New Jersey Devils Post-Game Notes: Jan. 9 @ New York Rangers

New Jersey Devils 3 @ NY Rangers 6


  • Attendance: 17,007
  • Three Stars: 1. Tony DeAngelo 2. Artemi Panarin 3. Igor Shesterkin





  • The Devils fell to the Rangers, 6-3, in the third of four contests of the 2019-20 regular season series. New Jersey falls to (1-2-0; 2pts) against the NY Rangers this season.
  • New Jersey falls to 4-6-2 (2-4-0 road) against Metropolitan Division rivals this season.
  • The Devils outshot the Rangers, 49-37, the most shots New Jersey has recorded on net this season (prev. 12/2 @ BUF; 45).
  • New Jersey was 27-59 (46%) in face-offs tonight.
  • The Devils are 2-6-1 at Madison Square Garden and 9-8-2 overall against the Rangers since the 2015-16 season. New Jersey will face-off against the NY Rangers for the fourth and final time, March 7 at Madison Square Garden.








  • Mackenzie Blackwood got the start for his 31st this season (Eighth consecutive). Blackwood stopped 0 of 0 shots faced, and falls to 14-12-6 this season (4-4-2 vs. Metropolitan). Louis Domingue came into relieve Blackwood at 35:02, marking his first appearance since returning from I.R. Domingue stoppped 11 of 12 shots faced.
  • Kevin Rooney got the Devils on the board, 8:06 into the first game assisted by Pavel Zacha. Rooney’s tuck marks the Devils fourth short-handed goal of the season, his first since Mar. 15, 2019 @ VAN and first of his 2019-20 campaign.
  • Blake Coleman tallied the second goal for New Jersey assisted by Damon Severson and Travis Zajac. Severson extends his point streak to two games, while Zajac passes Kirk Muller for sole possession of third place for points on the all-time Devils points list.
  • Coleman went on to notch his second goal of the contest, 8:56 into the second frame, assisted by Severson and Nikita Gusev. The helper gives Severson his third multi-point game this season, and second two-assist game this season.
  • Tony DeAngelo tallied a hat-trick and game-winner in the contest against the Devils.









UPCOMING SCHEDULE   *Subject to change


Tomorrow:  12PM Practice @ RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House



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    1) SUMMARY

The club faces-off against NY Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 PM ET on MSG. The Devils look to bounce back after their overtime loss to the Islanders on Tuesday night at Prudential Center (4-3 OTL).

Binghamton’s Joey Anderson was named to the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic. Anderson has recorded eight goals and 15 assists in 34 games with Binghamton this season. The AHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place on Sunday, Jan. 26, and the AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, Jan. 27



  1. Binghamton’s Anderson added to roster for 2020 AHL All-Star Classic

by AHL Communications


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced a change to the playing rosters for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport, to be held January 26-27 in Ontario, Calif.

Binghamton Devils forward Joey Anderson has been added to the North Division team roster. Anderson, a third-round selection by New Jersey in the 2016 NHL Draft, has recorded eight goals and 15 assists in 34 games with Binghamton this season. The 21-year-old native of Roseville, Minn., appeared in 34 NHL contests with the Devils as a rookie in 2018-19.

In addition, the AHL announced that Devils forward Ben Street will be unavailable for the event.

Tickets for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport, which include admission to both the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 26, and the AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, Jan. 27, are available now by

The 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 95 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Cam AtkinsonPatrice BergeronJordan BinningtonBen BishopJohn CarlsonZdeno CharaLogan CoutureConnor HellebuyckBraden HoltbyTyler JohnsonAndreas JohnssonMartin JonesJonathan MarchessaultBrandon MontourWilliam NylanderKyle PalmieriZach PariseMikko RantanenTuukka RaskPekka RinneDylan StromeP.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2018-19, over 7 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America.


Rosters as of Jan. 9:



Atlantic Division All-Stars

Andrew Agozzino, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (3rd appearance)

Sebastian Aho, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2nd)

Jake Bean, Charlotte Checkers (1st)

Paul Carey, Providence Bruins (1st)

Chris Driedger, Springfield Thunderbirds (1st)

Morgan Frost, Lehigh Valley Phantoms (1st)

Joey Keane, Hartford Wolf Pack (1st)

Matt Moulson (“C”), Hershey Bears (1st)

Mike Sgarbossa, Hershey Bears (2nd)

Igor Shesterkin, Hartford Wolf Pack (1st)

Jack Studnicka, Providence Bruins (1st)

Owen Tippett, Springfield Thunderbirds (1st)

Coach: Kris Knoblauch, Hartford Wolf Pack (1st)



North Division All-Stars

Joey Anderson, Binghamton Devils (1st appearance)

Rudolfs Balcers, Belleville Senators (2nd)

Alex Barre-Boulet, Syracuse Crunch (1st)

Drake Batherson, Belleville Senators (2nd)

Reid Boucher, Utica Comets (3rd)

Nathan Gerbe, Cleveland Monsters (3rd)

Charles Hudon, Laval Rocket (2nd)

Jonas Johansson, Rochester Americans (1st)

Kasimir Kaskisuo, Toronto Marlies (1st)

Lawrence Pilut, Rochester Americans (1st)

Brogan Rafferty, Utica Comets (1st)

Rasmus Sandin, Toronto Marlies (1st)

Coach: Chris Taylor, Rochester Americans (1st)



Central Division All-Stars

Alexandre Carrier, Milwaukee Admirals (2nd appearance)

Lucas Elvenes, Chicago Wolves (1st)

Matthew Ford (“C”), Grand Rapids Griffins (1st)

Jansen Harkins, Manitoba Moose (1st)

Connor Ingram, Milwaukee Admirals (2nd)

Kevin Lankinen, Rockford IceHogs (1st)

Joel L’Esperance, Texas Stars (2nd)

Gerald Mayhew, Iowa Wild (1st)

Brennan Menell, Iowa Wild (1st)

Derrick Pouliot, San Antonio Rampage (2nd)

Chris Terry, Grand Rapids Griffins (5th)

Yakov Trenin, Milwaukee Admirals (1st)

Coach: Karl Taylor, Milwaukee Admirals (1st)



Pacific Division All-Stars

Joachim Blichfeld, San Jose Barracuda (1st appearance)

Kyle Capobianco, Tucson Roadrunners (3rd)

Kale Clague, Ontario Reign (1st)

Martin Frk, Ontario Reign (1st)

Glenn Gawdin, Stockton Heat (1st)

Lane Pederson, Tucson Roadrunners (1st)

Cal Petersen, Ontario Reign (2nd)

Matthew Phillips, Stockton Heat (1st)

Anthony Stolarz, San Diego Gulls (2nd)

T.J. Tynan, Colorado Eagles (3rd)

Chris Wideman, San Diego Gulls (2nd)

Kailer Yamamoto, Bakersfield Condors (1st)

Coach: Jay Varady, Tucson Roadrunners (1st)



  1. Devils prospects update (1/7/20) | Tyce Thompson continues to score; How Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley, Nate Schnarr have done since trade

by Chris Ryan, NJ Advanced Media


As the Devils crossed the midpoint of the 2019-20 season, many of their prospects around the world did the same.

Here’s a look at all of the organization’s prospects and their progress so far during the 2019-20 campaign, including the three prospects — Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr — acquired in the Taylor Hall trade.

Joey Anderson, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 33 GP, 8 G, 15 A, 23 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 3rd round, 73rd overall in 2016

Anderson’s production in the AHL has been good, and after scoring six goals between the NHL and AHL last season, putting eight in the net through the first 33 games is a decent step. He hasn’t gotten a crack in the NHL yet this season, but if more changes or injuries hit the NHL roster, he should near the top of the list for a call-up.

Brandon Baddock, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 31 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 7 P

Age: 24

Drafted: 6th round, 161st in 2014

Kevin Bahl, D (Ottawa 67s, OHL)

2019-20 stats: 28 GP, 5 G, 15 A, 20 P

Age: 19

Drafted: 2nd round, 55th overall in 2018

Bahl was the headlining prospect the trade that sent Hall to the Arizona Coyotes, though the move hasn’t had any impact on his status for this season, since he stayed with his junior hockey team. The 6-7, 240-pound defenseman is on pace to set new career highs in goals and points this season with Ottawa after going for six goals and 34 points last season. He also helped Canada win gold at the World Junior Championships on Sunday.

Nathan Bastian, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 34 GP, 5 G, 12 A, 17 P

Age: 22

Drafted: 2nd round, 41st overall in 2016

Bastian is putting up steady numbers in the AHL, and he’s on pace to increase his point total for a third straight season. He had 24 in 58 AHL games last season. He’s likely never going to be a major scorer, but he continues to work on being a physical presence in the offensive zone while playing in the dirty areas of the game.

Xavier Bernard, D (Charlottetown Islanders/Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL)

2019-20 stats: 38 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 P

Age: 20

Drafted: 4th round, 110th overall in 2018

Bernard was traded within the QMJHL for the second time since being drafted by the Devils, heading from Charlottetown to Sherbrooke. The Devils have to sign Bernard to an entry level contract prior to June 1, or they will lose the rights to the 2018 fourth-round pick. They can still sign him afterward, but he would be free to sign with any NHL organization at that point. Considering the Devils have just three defensemen prospects skating in Binghamton, along with some older AHL veterans, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them get Bernard under contract to see what he can do as a pro in the AHL next season.

Brady Cole, G (Fargo Force, USHL)

2019-20 stats: 23 GP, 12-7-4, 2.93 GAA, .901 save percentage

Age: 18

Drafted: 5th round, 127th overall in 2019


Graeme Clarke, F (Ottawa 67s, OHL)

2019-20 stats: 9 GP, 7 G, 2 A, 9 P

Age: 18

Drafted: 3rd round, 80th overall in 2019

Clarke has been out since October with a shoulder injury, and it carried a four-to-six month recovery time, so his status for the rest of the season is still up in the air. The same injury limited him to 55 games during the 2018-19 season prior to being drafted.

