jyvaskyla, FIN., where he spends his off-seasons.
– Married his wife, Essi, in Summer 2017 in Finland.
– His favorite players growing up were Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.
– Favorite hockey memory is winning the Bronze Medal with Finland at 2009 U-18 World Championship.


The Devils are 10-1-4 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 13-0-1, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 32-0-9 when leading after 40 minutes of play.


On Nov. 12 at CHI., New Jersey stormed-back from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Blackhawks, 7-5. Miles Wood scored the first hat-trick (2PP/1EV) of his NHL career and added one assist for his first career 4-point game.  Taylor Hall tallied his 400th NHL point (72nd w/ NJD) with a goal in the second period, while captain Andy Greene recorded his 200th career/Devils’ point; also from a second period tally.


The Devils 22 road-points, 10-4-2, ranks first overall in the NHL* (tie; STL).  They were the final of all 31 clubs to remain undefeated on the road in any fashion, OT or SO, until Nov. 3 at EDM, 6-3 L.  Their 5-0-0 road record to start 2017-18 was the club’s best road-start since 2009-10, when club started 9-0-0 on the road.

*As of Dec. 13


John Moore has scored two overtime goals this season (Oct. 19 at OTT & Nov. 12 at CHI) and six OT tallies since joining NJD in 2015-16. His six-career, sudden-death tallies lead all NHL defensemen since 3-on-3 overtime was implemented in the 2015-16 season. He ranks second among all active players, behind LA’s Jeff Carter (7). In just his third season with the Devils, he ranks second in franchise history in OT goals by a defenseman (6, 2015-17) behind Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer (8, 1991-2004).


Taylor Hall leads New Jersey with 31 points (9G-20A) in 30 GP this season.  His 1.03 points-per-game ranks 5th among all left-wingers in the NHL* (tie, A. Ovechkin – WSH, J. Huberdeau – FLA) and puts him on pace for a career-best, 84 points.

*As of Dec. 13 


On Oct. 11 at Toronto, Brian Gibbons scored the first three-on-five shorthanded goal in franchise history. He has already a new career-high with 18PTS this season after scoring his team-leading 13th goal, his third shorthanded goal in 2016-17, on Dec. 12 vs. Los Angeles in just his 30th game of 2017-18.

Gibbons notched a shorthanded goal on a penalty shot, Oct. 28 vs. ARI.  His three shorthanded goals this season ranks first in the NHL (tie, A. Barkov – FLA, E. Kane – BUF).

*As of Dec. 13 



  • Nathan Bastian – AHL – 12/6
  • Mackenzie Blackwood – AHL – 12/9
  • BRIAN BOYLE – 12/18
  • Yaroslav Dyblenko – AHL – 12/28

NJD by NATION (*most NHL/^fewest NHL): as of Dec. 13

  • USA – 15*
  • Canada – 5^ (tie; NYR)
  • Switzerland – 1
  • Sweden – 1
  • Czech Republic – 1
  • Finland – 1
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