New Jersey Devils (19-9-5) vs. New York Rangers (19-12-3)
7PM ET / 4PM PT • Prudential Center • MSG+2 • The One Jersey Network/WFAN
*Links for The One Jersey Network can be found on newjerseydevils.com and all Devils’ social media channels.
*Devils Game Notes Contacts: James Stolfi / Scott Litwack
Pre-Game Availability *subject to change
New Jersey will not have a full team morning skate on Thursday. A select group of players will skate at 10:30am at Prudential Center.
Head Coach John Hynes will be available to the media in the hallway outside of the Devils Locker Room at 10:30am.
If you are unable to attend or are not traveling to the game, quotes and pre-game media scrums on @NJDevils twitter.
LAST GAME: DEC. 18 – NEW JERSEY 5 vs. ANAHEIM 3
The Devils won, 5-3, in their first of two games against the Anaheim Ducks. The clubs will face-off for their second and final time on March 18, 2018 at Honda Center.
New Jersey is now 5-3-2 (4-1-1 home) vs. Pacific Division opponents and are 10-5-2 (6-2-1 home) against the Western Conference.
Miles Wood notched two goals for the Devils, for his third multi-goal game of the season. Sami Vatanen and Jesper Bratt had the assists on Wood’s power play goal at 8:11 of the second period. Vatanen’s recorded his first point as a Devil in his first career game against his former team. Additionally, Pavel Zacha had the lone assist on Wood’s second goal of the game.
Jesper Bratt tied the game at 5:49 of the third period, to record his sixth multi-point game of the season/his career.
Brian Boyle racked-up three assists in the final 14:04 of the third period on each of the final three Devils’ goals. He has 6 points (2G-4A) over the past two games.
The game’s first star, Stefan Noesen, notched the game-winning goal at 15:53 of the final period. He added a second goal, on an empty net, for his first career two-goal game.
Cory Schneider made his fourth consecutive start in goal and stopped 21 of 24 shots. He is 14-6-4 on the season and 9-3-1 against the Western Conference.
TONIGHT’S GAME vs. NEW YORK
Tonight is the third of four games between the Cross River Rivals and the first of two at Prudential Center. The club’s split the first two matches, both played at Madison Square Garden, and share 1-1-0 record thus far. The two teams will not meet for their season-series finale until Apr. 3 at Prudential Center.
In their first meeting on Oct. 14, New Jersey won, 3-2, in Keith Kinkaid’s season-debut and first career start against the Rangers. Drew Stafford had the game-winner (PP), his first as a Devil, and Will Butcher led the club with 1G-1A.
On Dec. 9, the Devils were defeated, 5-2, in the second game of their season-series. Miles Wood and Damon Severson scored for New Jersey, while Keith Kinkaid lost to fall to 1-1-0 in his career against the Rangers. Wood has three goals in six games, while Severson has six points (1g-5a) in 12 games played in their career’s against the Rangers.
Cory Schneider, tonight’s expected starting goalie, has a career record of 5-6-3 against the Rangers, with a .918 SV% and a 2.47 GAA.
At game 34 of the season, this is just the club’s sixth game against a Metropolitan Division opponent. New Jersey is 2-3-0 vs. inter-division opponents; it is the only division where their record is below .500.
Tonight is the second of New Jersey’s season-high, six-game, home-stand, spanning 14 days from Dec. 15-29: Thus far they are 2-0-0
Fri., Dec. 15: NJD 5 vs. DAL 2.
Mon., Dec. 18 NJD 5 vs. ANA. 3
Thurs., Dec. 21 NJD vs. NYR.
Sat., Dec. 23: NJD vs. CHI.
Wed., Dec. 27: NJD vs. DET.
Fri., Dec. 29: NJD vs. BUF.
- MUELLER – IR, retro. to Nov. 13, fractured clavicle, 16 games missed.
- JOHANSSON – I.R., retro to Dec. 9, ankle bruise, 4 games missed.
Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 105
MOORE – Could play in 400TH career NHL game tonight.
GIBBONS – Could play in 100TH career NHL game tonight.
LOVEJOY – Could play in 100TH game w/ Devils.
JOHANSSON – 3PTS for 300 NHL / 9A for 200
ZACHA – 3GP for 100 NHL/NJ
COACH HYNES – 3GC for 200 in NHL/Devils.
ASST. COACH WARD – 3GC for 200 w/ Devils
ASST. COACH NASREDDINE – 3GC for 200 in NHL/Devils
VATANEN – 6 assists for 100 NHL
ZAJAC – 5GP for 800 NHL/Devils
WOOD – 7GP for 100NHL/Devils
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 Henrique, Joseph 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 (ankle bruise) on I.R., retro to Dec. 9. Recalled F Nick Lappin from Binghamton (AHL).
Dec. 16: Assigned F Nick Lappin to Binghamton (AHL).
Dec. 18: Activated F Kyle Palmieri (broken right foot) off I.R.
USA Hockey announced that Joey Anderson, New Jersey’s third-round selection, 73rd overall, in the 2016 Draft, will serve as team captain for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team. Anderson posted two assists in 7 GP on last year’s squad that defeated Canada, in a shootout, for the Gold Medal at the 2017 World Junior Championships.
Reilly Walsh, New Jersey’s third-round selection, 81st overall, in the 2017 Draft, remains on Team USA’s preliminary World Juniors roster.
BRACKEN NAMED AHL ALL-STAR CAPTAIN
Binghamton Devils forward, Bracken Kearns, was selected as a playing captain for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic that will take place January 28-29 in Utica, NY.
Kearns leads Binghamton with 15 assists and ranks second on the club with 20 points in 27 games this season. He has totaled 167 goals and 248 assists for 415 points in 692 career regular-season games in the American Hockey League.
This is Kearns’ second career AHL All-Star appearance.
DEVILS IN HOLIDAY SPIRIT
New Jersey Devils players and alumni, in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health, participated in their Annual Community Day on Wed., Dec. 20, spreading Holiday cheer by visiting patients and caregivers at 11 area medical center. It is a tradition the club has kept since their 1982-83 inaugural season. Visit newjerseydevils.com and @NJDevils social media sites for pictures and video.
DEVILS WORLD TOUR
New Jersey will likely be well-represented at 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 nation’s preliminary roster.
- 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)
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SAMI
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 leads the club with in average ice-time, 22:04, through his first nine games with New Jersey. He notched his first point with NJD vs. his former team, Dec. 18 with an assist.
Brian Boyle has recorded a team-high six points (2G-4A) in the team’s last two games (Dec. 15 vs. DAL (1G-2A) and Dec. 18 vs. ANA (3A)).
His three assists against ANA, were a career-high, while his three points in each of the last two games, matched his career-high point total for the second-game in a row. (also, Dec. 27, 2010, NYR 7 vs NYI 2, 1G-2A).
Boyle is currently scoring at .61 PTS/GP (8G-6A-14PTS, in 23 GP), which is the highest of his career, excluding the 2007-08 season where Boyle had 5PTS in 8GP for the LA Kings.
New Jersey’s 23 road-points, 10-4-3, ranks second overall* (tie, TB) in the NHL. 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. 20
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).
GETTING GIBBY WITH IT
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 12th 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 second in the NHL (tie, E. Kane – BUF).
- 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)
- USA – 15*
- Canada – 4^
- Switzerland – 1
- Sweden – 1
- Czech Republic – 1
- Finland – 1