Evan Cormier, G (Binghamton Devils, AHL / Adirondack Thunder, ECHL)

2019-20 stats: 9 GP, 1-7-1, 3.61 GAA, .881 save percentage in AHL; 9 GP, 3-2-4, 2.79 GAA, .904 save percentage in ECHL

Age: 22

Drafted: 4th round, 105th overall in 2016

Cormier had a brief stay with the NHL club when Louis Domingue was hurt, but he never got into a game before Gilles Senn eventually took his spot. With Senn and Cory Schneider currently in the AHL, Cormier’s work will primarily come in the ECHL.

Brandon Gignac, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 20 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 P

Age: 22

Drafted: 3rd round, 80th overall in 2016

After leading Binghamton in scoring last season, Gignac hasn’t been able to establish the same offensive impact during his third pro season.

Arseni Gritsyuk, F (Omskie Yastreby, MHL)

2019-20 stats: 40 GP, 19 G, 20 A, 39 P

Age: 18

Drafted: 5th round, 129th overall in 2019

Jeremy Groleau, D (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 14 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 P

Age: 20

Drafted: Undrafted

Matthew Hellickson, D (Notre Dame, NCAA)

2019-20 stats: 20 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 7th round, 214th overall in 2017

Mitchell Hoelscher, F (Ottawa 67s, OHL)

2019-20 stats: 35 GP, 20 G, 21 A, 41 P

Age: 19

Drafted: 6th round, 172nd overall in 2018

Hoelscher has already set a career high for points in the OHL, surpassing the 40 he posted in 68 games last season. The 19-year-old has stepped into a bigger role and taken advantage.

Josh Jabobs, D (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 29 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P

Age: 23

Drafted: 2nd round, 41st overall in 2014

Mikhail Maltsev, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 22 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 4th round, 102nd overall in 2016

Maltsev is still finding his way in his first North American season, but much like he did in the preseason with the Devils, he’s still showing off some incredible finishing moves.


Case McCarthy, D (Boston University, NCAA)

2019-20 stats: 17 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 P

Age: 18

Drafted: 4th round, 118th overall in 2019

Michael McLeod, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 28 GP, 5 G, 11 A, 16 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 1st round, 12th overall in 2016

McLeod turned his play into a brief NHL call-up in December, where he recorded two assists in four games with the Devils. The Devils are committed to keeping him at center, so his next NHL opportunity hinges on a spot opening up down the middle.

Nick Merkley, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 32 GP, 3 G, 15 A, 18 P (0 G, 2 A, 2 P in six games with Binghamton)

Age: 22

Drafted: 1st round, 30th overall in 2015

Danill Misyul, D (Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, KHL)

2019-20 stats: 19 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 2 P

Age: 19

Drafted: 3rd round, 70th overall in 2019

While continuing to play full-time in the KHL for the first time, the 2019 third-round pick also won a silver medal with Russia at the World Junior Championships.

Patrick Moynihan, F (Providence, NCAA)

2019-20 stats: 21 GP, 7 G, 6 A, 13 P

Age: 18

Drafted: 6th round, 158th overall in 2019

Nikita Okhotyuk, D (Ottawa 67s, OHL)

2019-20 stats: 13 GP, 0 G, 7 A, 7 P

Age: 18

Drafted: 2nd round, 61st overall in 2019

Injuries have limited Okhotyuk to 13 games in junior hockey so far this season, but the Devils did sign him to his entry level contract in December.

Nikola Pasic, F (Bofors IK, Swe-1)

2019-20 stats: 28 GP, 7 G, 17 A, 24 P

Age: 19

Drafted: 7th round, 189th overall in 2019

Pasic played for Sweden at the World Junior Championships, where he posted one assist in seven games.

Nikita Popugaev, F (Adirondack Thunder, ECHL)

2019-20 stats: 28 GP, 4 G, 15 A, 19 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 4th round, 98th overall in 2017

Eetu Pakkila, F (Koovee, Mestis (Finland))

2019-20 stats: 18 GP, 5 G, 9 A, 14 P

Age: 20

Drafted: 7th round, 203rd overall in 2018

Brett Seney, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 33 GP, 12 G, 11 A, 23 P

Age: 23

Drafted: 6th round, 157th overall in 2015

Seney cooled off a bit from his hot start to the season, but he continues to make an offensive impact in Binghamton, leading the team in goals.

Akira Schmid, G (Omaha Lancers/Sioux City Musketeers, USHL)

2019-20 stats: 6 GP, 2-2-1, 3.01 GAA, .901 save percentage

Age: 19

Drafted: 5th round, 136th overall in 2018

Schmid was limited to six games with Omaha due to a lower body injury earlier this season, and he was traded to Sioux City on Jan. 3. Schmid also went to the WJCs with Switzerland, though he did not appear in any games.

Nate Schnarr, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 27 GP, 1 G, 11 A, 12 P (0 G, 3 A, 3 P in five games with Binghamton)

Age: 20

Drafted: 3rd round, 75th overall in 2017

Schnarr also joined the Devils in the trade sent Hall to Arizona, and he’s collected a few points in his first five games in Binghamton. He’s currently playing in his first pro season after finishing his junior career with a 102-point season with the Guelph Storm in the OHL in 2018-19.

Gilles Senn, G (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 13 GP, 5-5-2, 2.95 GAA, .896 save percentage

Age: 23

Drafted: 5th round, 123rd overall in 2017

Yegor Sharangovich, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 29 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 5th round, 141st overall in 2018

Colby Sissons, D (Adirondack Thunder, ECHL)

2019-20 stats: 32 GP, 2 G, 17 A, 19 P

Age: 21

Drafted: Undrafted

Ty Smith, D (Spokane Chiefs, WHL)

2019-20 stats: 21 GP, 4 G, 13 A, 17 P

Age: 19

Drafted: 1st round, 17th overall in 2018

Smith hasn’t produced quite at the point-per-game pace like he did the past two seasons, but his offense has been just fine in Spokane. The biggest thing for his development is his play without the puck, so that’s what the Devils are watching from afar. He played a key leadership role for Canada en route to the WJC gold medal, where he had three assists in seven games.

Marian Studenic, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 21 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 5th round, 143rd overall in 2017

Aarne Talvitie, F (Penn State, NCAA)

2019-20 stats: 18 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 15 P

Age: 20

Drafted: 6th round, 160th overall in 2017

Talvitie has stayed healthy and continues to play a big role on a ranked Penn State team. He missed the second half of last season due to a knee injury, but he’s played in every game so far in 2019-20.

Tyce Thompson, F (Providence, NCAA)

2019-20 stats: 21 GP, 15 G, 16 A, 31 P

Age: 20

Drafted: 4th round, 96th overall in 2019

Thompson’s terrific sophomore season at Providence has continued, where he ranks second in all of college hockey with 15 goals. He had eight goals and 25 points in 42 games as a freshman prior to being drafted in 2019.

Michael Vukojevic, D

2019-20 stats: 38 GP, 3 G, 16 A, 19 P

Age: 18

Drafted: 3rd round, 82nd overall in 2019

Reilly Walsh, D (Harvard, NCAA)

2019-20 stats: 14 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 P

Age: 20

Drafted: 3rd round, 81st overall in 2017

Walsh has been steadily producing points in his third season at Harvard, mirroring the production he showed as a sophomore. He will be a player to watch in the coming months, since the Devils could try to sign him to an entry level contract following his collegiate season. He could also elect to return to Harvard for his senior season in 2020-21.

Colton White, D (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 27 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 P

Age: 22

Drafted: 4th round, 97th overall in 2015

White was briefly recalled by the Devils earlier this season, but he served as the team’s seventh defensemen and didn’t appear in any games.

Yegor Zaitsev, D (Moscow Dynamo, KHL)

2019-20 stats: 42 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 P

Age: 21

Drafted: 7th round, 205th overall in 2017

Fabian Zetterlund, F (Binghamton Devils, AHL)

2019-20 stats: 25 GP, 7 G, 4 A, 11 P

Age: 20

Drafted: 3rd round, 63rd overall in 2017

Zetterlund’s workload has steadily increased during his first AHL season after recovering from a knee injury during the offseason and early in the campaign. He’s now playing every game and both legs of back-to-backs, and he’s found his scoring touch a bit during his first pro season.


3.. PROSPECT REPORT: Vukojevic Developing Nicely

by Peter Robinson NJDevils / Special to


It took just a few minutes during a phone conversation with Devils prospect Michael Vukojevic to show that the 18-year-old Kitchener Rangers defenseman has a balanced short- and long-term perspective.

Asked about his team’s eight-game win streak, at the time, he was quick to point out a minor detail.

“Well, it’s actually nine games,” he corrected his interviewer, before offering the wider view.

“I think we came into this year and we were considered a contender.

“Now, I think we are starting to show that. We went through a (tough stretch) when we lost 10 of 12 games but now we’ve won nine in a row so we are more the team we were (supposed) to be.

“I think we have an opportunity to do something special.”

Along the way this season, Vukojevic has been a leading contributor for the Rangers. The single biggest example was a four-assist game against the Oshawa Generals in which he was named first star in a 6-4 win. That victory over the Generals was just one of four wins that the Rangers have posted over nationally-ranked teams, including the London Knights and the defending Ontario Hockey League champion Guelph Storm (twice).

The Rangers, Guelph, and London, along with the Owen Sound Attack and Erie Otters, play in the OHL’s ultra-tough Midwest Division. A breeding ground of future pros, more than 50 graduates of those five major junior teams were on NHL teams’ opening night rosters.

But playing in the OHL wasn’t always the plan for Vukojevic. For a time, he was committed to the University of Michigan, the storied NCAA program, that in much the same way the OHL Midwest produces future pros, has a knack for churning out NHL defensemen.

