New Jersey Devils (33-25-8) vs. Montreal Canadiens (25-29-11)
7:00 PM • Prudential Center • MSG+ • The One Jersey Network
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LAST GAME – MARCH 4: NEW JERSEY DEVILS 2 vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3
The Devils lost, 3-2, to the Vegas Golden Knights in the first-ever meeting between the two franchises. With the loss, New Jersey has lost three-straight games, to start the month of March. The Devils are 6-3-1 in their first game against expansion teams, and 19-4-3 overall against teams in their inaugural season. The Devils and Golden Knights will meet for the second and final time in the regular season on Mar. 14 at T-Mobile Arena.
Sami Vatanen scored his third goal of the season, and second as a Devil, on the power play at 8:44 of the first period. Taylor Hall and Patrick Maroon had the assists on the power play goal. Maroon has three assists (two on the power play) in his first three games as a Devil.
Hall went on to score the Devils second goal of the game, for his 30th goal of the season. With a goal and an assist, Hall recorded his 21st multi-point game of the season, tying his previous career-high (2013-14, EDM).
Hall’s point-streak now stands at 18 games from Jan. 30-Mar. 4 (13G-11A-24PTS). Additionally, Hall has recorded at least one point in 25 straight appearances (18G-18A-36PTS) dating back to Jan. 2 at STL.
Cory Schneider started his second game since returning from a groin/hip injury that kept him out of the lineup from Jan. 25-Feb. 27 (16 games missed). He stopped 24 of 27 shots in the loss.
David Perron led the Golden Knights with 2PTS (1G-1A), while Tomas Tatar scored the game winning goal on the power play at 17:43 of the second period. It was the first goal the Devils surrendered while shorthanded in seven games (Feb. 17 at TB).
Former Devil Jon Merrill also picked up an assist on the Golden Knights first goal, in 13:57 TOI.
TONIGHT vs MONTREAL CANADIENS
The Devils take on the Canadians, in their second of three meetings between the two clubs in the 2017-18 season. Montreal won the first game at the Bell Centre on December 14th, 2-1, in overtime.
Stefan Noesen netted New Jersey’s only goal of the night just 1:21 into the first period, with help from Andy Greene and Jesper Bratt. Canadiens’ forward Andrew Shaw tied the game with an even-strength goal in the first period, while Tomas Plekanek scored the game-winner, 1:52 into overtime. Jordie Benn, Philip Danault, Alex Galchenyuk and Charles Hudon each recorded one assist for Montreal.
Taylor Hall missed the first meeting between the two teams due to an injury (right knee contusion), but has 9PTS (3G-6A) in 11GP in his career and 3PTS (1G-2A) in 3GP as a Devil against the Canadiens.
Cory Schneider stopped 34 out of 36 shots and is 1-2-4 with a .914 SV% and 2.76 GAA in his career against Montreal.
New Jersey is 10-6-4 against the Atlantic Division (4-3-2 home) and 22-15-5 against all Eastern Conference opponents (10-7-2 home) in 2017-18.
New Jersey is 1-2-4 against Montreal at Prudential Center and 4-5-4 overall since the 2013-14 season. The Devils last win at home against the Canadiens was on April 3, 2015, when they defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout. The victory is Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid’s lone victory over Montreal in 4GP (1-3-0) in his career.
Dec. 14 – NJD 1 @ MONTREAL 2 (OT)
Mar. 6 – MONTREAL @ NJD
Apr. 1 – NJD @ MONTREAL
GIBBONS – IR, retro. to Jan. 20 (broken right thumb), 21 games missed
JOHANSSON – IR, retro. to Jan. 23 (concussion), 19 games missed
Total Man-Games Lost to Injury/Illness: 197
HEAD COACH JOHN HYNES – Needs just one win for 100 in NHL career/as NJD Head Coach.
KINKAID – 4GP for 100GP
LOVEJOY – 8PTS for 100 NHL
STAFFORD – 9G for 200 NHL
JOHANSSON (I.R.)– 3A for 200 NHL
Feb. 22: Acquired F Michael Grabner from NY Rangers for New Jersey’s 2018 second-round pick and the rights to Yegor Rykov. Feb. 24: Assigned F Blake Pietila to Binghamton.
Feb. 25: Removed F John Quenneville from I.R. and assigned him to Binghamton.
Feb. 26: Acquired Patrick Maroon from Edmonton for New Jersey’s 2019 third-round pick and the rights to J.D. Dudek.
Feb. 27: Assigned G Cory Schneider to Binghamton on a conditioning loan.
Feb. 28: Recalled G Cory Schneider from his conditioning stint with Binghamton.
Mar. 1: Removed G Cory Schneider from I.R. Assigned G Eddie Lack to Binghamton (AHL).
On Feb. 23, the Devils officially retired the jersey of Patrik Elias’ no. 26. The Devils’ franchise’s all-time leading scorer and two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2000, 2003) became first forward and fifth player Devils’ franchise history to have his number retired. Born in Trebic, Czech Republic, he is also the first European-born Devil to have his jersey number retired.
“For someone growing up in Eastern Europe, in a communist country, there’s no way I could have ever dreamed of this day,” said Elias.