Had things gone according to plan, Vukojevic may well have been the latest prized Michigan defenseman. But two years ago, while playing for the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL, he made the decision to return home and suit up for the Rangers, who had drafted him 33rd overall the previous spring.

“It was really his decision,” said Miro Vukojevic, Michael’s father.

Miro and his wife Ana are high school teachers in suburban Toronto, where they raised their three children, of which Michael is the youngest.

“He was set on Michigan but it really came down to him playing for Kitchener, who had drafted him.”

The elder Vukojevic can’t cite a magic elixir that set his youngest child down his current path. Miro Vukojevic was born in Croatia and came to Canada as a small child and has no background in hockey, save for one exception.

“I loved to collect hockey cards,” he said.

A physical, smooth-skating blueliner, Michael’s stride is as pretty as any picture on a hockey card; Miro’s youngest child also cuts a fine figure in the classroom, recently scooping up OHL academic player of the month honors. He’s currently enrolled at Wilfrid Laurier University, which is located just a few miles away from the Rangers home rink. His older brother Mathew recently graduated from that school and his sister Rebecca is also a student there.

A psychology major, Vukojevic doesn’t play any sort of mind games with what he wants to do with his immediate future.

He wants to be a pro hockey player.

His strengths are obvious. Blessed with good size, it’s the finer points of the game he needs to work on, such as puck skills and making decisions at high speed. There have been noticeable improvements so far this season with more room to go.

For now, Vukojevic wants to help the Rangers pile up wins well into 2020. If they can, Vukojevic should be able to reprise his performance from two years ago, when he played 17 post-season games as a 17-year-old OHL rookie as the Rangers made a run to the OHL’s conference finals.

Beyond this season, Vukojevic is eyeing his second Devils development camp this summer and then get on Hockey Canada’s radar again. He won a gold medal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2018 and was part of Team Canada’s fourth-place finish at last spring’s U18 Worlds in Sweden.

“Puck handling, the things you need to do be a good pro,” he said, when asked about areas of his game he’s working on. “This is what I want to do for a living. I don’t want to be just a good junior defenseman…there are things I need to keep working on now (in the short-term) for what helps in the long run.”


4.. PREVIEW: Devils at Rangers

by Catherine Bogart and Marc Ciampa /


The Devils face off against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden tonight.

You can watch the game on MSG+ or listen on the Devils Hockey Network.

Read the game preview below and check back a few hours before the game for a full Pre-Game Report, lineup updates, videos and more.




COMING SOON – DEVILS:60 | Amanda Stein reports on the key storylines prior to tonight’s game

COMING SOON – Devils Pre-Game Interviews

COMING SOON – PRE-GAME RAW | Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine


Stats Comparison: Devils vs. Rangers

Media Game Notes: Devils vs. Rangers

Devils Player Statistics

Rangers Player Statistics

Head-to-Head: Devils vs. Rangers

NHL Standings


You can watch tonight’s game within the Devils region on MSG+.

You can listen to tonight’s game on the Devils Radio Network.


Devils practice Wednesday and more news and notes from the past few days.



NEW YORK, NY – Check back following Devils media availability two hours before the game for a full pre-game report.

— Catherine Bogart,


DEVILS (15-20-7) vs. RANGERS (20-18-4)

TV: 7:00 p.m. ET; Televised on MSG+


Tonight’s game is the third of four meetings between the two teams this season.

The Devils won the first meeting of the season between these clubs back in October by a score of 5-2. The Rangers returned the favor on November 30, winning 4-0.

Matt Tennyson is the only Devil with more than one point this season against the Rangers, with two assists.

Jesper Fast leads the Rangers with two goals. Three other Rangers have two points: Mika Zibanejad, Brady Skjei and Jacob Trouba.

Devils team scope:

The Devils have picked up at least a point in five of their last seven games (4-2-1) and seven of their last 10 (5-3-2).

Over the last 10 games, three Devils have been playing at a point-per-game pace: Nico HischierKyle Palmieri and Nikita Gusev each have 10 points. Sami Vatanen has 9 points in that time, ranked tied for sixth in the NHL in scoring among blueliners dating back to December 18.

Rangers team scope:

The Rangers have struggled a little as of late with only four wins in their last 11 games (4-6-1) and had dropped three straight before a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.

Off-season free agent acquisition Artemi Panarin has been having an excellent season with 23 goals and 58 points. He ranks sixth in the NHL in points and ninth in goals.

Ryan Strome has been having a career season for the Rangers. After only 42 games, his 39 points is 11 away from his career high of 50 which was set when he was with the Islanders in 2014-15.

By the Numbers:

The Rangers have 44 points this season, three points ahead of their pace from last season. They also lead the NHL in penalty minutes per game with 11.9. Devils have the fifth most at 10.3.

Devils have won three straight games on the road. Rangers are 10-2-2 when leading after one period this season while Devils are 6-5-2.

Both the Devils and Rangers have collected 15 points in the standings since December 1: Devils are 6-8-3 and Rangers are 7-9-1.

Injury Updates:

Devils – Jack Hughes (upper body) is out; Jesper Bratt (lower body) is out; Mackenzie Blackwood (mouth) is probable

Rangers – Libor Hajek (knee) is day-to-day; Brendan Lemieux (hand) is out; Ryan Lindgren (upper body) is day-to-day


  1. BLOG: Devils Look Back on Blackwood’s Painful Save Last Night

by Marc Ciampa /


After getting knocked silly by a Ryan Pulock slap shot on Tuesday night which caused some missing teeth and a bleeding mouth, Mackenzie Blackwoodmissed practice on Wednesday. He instead had a date with the dentist.

“A three hour appointment with the dentist, he had some work done,” said Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine. “He should be back with us (later) today.”

Nasreddine added that he hasn’t made a decision on whether to go back with Blackwood on Thursday night or to go with Louis Domingue. Domingue was recently recalled from Binghamton after playing a few games there following a stint on IR.

“My health is good,” Domingue noted. “Went down there and had two good games.”

Domingue added that he needs to be ready to play whether that be tomorrow night due to Blackwood’s condition or another game down the road, particularly with a back-to-back this weekend.

“Once you get your name called upon, you gotta be ready. So, that’s going to be my job.”

Miles Wood talked about Blackwood’s injury, noting that it reminded him of his injury last season.

“I had some flashbacks,” he said. “I remember last year, I think it was San Jose where Brent Burns stepped up and the puck just kinda chipped my first four front teeth there.

“That brought back flashbacks for sure, because I was on the ice when it happened to Blackwood. He took off his helmet and I was like, Oh, this is bad. ”

Wood added that the injury itself isn’t the worst part of it.

“The teeth getting knocked out, that’s the easy part. Being in surgery for five hours is the worst part,” he laughed.


  1. BLOG: Wood Reflects on Midway Point, Looks Ahead to Rangers

by Marc Ciampa /


The Devils face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden for the first time this season on Thursday. Miles Wood said that it’s hard to believe that an entire half season has passed without a contest at the World’s Most Famous Arena.

“To be honest, it’s crazy fast how fast the first 42 games were,” said Wood. “Overall I’m super excited for tomorrow. you know, it’s a great place to play at. It’s one of my favorite places to play. I mean, just the history behind it, the team we’re playing against, and, the circumstances that we’re in.”

Wood added that the team needs to be mindful of the active Rangers blueline.

“Their D first and foremost,” he said when asked about what the team needs to be pay attention to. “They jump up in the play.”

He also noted that the Rangers are solid up front.

“They’re fast. The first line is pretty special over there,” he said. “Overall I think they’re a young, deep group and it’s going to be a good test for us. But we’ll for sure be up for it.”






  1. A sit-down with Cory Schneider – part two

by Nicole Menner,


  1. DEVILS NOW | Missing Teeth

by njd.TV–missing-teeth/t-277437418/c-5061805


  1. RAW | Nasreddine 01.08.20 

by njd.TV–nasreddine-010820/t-277437418/c-5061701







  1. Year In Review – 2019-20 Episode 13

by New Jersey Devils Official Podcast






  1. Hischier Emerging as Devils’ Leader

BY ALEX CHAUVANCY, The Hockey Writers


A lot has changed for the New Jersey Devils over the last month. John Hynes is no longer their head coach after being fired on Dec. 3, and their best player, Taylor Hall, was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 16. There’s been a noticeable change in the Devils’ style of play since Alain Nasreddine took over as the interim coach, as they’re playing at a much faster pace.


There have been a few players who have stepped up in the wake of Hall’s departure, too. But it’s Nico Hischier who’s beginning to emerge as a star player and as one of the team’s leaders. He got off to a slow start, but his play had been coming along before Hall’s trade, and even before Hynes’ firing. After a recent stretch of stellar performances, it’s clear the 21-year-old center has become the centerpiece of a Devils’ team looking to retool for next season.


Hischier Playing His Best Hockey After Rocky Beginning

There was a lot of preseason hype around the Devils. They acquired Nikita Gusev and P.K. Subban in trades and drafted Jack Hughes first overall at the Entry Draft. But some of that hype was also due to a returning player like Hischier, who was going to play a significant role in helping the team take the next step forward. Unfortunately, he didn’t get off to a great start this season. He had just two assists in his first seven games, all of this while coming off the heels of signing a mega seven-year extension worth over $7 million annually.


But it didn’t take long for Hischier to turn things around. Since Nov. 13, he has 19 points in 23 games, which equates to a 68-point pace over 82 games. His underlying numbers may not be what we’re used to from him, as his five-on-five on-ice rates are hovering between 45-50%. With that said, his offensive production has taken a noticeable step forward.


Since Nov. 13, he’s tied with Nikita Gusev for the team lead in points. He has 55 shots on goal, and an individual expected goals (ixG) of 6.82, which is about level with the eight actual goals he’s scored. He’s also second on the team to Gusev in points per 60 minutes (points/60). But what’s most noticeable about Hischier is the way he’s creating chances. This phenomenal individual effort against the New York Islanders two nights ago would be one example.


There was some question to how Hischier would perform after Hall’s trade. The two had great chemistry together, and it’s close to impossible to replace Hall’s production overnight. But the Devils have found something that works by placing Jesper Bratt on the top line with Hischier and Kyle Palmieri.


Bratt, Hischier, and Palmieri have played just over 81 minutes together at five-on-five since Hall’s trade. And their numbers as a trio are pretty encouraging — the Devils have controlled 51.5% of the shot attempts and 59.33% of the expected goals. It’s a small sample size, but there’s no reason to break them up any time soon. Hischier’s stated he’s comfortable playing alongside Bratt, and they have positive results together since both players broke into the league in 2017 — the Devils have controlled over 53% of the expected goals with them on the ice.


Captain Nico?

For the second offseason in a row, significant changes are likely coming to the Devils’ roster. And that should be expected given their current record of 15-20-8. The Devils have a couple of notable pending unrestricted free agents (UFA) this summer, including captain Andy Greene. If he plans on playing another season, it’s hard to imagine it’s with a team other than the Devils.


But if Greene does decide to hang up the skates, that could pave the way for Hischier to be the Devils’ next captain. General manager Ray Shero wouldn’t have signed Hischier to a massive extension if he wasn’t a building block for this team. His on-ice performance was one reason to get him locked up long-term, but his budding leadership qualities are beginning to stand out as another.

Nico Hischier has taken on more of a leadership role since Taylor Hall was traded to the Arizona Coyotes


“He’s been more outspoken and you can really hear the confidence in his voice,” Wayne Simmonds said to Abbey Mastracco of “The guys really listen and when you have a young leader like that on a young team, it resonates with the younger guys. They’re not listening to older guys like myself bark all the time, so to have someone in kind of your age group that has that leadership mentality, it’s a great thing for the team.”


It wasn’t long ago where it seemed like a Devils’ future built around Hischier, Hall, and Hughes was the plan. But things change in the blink of an eye in professional sports. The Devils got off to an awful start this season. And it became apparent by American Thanksgiving Hall wasn’t going to sign an extension during the season. He gets traded to the Coyotes, and so comes the end of a Devils’ era.


But there has been some good to come out of the trade. Hischier’s turning into a center whose linemates are becoming better players by playing with him. And that makes him the perfect person to help mentor and develop some of the team’s up-and-coming prospects. This is especially true given Simmonds’ comments about his voice resonating with younger players. And that seems like captain material to me, even if it doesn’t come until Greene’s time with the Devils concludes.




  1. 42 thoughts through 42 Devils games: How we got here and what’s on the horizon

by Corey Masisak, The Athletic


  1. Let’s start with final thoughts on the Devils’ coaching change. I’ve talked to a couple of other people about John Hynes since exploring the factors that led to his firing. As more time passes, it seems the rationale that the Devils needed a new voice is the popular way of viewing the decision. A few of the players have mentioned that the fresh start with Alain Nasreddine has allowed them to reset and release some of the tension the bad start engendered.

The “new voice” rationale is a little like the sports version of “it’s not you, it’s me.” The idea that coaches have a shelf life, particularly in the NHL, is always a popular theory.

  1. Hynes earned a reputation, from his days at the USA Hockey National Team Development Program and with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as a demanding, detail-oriented coach. Honestly, I thought more players or people associated with the organization would point to his demanding nature — the hard practices, the fiery team talks (like the one in “Behind the Glass” last year) and the blunt evaluations — and suggest that some of his players tuned him out. That just hasn’t been the case.
  2. The coaching change hasn’t led to a lot of tactical changes, but the Devils looked smoother exiting their own zone. One of the big problems early in the season was the D-to-D passes, which are often the easiest to complete, particularly if the opposing team is pressing only with one forechecker. New Jersey was among the worst teams — not just this season, but in recent seasons — at completing passes between the two defensemen on the ice.

Part of that was players taking too long to make decisions and the forwards not supporting them properly to open up the right options. It would lead to a defenseman making a pass under duress that would be hard for his partner to handle.

Another big trouble area was with breakouts getting mucked up along the wall. One way the Devils (and many other teams) like to exit the defensive zone is by getting the puck to a wing along the wall and then have the center cut through the middle of the ice nearby. Too often, that part of the sequence has gone awry for the Devils — either a bad pass from a defenseman or the wing didn’t handle it cleanly — and messed up the entire operation.

Nasreddine’s time in charge presents a relatively small sample size, but at least by the eye test the Devils have improved in both of those trouble spots.

  1. Nasreddine’s message from the day he took over has placed an emphasis on skating. It’s not like Hynes didn’t want the same thing, but Nasreddine was able to offer a different voice and a clean slate. It’s also not just about skating fast when the puck is heading toward the offensive zone — a big part of the emphasis is about back-checking and skating hard when the Devils don’t have the puck.

One of the narratives about the Devils during the 2017-18 season was how hard they were to play against. They were fast and annoying, particularly when they didn’t have the puck. That summer Blake Coleman said other players told him, “It sucks to play the Devils.”

Putting an emphasis on skating and playing faster has to be, in part, an attempt to rekindle some of that team identity. It didn’t look like many teams thought it “sucked” to play against the Devils in the first couple months of this season.

  1. The Devils are creating more offense since the coaching change, with the caveats of the small sample size still very much in place. New Jersey was 27th in shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 at the time of the coaching change and 30th in scoring chances per 60 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Devils are up to 14th in CF/60 (shot attempts) and 20th in SCF/60 (scoring chances) since Dec. 3.

They are also giving up way more at the other end. The Devils were 22nd in shot attempts allowed per 60 (CA/60) and 14th in scoring chances allowed per 60 (SCA/60) before the change. They’re 30th in both categories since the change and are yielding nearly eight more scoring chances per 60 minutes.

  1. The play certainly looks more exciting at times, and most hockey fans would rather watch games with more chances than fewer. Is that actually going to lead to more success? The Devils are worse in all of the percentages (CF%, SCF%, expected goals percentage (xGF%) except for goals for percentage (GF%) at 5-on-5, and that is solely because of Mackenzie Blackwood’s improved play.

Finding a way to stay aggressive on offense while limiting shots against Blackwood is going to have be a focal point in the future, either during the second half of this season or at the start of the next one.

  1. It’s been pretty quiet on the coaching front since Nasreddine became the interim coach. There are plenty of people in the organization who like him and saw potential as a future NHL head coach before the change, so giving him an extended chance to make a case for the job permanently seemed likely. It’s possible that could change now that Peter Laviolette is available, but Nasreddine keeping the job through the end of the season seems likely and beyond that is certainly a possibility.
  2. One of the themes since the changes has been that players feel more free to just play. A byproduct of changing the coach and trading the best player is the removal of expectations, to a pretty significant extent. Winning in those circumstances can also build confidence (see the 2017-18 season).

The next question is, what happens when the expectations return? That’s something the organization will have to deal with at some point in the future.

  1. 9. One of the few benefits from being stuck near the bottom of the standings (and making significant changes) is the perception of expectations from other teams can change, as well. The Devils went on a serious run of facing backup goalies after the Hall trade. While the Islanders essentially deploy a tandem, Semyon Varlamov has made five more starts than Thomas Greiss. So Greiss was the seventh backup the Devils have faced in the past 10 games, and they’ve now seen the No. 2 (or No. 3) goaltender in 22 of the 42 games.
  2. The league average for save percentage this season is at .908, which would be the lowest since 2008-09. Blackwood is at .907 for the season, but he’s at .920 in 14 games since the coaching change. He’s looked like the Devils’ best player on several occasions, and the more experience he banks at a league-average or better level, the more likely people around the league will view him as a viable starting goaltender in the NHL. It takes longer for goaltenders to earn that designation — 50 games, or even 100, can be misleading for a player at the position. Given his size and athleticism, Blackwood’s likely to have a long NHL career; consistency, both technical and mental, will determine where he settles in the league’s hierarchy.
  3. How many games should Blackwood play this season? He’s already appeared in 32 of the first 42, with 30 starts. The Devils have six more back-to-backs this year, but they won’t actually play Blackwood 34 more times … right? Nasreddine said they are taking a short-term focus with his playing time and don’t have a specific number in mind.

Andrei Vasilevskiy played 65 games in his age-23 season two years ago. He’s the only U-24 goalie with more than 56 since 2011, and that was Carey Price (Martin Brodeur holds the record with 77 in 1995-96). If Blackwood stays healthy and avoids a lengthy slump, it looks like he’s got a pretty good chance to reach 60 games, if not 60 starts.

The Devils want him to gain as much experience as possible without overworking him, of course. It would help if Louis Domingue or Cory Schneider could give the Devils enough confidence to not only substitute them in when Blackwood looks like he needs a break.

  1. Let’s say Blackwood does approach 60 games played. Will he be able to play his way into the Calder Trophy conversation? It depends on the definition of the conversation. It’s going to be nearly impossible for anyone to chase down Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes for the top two spots. The third spot, which makes someone a Calder finalist and earns them a trip to Las Vegas, could be up for grabs depending on how long Victor Olofsson is injured and how he plays upon returning.

No goaltender has finished in the top six of the Calder voting without a save percentage of .917 or better in the past 10 years. Steve Mason did win the trophy 11 years ago with a .916 save percentage. Blackwood, despite his surge over the past five weeks or so, is still just 30th in the league among qualified goalies. He’ll likely need to creep into the .915 range and get closer to the top 10 before he’s a serious threat to finish third. Still, playing a lot and having a league-average save percentage could get him comfortably inside the top 10.