Taylor Hall continued his points-streak by scoring his 30th goal of the season Mar. 4 vs VGK, establishing a new career-high. He previously scored 27 goals on two occasions as an Edmonton Oiler during the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons.
Hall’s consecutive point-streak now stands at 18 games from Jan. 30-Mar. 4, 13G-11A-24PTS. It is the longest in the NHL this season and he has passed the Devils franchise record (Patrik Elias, 1999-00; Brian Gionta, 2005-06; 15 each). Hall has recorded at least one point in 25 straight appearances (18G-18A-36PTS) dating back to Jan. 2 at STL.
During that 25-game span, he missed three games due to an injury (right hand/thumb), Jan. 22-25.
According to NHL PR, Hall is just the 8th different player since the 1987-88 season to record at least 1PT in 25 consecutive appearances. Players to record at least 1PT in 25 consecutive games include:
- M. Lemieux (PIT – 46GP, 1989-90)
- M. Sundin (QUE – 30GP, 1992-93)
- S. Yzerman (DET – 28GP, 1988-89)
- M. Lemieux (PIT – 28GP, 1995-96)
- P. Kane (CHI – 26GP, 2015-16)
- W. Gretzky (LAK – 25GP, 1990-91)
- B. Hull (STL – 25GP, 1991-92)
- S. Crosby (PIT – 25GP, 2010-11)
- T. Hall (NJD – 25GP, 2017-18)
Hall is the first Devils player to reach the 70-point mark (30G-42A-72PTS) in a season since 2011-12, when Ilya Kovalchuk (37G-46A-83PTS) and Patrik Elias (26G-52A-78PTS) did so. (Credit NHL PR)
NICO’S NUMBER ONE, AGAIN
New Jersey’s leading rookie scorer, Nico Hischier, was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the week ending Feb. 18. Hischier scored in all four of his appearances, sharing the league-lead with four goals and ranking second overall with 4G-3A-7PTS to power the Devils to a perfect 4-0-0 week. He posted 1G-1A-2PTS in a 5-4 Ws against PHI, Feb. 13. Hischier then registered 1G-2A-3PTS, his third 3PT performance of 2017-18, in a 5-2 win against CAR, Feb. 15. He added one goal in each of his next two games, a 4-3 over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Feb. 17 and a 3-2 Wo at CAR, Feb. 18.
Hischier became the 5th rookie in franchise history to score in four-straight team-games and the first to do so since 1984-85 (Greg Adams). The 19-year-old Brig, Switzerland native and first overall selection of the 2017 NHL Draft is the only player on New Jersey to play in every game this season, ranking in the top 10 among rookies in assists, shots on goal, points, and goals.
HALLIN’ IN THE POINTS
Taylor Hall is tied for second in franchise history with .94 points-per-game among Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club. This season he has 1.18 points-per-game.
1. Kirk Muller – .94 (556GP)
T-2. Alex Mogilny – .94 (121 GP)
T-2. Taylor Hall – .94 (133 GP)
4. Ilya Kozachok – .91 (222 GP)
5. Patrik Elias – .83 (1240GP)
JOIN THE CLUB
On Feb. 22, New Jersey acquired RW Michael Grabner from the NY Rangers for the New Jersey’s 2018 second-round selection and the rights to defensive prospect Yegor Rykov. Grabner became just the 11th player in NHL history to play in at least one game for the Devils, Islanders (297GP), and Rangers (135GP).
The Devils acquired Patrick Maroon from Edmonton in exchange for New Jersey’s 3rd-rd pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and forward prospect J.D. Dudek. He made his Devils debut on Mar. 1 at FLA and led New Jersey with 2A (2PTS) and five PIM.
According to Elias Sports Bureau/Devils’ Radio Statistician Craig Seiden, Maroon set a Devils’ record with his fight at 1:54 into the first period. It was the earliest fight in a players’ debut with New Jersey (previously, Nov. 8, 2005 – Darren Langdon vs. Eric Godard (NYI).'”
Goaltender Eddie Lack set new career-highs in both saves (48) and in shots-against (51) during his first-ever win, in his second start as a Devil, Feb. 18 at TBL.
Lack’s 48 saves are the second-most saves for a goaltender in a Devils win in team history; trailing only Martin Brodeur’s 51-save shutout victory, Jan. 12 @ NYR (1-0 Wo).
30 FOR 3
Devils’ rookies Nico Hischier (13G-28A-41PTS), Will Butcher (2G-28A-30PTS), and Jesper Bratt (13G-21A-34PTS) each have at least 30PTS this season. It is the second time in franchise history where three rookies hit the 30PT-mark; 1984-85 (Kirk Muller, Bruce Driver, and John McLean).
The Devils are 18-7-8 in one-goal games and are undefeated in regulation, 23-0-2, when leading after two periods. Since 2016-17, the Devils are 42-0-12 when leading after 40 minutes of play.
IT’S ABOUT TIME
Sami Vatanen leads the Devils with an average time-on-ice of 22:13. He tied his career-high with points in four consecutive games, 1G-3A, from Dec. 27-Jan. 2. On Feb. 13 at Philadelphia he skated in a career-high, 27:53.
Since Dec. 1, 2017, Vatanen leads all Devils defensemen with 22PTS (2G-20A).
He also set a new career-high with 3A (3PTS) on Jan. 18 vs. WSH.