  1. Nico Hischier has five goals and 10 points in the 10 games since Hall was traded. He had five goals and 16 points in 27 games before the trade. While he did look like the best player on the ice Tuesday night against the Islanders, all of his underlying numbers are down since the trade — shot attempts, shots, scoring chances, expected goals. The team is shooting nearly 12 percent when he’s on the ice at 5-on-5 and the team’s save percentage is way up.
  2. Expect those comparisons to continue through the season: Is Player X better or worse since Hall left? Is Player Y better or worse since the coaching change? There’s going to be a lot of noise in any such evaluation or declaration. There are some players on the team who were just going to play better because they are better players than what they showed earlier in the season, regardless of who the coach is or who is playing next to them. Hischier, in particular, was a great player before Hall and Hynes left, and he probably will be one for a long time.
  3. When the Devils drafted Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick and became one of the big “winners” in the offseason, the prevailing theory was that Hughes wouldn’t have to deal with the same level of adversity and tumult that others drafted that high typically encounter. Well, it turns out he has — coach fired, losses mounting, etc. It’s certainly been a new experience for him.
  4. The Devils have moved Pavel Zacha back and forth between center and the wing a lot this season after playing him almost exclusively at center before that. He didn’t nail down the No. 2 center spot in either of the past two seasons and, now with Hischier and Hughes around, he doesn’t need to. Still, is he the team’s No. 3 center of the future, a second- or third-line wing or a candidate to be traded? That’s something for the Devils to figure out, but not necessarily this season.

Zacha’s best underlying numbers have come playing with Hischier, and they’re pretty good next to Hughes, too. But the production hasn’t been there. Hynes was intrigued by the idea of Zacha playing next to Hughes before the season and tried it out a little. Where Zacha plays the rest of the year will be something to monitor.

  1. The best development for the Devils since the season began is how well the line of Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac and Nikita Gusev have played together. Putting Gusev with the team’s two best defensive forwards has helped him unlock his offensive capabilities, and both of those players have enough offensive skill to complement him, as well.
  2. If the Devils do want to tinker later in the season or in the future, Hischier is probably a better fit next to Gusev than Hughes for the same reasons that he and Zajac work. If Gusev stays with the Devils beyond this contract, he could end up on a second line with Hischier, assuming Hughes ascends to No. 1 center status.
  3. P.K. Subban’s underlying numbers were not that bad in the first 30 or so games. His salary and the expectation that he would be a clear upgrade as the team’s No. 1 defenseman were working against him early on and he ran into plenty of bad luck on the offensive end. Five points in the past nine games has helped the traditional numbers look a little better. Nasreddine said Subban tried to simplify things after the bad start, and he probably went too simple. Now he’s found more of a balance and is shooting the puck more, which has helped his overall game. He’s probably not going to get back to No. 1 defenseman-type production, and paying $9 million for a solid second-pairing guy is not ideal, but the Devils will be happy with that for now.
  4. Sami Vatanen continues to produce like a top-pairing defenseman. His 22 points places him inside the top 40 at the position. He’s made a strong case to be the top rental defenseman on the trade market. Given that there has been little movement on a potential contract, and given that the Devils still need more young talent, taking advantage of Vatanen’s potentially robust market seems like an easy decision.

He is featured prominently on Craig Custance’s first NHL Trade Board of the season.

  1. Wayne Simmonds and Andy Greene have different circumstances and the decision to trade or keep them might not be that simple. On the one hand, the Devils need to keep building and replacing the second- and third-round picks they don’t currently have in the 2020 draft (or adding prospects of similar value) should be a top priority. On the other, both Simmonds and Greene are valued veteran leaders for a club that has lost many in the past few seasons.

The Devils won’t likely want either player back next season on such large contracts, but both could be intriguing on lesser deals. Acquiring talent and maximizing value would mean trading both and worrying about the future (such as signing one or both of them in the offseason) later.

  1. The Devils ate half of Hall’s salary in the trade with the Coyotes. They should absolutely try to do the same with two more trades (the limit for retaining money is three contracts at one time), and doing it with two of the pending UFAs would allow them to reset and retain money again in the offseason, if needed. Adding Vatanen, Simmonds or Greene for less than $3 million in cap space could expand their group of suitors and increase the return.
  2. On a related topic, the Devils should try to bring back Greene next season if he wants to keep playing. It doesn’t have to be with a contract extension now. It could be after he joins a contender for a playoff run. And not because he’ll likely play his 1,000th game next year — he can still be a valuable player as a third-pairing defenseman and an anchor on the penalty kill.
  3. If the Devils do trade Greene before the deadline, the possibility of him returning next year could delay a decision on who the next captain is. And if he does return, it would give the club another year before needing to make what could be a tricky decision. At this point, the obvious candidates are Hischier and Kyle Palmieri, who has one year left on his contract. Hughes could also be part of that discussion. Being able to wait one more year to see if he is going to be a captain-type in the NHL, or if Palmieri is going to around beyond next season, could make the decision a bit easier.
  4. Fabian Zetterlund has the highest upside of any prospect currently in the system … I think. There isn’t a forward, and that includes the young players on the NHL roster, under the age of 25 who is a lock to be a top-six guy on a Cup contender beyond Hughes and Hischier in the organization right now. Bratt has the best odds, but among the guys in the pipeline, it’s Zetterlund because of his shot, size and his (pre-knee injury, at least) skating ability. He needs more time to recover from the injury and adjust to the North American game before we have a better understanding of his NHL ceiling.
  5. One benefit of a trade or two involving a forward on the NHL roster should be an increased role for Zetterlund in Binghamton. Right now, he’s mostly playing on the fourth line and second power-play unit while the organization manages his minutes/games played after the injury. Some of the older prospects getting promoted could help him log some PP1 time later in the season. He has seven goals in 25 games. If he gets to 18-20 in about 60 games, that would be a huge success given his role and the injury.
  6. Michael McLeod looks like a contender for most improved prospect in the system (an honor that either went to his buddy Nathan Bastian or Blackwood last year). He played much better in his brief stint with the Devils, and has been more consistent for the B-Devils.
  7. McLeod still profiles as a fourth-line center in the NHL. Given where he was drafted, that will initially be held against him. He has made strides from the past two seasons, when there were times where he didn’t look like a future NHL regular. Given the way he plays, just a little more growth on the offensive side of the puck could lead to a long NHL career. Once a player gets to 500 or 600 NHL games, that number becomes more important than draft position.
  8. Joey Anderson has been productive for Binghamton, but probably needs 20-25 games with New Jersey to see what kind of progress he’s made. Like McLeod, he’s got to find a way to have more impact at the offensive end when he plays in the NHL. There are other players coming behind him with similar NHL potential, so the sooner the better for his next chance with the big club.
  9. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman named Ty Smith as one of the disappointmentsat the world junior championship. He did win a gold medal with Canada, but he and fellow returnee Jared McIsaac did not have the impact Pronman was expecting. The start to Smith’s Spokane season has also been a little disappointing.

This is the time for Smith to make his move for next season, though. Don’t be surprised if he returns from the WJC with a boost from winning gold and returns to being one of the most dominant defensemen in the WHL.

  1. This could change in a few months, but my best guess at this point is that either Aarne Talvitie or Tyce Thompson signs with the Devils and skips his final two seasons in college, but not both.
  2. Akira Schmid is getting (another) fresh start with Sioux City in the USHL. Expect him to play a lot in the second half of the season. All signs point to him signing with the Devils and playing for Adirondack or Binghamton next year.
  3. Don’t expect the Devils to be in the Braden Holtby or Jacob Markstrom sweepstakes this offseason. Blackwood has played well enough to this point to have earned at least a 1B in a tandem situation. New Jersey won’t likely be desperate enough to want to sign a goalie to an expensive, long-term contract to pair with him.
  4. If Schneider doesn’t return to the Devils and put together a string of effective starts by the end of the year, a buyout this summer seems likely. It would cost the Devils $2 million per year for the next four seasons and they would likely look for a veteran goalie on a short-term contract to pair with Blackwood and give him another season or two with some help before deciding the long-term future at the position.
  5. The top 10 prospects list is in flux right now, partly because there could be another addition or two between now and the end of the season — and also because it’s a muddled group after Smith. He’s clearly No. 1, but any one of 4-5 prospects could end up at No. 2 by the end of the year.

Here are the players in contention for a top-10 spot:

Forwards: Zetterlund, Thompson, Talvitie, Nick Merkley, Graeme Clarke (McLeod should graduate)

Defensemen: Daniil Misyul, Kevin Bahl, Reilly Walsh, Nikita Okhotyuk

Goaltender: Schmid, Giles Senn

  1. The Devils are actually thinner at forward than defense and goaltender in the pipeline now, at least when it comes to potential impact players. If the Devils pick first, second, third or fourth, they’ll likely go with a forward (No. 5 could be where goaltender Yarsoslav Askarov and defenseman Jamie Drysdale are in play). Even if that first pick in June is Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, Alexander Holtz or Lucas Raymond, the Devils could use another forward or two in the first few rounds with legitimate top-six potential.
  2. Goal of the season?

It’s going to be tough for anyone to beat Blake Coleman’s one-handed effort on opening night.


The emergency dental work that he had just moments before scoring that goal only add to the legend. That said, the prettiest goal of Jack Hughes’ NHL career to date is a fine contender for the No. 2 spot.


Also, an honorable mention to Mikhail Maltsev’s beauty in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden:


  1. Moment of the season?

The first Hughes vs. Hughes battle in the NHL. Jack and Quinn had several dozen family members at Prudential Center, and many of them were wearing custom T-shirts with both players’ numbers and team logos on them.

And Jack scored his first NHL goal, the only tally in a 1-0 win for the Devils.


Playing against his brother Quinn, Jack Hughes scored his first NHL goal.

What a moment.


  1. Performance of the season?

Let’s call this one a three-way tie, all on the same night. Coleman had the Devils’ only four-point game of the season, Gusev had a breakout game with three primary assists and Blackwood set a career-high with 44 saves in a 6-4 win at Montreal on Thanksgiving night.

  1. Here are some of my favorite Devils stories from this season:

How NHL players navigate the real estate market in the New York City metro area

What’s that chirping going on in the Devils’ locker room? It’s the team’s fantasy football league

‘You work hard, good things happen’: Travis Zajac embodies everything he loves about his hometown

‘That’s where Taylor became Taylor’: The backyard rink and the Calgary stairs that forged a future MVP

Helicopters, seaplanes and cycling down a volcano: How the Devils spent their summer vacations

The reasons — both spoken and unspoken — that led to John Hynes’ downfall

  1. Thank you to everyone who has read the stories, participated in the live Q&As and, most of all, subscribed to help keep our vision alive. It’s been a frustrating, trying season for Devils fans, especially after all of the preseason hype, but there should be plenty of storylines to monitor the rest of the way and there are some I’m really excited about coming later this month (and beyond).
  2. 42. One last thought: How quickly the Devils can become a consistent playoff contender and compete for a fourth championship hinges on many different factors. One of the most intriguing to me is the group of young players on the roster right now that aren’t Hughes and Hischier.

Everyone is confident Hughes can be a star player in this league, and Hischier is already there (at least in terms of actual value, if not unquantifiable “star power”). The 2020 first-round pick will be critical, but how players like Bratt, Boqvist, Zacha, Butcher and Severson develop over the next season or two is equally as important.

The Oilers, Sabres and Panthers are all franchises that had many high picks and couldn’t turn them into consistent success. The biggest reason was not (always) the high picks, but the other young prospects not growing into supporting core player roles. New Jersey needs players like Severson and Butcher to take one more step forward, even if it’s a small one, and the Devils need to figure out if Bratt, Zacha and Boqvist can be more than role players on a contending team.

This franchise has a lot of work to do before it is back among the ones that can dream of playing deep into May and even June.


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New Jersey Devils Pre-Game Notes: Jan. 7 @ New York Rangers

New Jersey Devils (15-20-7) @ NY Rangers (20-18-4)
7:00 PM ET • Madison Square Garden • MSG / MSG+ / ESPN+ • Devils Hockey Network


*Links for Devils Hockey Network can be found on and on Devils’ social media channels.*


Check @NJDevils on Twitter for Morning Skate Interviews

Pre-Game Availability *subject to change

4:45 PM Media Availability at Madison Square Garden*






The Devils fell to the Islanders in overtime, 4-3, in the second of four contests of the 2019-20 regular season series. New Jersey falls to (1-0-1; 3pts) against the NY Islanders this season. The Devils face-off against the NY Islanders for the third time March 27 at Prudential Center.


New Jersey falls to 4-5-2 (2-2-2 home) against Metropolitan Division rivals this season. The Islanders outshot the Devils, 41-35. New Jersey was 26-50 (52%) in face-offs tonight. The Devils are 4-2-3 at Prudential Center and 6-8-4 overall against the Islanders since the 2015-16 season.


New Jersey drew zero PIM tonight for the first time this season. There has only been one game in Devils franchise history where they did not take a penalty in a game versus the Isalnders back on Feb. 16, 1978 when the Colorado Rockies took zero PIM against the Islanders. *credit Craig Seiden, NJD Radio. The club was 1-1 on the power play.


P.K. Subban opened the scoring for the Devils, 8:37 into the first frame, assisted by Miles Wood and Ben Street. The goal gives Subban two points in his last four games played (1G-1A; 12/31-1/7), and Street his first point as a Devil.


Nico Hischier notched New Jersey’s second goal of the contest, 18:24 into the second period, assisted by Kyle Palmieri and Wayne Simmonds.

Palmieri put the Devils up 3-2 at 11:55 into the third frame, assisted by Hischier and Damon Severson. The goal gives Palmieri his fifth multi-point game this season (1G-1A), and Hischier his fourth of his 2019-20 campaign (1G-1A).


Mackenzie Blackwood got the start for his 30th this season, and seventh consecutive. Blackwood stopped 37 of 41 shots faced, and falls to 14-11-6 this season.


Anders Lee notched the game-winner in overtime (4:09) for the Islanders.






Tonight’s contest marks the third of four contests between New Jersey and NY Rangers in the 2019-20 regular season series. The Devils defeated the Rangers in the first matchup in October, 5-2. NY Rangers responded in the second game, shutting out New Jersey, 4-0 (1-1-0; 2PTS).


New Jersey is 7-8 on the penalty kill, and 1-15 on the power play through two contests. The Devils are outshooting the Rangers, 71-54. New Jersey is averaging 46% in the face-offs circle through two games played.


Blake Coleman, Kyle Palmieri, Miles Wood, P.K Subban and Nikita Gusev lead the Devils in goals, tallying one each in the first game played on Oct. 17. Travis Zajac and Jack Hughes tallied helpers in the early October matchup.


Mackenzie Blackwood has seen 119:32 minutes of action through two games played. Blackwood has allowed five goals on 53 shots against, posting a 2.51 GAA. The Thunder Bay, ONT. CAN native is a career 2-1-0 against the Rangers with a 2.34 GAA. Blackwood looks to improve his 4-3-2 record against Metropolitan Division rivals this season (.908 SV%).


Jacob Trouba (2A), Mika Zibanejad (1G-1A) Jesper Fast (2G) and Brady Skjei (1G-1A) lead the Rangers in scoring tallying two points through two contests. Fast leads his club in goals while Trouba leads NY Rangers in assists. Alexander Georgiev started both tilts against the Devils. Georgiev allowed four goals on 70 shots against posting a 2.05 GAA. The Ruse, Bulgaria native looks to improve his 3-1-0 record against Metropolitan Rivals.


The Devils are 2-5-1 at Madison Square Garden and 9-7-2 overall against the Rangers since the 2015-16 season. New Jersey will face-off against the NY Rangers for the fourth and final time, March 7 at Madison Square Garden.






Jack Hughes (Day-to-day) – 3 games missed; Upper-body injury sustained Dec. 31

Jesper Bratt (Day-to-day) – 2 games missed; Lower-body injury sustained Jan. 2



Total Man-Games Lost to Injury: 76






October 17th marked the first of four contests between the first two draft selections of the 2019 NHL Draft, Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko. The Devils took the first contest, 5-2, where Hughes recorded his first NHL point on an assist. The Toronto native skated in 13:09 minutes and recorded two shots on goal. Kakko posted a -1 rating, skating in 16:13 minutes and tallying two shots. Hughes missed the second matchup while Kakko tallied an assist skating in 16:25 while recording one shot in the November 30th contest.


Through 36 games played, Hughes has posted six goals and 10 assists for 16 points with two game-winning goals (one overtime). Kakko has tallied seven goals and nine assists for 16 points through 38 games played.









Player Stats
Player Team Pos GP G A PTS PIM + / – TOI
BAHL, Kevin Canada (Gold) D 7 0 1 1 6 4
SMITH, Ty Canada (Gold) D 7 0 3 3 2 0
PASIC, Nikola Sweden (Bronze) F 7 0 1 1 0 -1
MISYUL, Daniil Russia (Silver) D 6 0 0 0 12 2
Goalie Team Pos GP GA SVS SVS% GAA W L
SCHMID, Akira Swtizerland G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0








*Jesper Boqvist – 1st NHL goal (Nov. 26 vs. MIN)

*Blake Coleman – 200 GP NJD/NHL (Nov. 19 vs. BOS)

*Andy Greene – Passed Scott Niedermayer for 7th place all time in Devils/franchise GP (893)(Dec. 3 vs. VGK)

-900th NJD/NHL GP (Dec. 20 vs. WSH)

-3 G to 50 NJD/NHL

-7 A to 200 NJD/NHL

*Nikita Gusev – 1st NHL goal (Oct. 4 vs. WPG)

*John Hayden – 1st Devils point (1A; Nov. 23 vs. DET)

-1st Devil goal (Dec. 23 @ CHI)

*Nico Hischier – 100th NHL/Devils career points (Oct. 5 @ BUF; 1A)

*Jack Hughes – 1st NHL point (Oct. 17 vs. NYR; 1A)

-1st NHL goal (Oct. 19 vs. VAN)

*Kyle Palmieri – 500th NHL GP (Oct. 10 vs. EDM)

100th Devils assist (Nov. 1 vs. PHI)

-300th NHL point (Oct. 30 vs. TB; 3G)

-50th PPG (Oct. 30 vs. TB)

-150th NHL assists (Nov. 28 @ MTL)

*Damon Severson – 400th NHL/NJD GP

*Ben Street – 1st NJD point (1A; Jan. 7 vs. NYI)

*P.K. Subban – 100th NHL goal (Nov. 2 @ CAR)

*Sami Vatanen – 100th Devils GP (Jan. 15 @ CBJ)

-400th NHL GP (Nov. 4 @ WPG)

*Miles Wood – 200th NHL/NJD GP (Oct. 4 vs. WPG)

*Travis Zajac – Passed John MacLean for fifth place in GP in NJD franchise history with 935 (Nov. 5 @ WPG)

-Tied Kirk Muller for third place on the Devils all-time points list (520) (Jan. 2 @ NYI; 1A)

-3 G to tie Zach Parise four fourth place on the Devils all-time goals list






October 6: Signed Joe Morrow to a one-year, two-way contract

-Placed and cleared waivers, to Binghamton (AHL)

October 12: Placed Andy Greene on I.R. retroactive to Oct. 9 @ PHI

-Recalled Matt Tennyson from Binghamton (AHL)

October 25: Placed Connor Carrick on I.R.

November 1: Acquired G Louis Domingue for a conditional seventh round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft

November 15: Placed Sami Vatanen on I.R.

-Recalled Colton White from Binghamton (AHL)

November 17: Assigned Colton White to Binghmaton (AHL)

November 18: Placed Cory Schneider on waivers (cleared waivers, to Binghamton (AHL))

-Recalled Louis Domingue from Binghamton (AHL)

November 22: Placed Kevin Rooney on I.R.

November 23: Recalled Brett Seney from Binghamton (AHL)

November 29: Assigned Brett Seney to Binghamton (AHL)

December 5: Placed Matt Tennyson on I.R. retroactive to Dec. 3 vs VGK

December 6: Assigned Connor Carrick to Binghamton (AHL) on a conditioning stint

-Recalled Colton White from Binghamton (AHL)

Dec. 10: Placed Nico Hischier on I.R.

-Recalled Michael McLeod from Binghamton (AHL)

Dec. 13: Activated Nico Hischier off of I.R.

-Assigned Colton White to Binghamton (AHL)

Dec. 14: Placed Louis Domingue on I.R.

-Recalled Evan Cormier from Binghamton (AHL)

Dec. 16: Traded Taylor Hall and Blake Speers to Arizona in exchange for Arizona’s first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft (top-three protected), Arizona’s third-round selection (conditional) in 2021, defenseman Kevin Bahl and forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr

Dec. 17: Assigned Evan Cormier to Binghamton (AHL)

-Recalled Gilles Senn from Binghamton (AHL)

Dec. 18: Activated Connor Carrick off of I.R.

Dec. 24: Assigned Michael McLeod to Binghamton (AHL)

Dec. 28: Activated Louis Domingue off of I.R. and assigned to Binghamton (AHL)

Dec. 30: Signed prospect Nikita Okhotyuk to a three-year entry level contract.

Jan. 1: Assigned Gilles Senn to Binghamton (AHL)

-Recalled Louis Domingue from Binghamton (AHL)

Jan. 4: Recalled Ben Street from Binghamton (AHL)

Jan. 5: Activated Matt Tennyson off of I.R. and placed on waivers

Jan. 6: Matt Tennyson cleared waivers, assigned to Binghamton (AHL)






On Feb. 9th,2019, Nico Hischier (1G-1A) scored with 1:41 remaining in overtime to help the Devils overcome a three-goal deficit to win for the second time this season (also: Dec. 14 vs. VGK). The first-overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft (20 years, 42 days) became the first player in Devils franchise history to record three overtime goals before his 21st birthday. Among all active NHL players, only Ilya Kovalchuk (4) and Sean Monahan (4) scored more overtime tucks prior to turning 21. Hischier has scored the game winner in the clubs three overtime wins.





In the System:


Jesper Boqvist (2017, 2nd round, 36th overall)

Mackenzie Blackwood (2015, 2nd round, 42nd overall)

Jesper Bratt (2016, 6th round, 162nd overall)

Blake Coleman (2011, 3rd round, 75th overall)

Nico Hischier (2017, 1st round, 1st overall)

Jack Hughes (2019, 1st round, 1st overall)

Damon Severson (2012, 2nd round, 60th overall)

Miles Wood (2013, 4th round, 100th overall)

Pavel Zacha (2015, 1st round, 6th overall)

Travis Zajac (2004, 1st round, 20th overall)



Free Agency: Will Butcher, Andy Greene, Kevin Rooney, Wayne Simmonds, Ben Street


Trade: Connor Carrick, Louis Domingue, Nikita Gusev, John Hayden, Mirco Mueller, Kyle Palmieri, P.K. Subban, Sami Vatanen





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    1) SUMMARY

The club faces-off against NY Rangers tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 PM ET on MSG. The Devils look to bounce back after their overtime loss to the Islanders on Tuesday night at Prudential Center (4-3 OTL).

  1. 4 observations from Devils’ loss to Islanders | Update on Mackenzie Blackwood; Why lone penalty was historic

by Chris Ryan, NJ Advanced Media


The Devils walked away with one point but failed to get back in the win column in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday at Prudential Center in Newark, falling on an Anders Lee goal in the final minute of bonus time.

Here are some takeaways from the loss, including a flukey injury to Mackenzie Blackwood and a bit of NHL history.

Mackenzie Blackwood update

The Devils goalie took a hard shot to the mask in the closing minute of the second period, causing a bloody mess to his mouth. After getting checked out by a trainer on the ice, Blackwood kept playing — making his best stop of the night moments later on a sprawling pad save on a wraparound — and finished the rest of the game.

But afterward, Blackwood’s mouth was still bleeding in the locker room, and he had a late-night trip to the dentist booked.

The missing teeth and bleeding added to a rough couple days for Blackwood, who was already sick entering the game. Yet he put together another strong performance, stopping 37 of the 41 shots he faced despite taking the loss.

“He was fighting it a little bit this morning with whatever he’s got going on, so he came out and battled,” Devils forward Kyle Palmieri said. “And he kept up the way he’s been playing. He’s been playing great for us and giving us a chance to win.”

A bit of NHL history

There was just one penalty called on Tuesday, and the nature of it created some NHL history.

According to NHL Stats, Tuesday was just the second NHL game ever, regular season or playoffs, where the lone penalty called came against a goalie. Islanders net minder Thomas Greiss was whistled for hooking Devils forward Nikita Gusev in the third period.

The only other game to end like that came in Jan. 4, 1968, when the Detroit Red Wings won 9-3 against the — wait for it — Oakland Seals. Seals goalie Gary Smith was also called for a hooking minor.

The Devils converted on the lone power play of the game Tuesday, with Kyle Palmieri temporarily giving them a 3-2 lead in the third period.

“I think early in the third. I asked a guy on the bench, there were no penalties, right?” Hischier said. “So I mean hard, fair game I guess. Refs did a good job and sometimes just not a lot of special teams.”

Nico Hischier continues to take over

Saturday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche snapped a four-game point streak for Hischier, but the Devils center got right back on the scoresheet in a big way Tuesday.

His second-period goal and third-period assist on Palmieri’s strike gave him eight points over his last six games.

The goal in particular showed off Hischier’s ability to create something out of nothing. He had the puck on a string while looping around the offensive zone, taking advantage of 1-on-1 coverage before recovering the puck off a poke check and backhanding a shot through traffic from the slot to tie the game at 2-2.

“You saw it from the first shift. He had the puck on his stick for what felt like almost a minute in the offensive zone,” Palmieri said. “He might not be the biggest guy but he’s good at protecting the puck and moving his feet and he’s a hard guy to defend. When you get him in situations like that, he’s shifty and he doesn’t expose the puck a lot, which makes him makes them harder to defend, so I think he has that ability to find some space and create space for himself.”

The Devils were sloppy from the get go

It’s been one of the main storylines of the season for the Devils and their struggles, and it happened again on Tuesday. Their decision making with the puck caused turnovers and sloppy play, and all three Islanders goals in regulation came off Devils miscues.

Sami Vatanen turned over a puck in the neutral zone, leading to a rush the other way and Casey Cizikas scoring the game’s opening goal in the first period. Later in the same frame, a Damon Severson pass from behind the Devils net went right to Jordan Eberle in the slot, where he converted for the second score.

On the third goal, with the Devils finally holding a lead, a Travis Zajac pass to Blake Coleman was stolen by Michael Dal Colle in the New Jersey defensive zone. Dal Colle dropped a pass to Tom Kuhnhackl, who scored on a slap shot from the right point.

“I just felt we worked hard, but not necessarily smart. Some puck decisions that weren’t good on our part gave them easy offense,” Devils interim coach Alain Nasreddine said. “That’s not something you want to do against a stingy team defensively, and our game management also wasn’t at its best. Take a 3-2 lead and you look at the tying goal, there’s numerous mistakes we’re making.”


  1. How Alain Nasreddine, Devils players reacted to Predators hiring ex-coach John Hynes

by Chris Ryan, NJ Advanced Media


Players had a universal reaction when the Devils fired John Hynes. All of them expected him to be coaching another NHL team in the near future.

On Tuesday, those thoughts proved to be true, perhaps even faster than they expected.

Hynes was hired as head coach of the Nashville Predators 35 days following his dismissal from New Jersey, landing his second career head coaching gig.

Alain Nasreddine found out Monday night while texting with his mentor, who still continued in that role after to Nasreddine took over as Devils interim head coach in December.

“Even when the change was made, just the person he is, he offered his help and we stayed in touch and our families are tight,” Nasreddine said. “So I couldn’t be happier. I don’t think anyone’s real surprised. He’s a great coach, a great human and you knew it was going to happen at some point. Just didn’t know when.”

When the Devils made their coaching change on Dec. 3, the players put the onus on themselves to turn things around, pointing to Hynes as the person who was sacrificed for the team’s failures.

After Hynes spent the first portion of his NHL coaching career on a rebuilding team, forward Travis Zajac expects him to show what he can do in a different situation.

“You knew it was gonna happen. I think everyone knew he was a great coach and he was going to be in the NHL probably sooner than later,” Zajac said. “One of the guys that I thought would be get a job and, obviously, he’s going to a team that’s supposed to be a playoff team, a veteran team, and I think it’s a little different situation than maybe he had here, so you know it’s good for him.”

Hynes will be back in New Jersey to coach against the Devils on Jan. 30, and while player said it will be a little odd to seem him behind an opposing bench so soon, it’s just part of the business.

“I think everyone in this room is happy for him to get an opportunity like that,” Palmieri said. “It wasn’t too long after everything happened here, but it’s an exciting opportunity for him and his family. We wish him nothing but the best.”

  1. New Jersey Devils’ MacKenzie Blackwood makes painful save vs. Islanders (Highlight)

By Kyle McKenna, Elite Sports NY


Rookie goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood has been nothing short of a true hockey player on Retro Night for the New Jersey Devils.

While New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier is lighting the lamp, goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood has also established his case as the team’s most valuable player for this season.

The rookie goaltender already initiated Calder Trophy nomination talks with his performance in net over the last two months. No. 29 once again broke headlines on Tuesday night vs. the New York Islanders.

What started as an uneventful second period ended with a standing ovation for the 23-year-old at the Prudential Center. Moments after Hischier netted a backhand top-shelf goal to tie the game at 2-2, Blackwood blocked a Ryan Pulock clapper with the chin area of his mask.

The gasps from “The Rock” were apparent after the Devils’ future star goaltender fell immediately to the ice with what appeared to be a serious injury. Blackwood then slowly rose and took off his mask once the play was ruled dead.

The shot was so hard and angled in an odd fashion that it knocked out the goaltender’s teeth. New Jersey’s rookie goaltender portrayed the look of an old fashioned hockey player with the battle scar. Conveniently, it happened to take place on Retro Night – which brought back more memories of the 1980s and ’90s.

The youngster received loud cheers after he threw his mask back on and decided to stay in the game, but that was just the beginning. Blackwood later made a phenomenal sliding save on Islanders forward, Casey Cizikas, who attempted a wraparound.

The save closed out the period and “The Rock’s” crowd rose to its feet to salute its potential Rookie of the Year with a standing ovation.

Now, that’s old-time hockey.


  1. 10 TAKEAWAYS: Finding Their Footing

by Amanda Stein amandacstein /


Welcome to a new decade! The New Jersey Devils are turning over a new leaf and getting ready for the second half of the NHL season. In recent weeks, the team’s play seems to have found cohesive energy with results beginning to show for it.

In this week’s edition of 10 Takeaways presented by Ticketmaster, we have a look at the Devils longest win streak of the season, how individual players are stepping up into new roles and could the Devils have two players at this year’s NHL All-Star Game…. That and more ahead…


Against the Islanders on January 2, the first game of 2020, the Devils won a third consecutive game – something the team had not been able to do since late 2018. The three-game win streak has been a reflection of the budding confidence this group has suddenly discovered. One word you hear often pre- or post-game is ‘belief’, belief has suddenly made its way into the New Jersey locker room.

So where did it all start coming together for the team? Will Butcher points to the Devils four-game road trip in the middle of December, with stops in Nashville, Dallas, Colorado, and Arizona. More specifically, Butcher points to the game in Colorado as a turning point, despite the 3-1 loss.

“We played really well in that central swing that we did,” Butcher said. “Out in Colorado and Arizona. We started to put some good games together, even though we weren’t getting the result of winning the game. I thought that we were playing well, we were buying into the system where the guys were playing for each other. That’s kind of where I think you felt it all start. And then, that Chicago game kind of gave us the boost of how to win games and how to keep playing that way. I think that’s kind of where it took off for us.”



There appears to be a new-found calm in P.K. Subban‘s game and it’s been to the benefit of not only the individual player but the team as a whole.

It has taken some time but Subban appears to have found his stride with New Jersey, something that interim coach Alain Nasreddine boils down to feeling comfortable within the system.

Nasreddine has plenty of experience with Subban, before taking over the interim head coaching job, Nasreddine was the Devils defensive coach.

“To be honest, it hasn’t been perfect all season, but I wouldn’t say he wasn’t committed to playing defense early on,” he said. “Maybe the system took a bit of time for him to adjust and adapt, I think he’s feeling more comfortable within the system. But I thought his commitment was always there. His compete and dedication to just play the right way is there. Just some reads at sometimes he didn’t have, being over-aggressive at times and sometimes less is more.”

Subban ended a 23-game goal drought when he scored against Chicago on December 23rd and has another two goals and an assist since then, including 13 shots in the last four games.

“I think he understands now that we don’t need him to be chasing all around and I think that helps his game,” continued Nasreddine. “He’s been good on both sides of the puck lately and for us the way he’s been shooting the puck is what we need more of and he’s been doing it the last two or three games, if you look at his shot attempts and all that stuff. So, he’s done a good job.”



This will surely be a trivia question down the line… P.K. Subban was the first New Jersey Devil to score a goal in the new decade. Subban’s goal at 18:33 in the second period against the Islanders on Long Island goes down as the first Devils goal of 2020.

And if you want to score extra points, Nikita Gusev and Travis Zajac assisted that goal.


One of the most fun guys in the Devils locker room is Sami Vatanen. He’s always up for a good joke, he is extremely witty and has no problem mixing it up.

Vatanen has had a pretty remarkable season in 2019-20. After last season was injury-plagued for the Finn, this season he has played a key role in stabilizing the defense. Along with his 22 points this season, Vatanen has been one of the Devils most reliable defensemen. On Saturday, January 4th, Vatanen played 30:40 against the Colorado Avalanche. That happens to be the most ice-time by any Devils’ player in a regulation game since 2007 when Brian Rafalski played 30:55 against the Blues. That’s a pretty incredible state when you come to think of it… 2007 is a long way back.

Sami might slightly fly under the radar, but certainly not in the Devils locker room where his contributions are praised. Sami and Kyle Palmieri have known each other since they both played with the Anaheim Ducks.

“He’s a huge part of our d-core and our power play,” Palmieri said. “He quarterbacks the first unit, and I think he’s a guy who plays with so much confidence and poise that he’s able to create offensively but I think his defensive side of the game and how hard he competes is another thing that maybe for a guy his size he doesn’t get too much credit for. I’ve known Sami for probably 10 years now, so I’ve seen how hard he competes and it’s good to have him on our team.”

We’ve seen in before in the past, when injuries were befallen on the Devils. Nico Hischier would skate onto the ice with an ‘A’ on his jersey, marking a next generation of leadership for the Devils. This time, however, it was a little bit different. On January 7th, it flew under the radar. Nico stepped onto the ice at the Coliseum on Long Islander with an ‘A’ on his jersey, yet both Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac were both in the lineup as well. Zajac still had his ‘A’, Palmieri didn’t.

It is absolutely no slight on Palmieri, because a decision had been made, with the consultation of Kyle, that he and Nico would share the ‘A’ for the remainder of the season. A rotation will take place on the road that will alternate between the two players. It’s significant for several reasons, the first being a clear message that Hischier will be the key player in the next generation of New Jersey Devils leadership. The second being, he will have Kyle (and Travis, for that matter) to look to while he undertakes this role.

From my standpoint, something has changed in Nico. There has been plenty of veterans surrounding the now 21-year-old since he’s been in the NHL, those who handle the tough moments in front of the media on a day-in-day out basis. That’s not to say that Nico wasn’t available, he was, but much like you see from Andy Greene after a tough loss, Nico is waiting in his locker stall, ready to answer the questions. Greene does this – after any loss – he waits for the media, even when the room is quite bare. It’s only been a few games since Taylor Hall was traded, but I’ve now seen Nico step up into that role that Greene, Palmieri and Hall took on in difficult moments. 


There was just so much excitement in the visiting locker room in Ottawa just before the New Year. The youngest guy on the team had just had a huge moment. Jack Hughes‘ first overtime goal was a beauty, and everyone knew it.

Even Jack himself. Some may confuse his confidence for cockiness, but I rather enjoy a player who understands their level of talent and abilities.

“Pretty nice. I’m not gonna lie,” he said to MSG Networks after the game. “Nice goal. It was a nice pass by Palms. Good to help the team win.”

Just another ‘first’ to cross off the budding stars list!


Interim head coach Alain Nasreddine has been asked the same question on a couple of occasions these last two weeks. As different media come and go from press conference and media availability, Nas has been asked a couple of times now how he is managing with the new head coaching role and how it differs from his 10 years as an assistant. With a smirk and a slight hint of a laugh, he points to time management.

“Time management,” Nasreddine has said on multiple occasions. “I think there’s a lot on your plate – a lot more on your plate. I saw John [Hynes] work-day in, day out doing this stuff and I’ve always said he was the hardest working man in the NHL. Now to be in that position you realize how much you have. Coaching is one thing, but there’s a lot more than just coaching that comes along with this [head] coaching job. The time management is definitely something that you really have to be aware of to be able to do a good job.”


As a Canadian, I couldn’t have imagined a better way for the World Junior Championship to end on Sunday afternoon. A 4-3 victory over Russia earned the Team Canada their 18th gold medal in the tournament’s history. It also solidified a successful World Juniors for several New Jersey Devils prospects.

When all was said and done, four Devils prospects returned home from the tournament in Czech Republic with a medal. Ty Smith and Kevin Bahl won gold with Canada, Daniil Misyul took home silver with Russia and Nikola Pasic won the bronze with Sweden.

How does that compare to the rest of the NHL? Well, New Jersey, Detroit, and L.A. all had four prospects that medaled. Columbus, Dallas, and Edmonton each had three, as did Arizona.


One of the most consistent players this Devils season has undoubtedly been Mackenzie Blackwood in net. The 23-year-old has all but one of the Devils victories this season (Louis Domingue has the other). When the calendar hit December 20th, 2019, Blackwood had officially been a relative constant in the NHL for a full calendar year. December 20th, 2018 was Blackwood’s first NHL start, one day after his first NHL appearance. Fast-forward a year and sum up the 2019 month of December, and Blackwood has some impeccable numbers.

From December 1st to the end of the month, Blackwood had a record of 6-3-3. Over that time he was 3rd in NHL in save percentage with .924 and he was also tied for 3rd in the NHL with his 2.31 goals-against average. (Numbers reflected here compare to goaltenders who have played a minimum of 10 games.)

Not too shabby.

After Blackwood’s performance against the Boston Bruins, on the final game of 2019 and a game where in the shootout he stopped David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk and Patrice Bergeron in the victory, interim head coach Nasreddine was asked about the potential of seeing Blackwood’s name in the Calder trophy debate.

“Mackenzie has been a difference-maker,” Nasreddine answered. “He’s a big reason for our success lately and we still have half the season left so he’ll try to keep it rolling. He’ll be a big part of that so if he continues like this there’s no reason not to believe he can be a Calder Trophy candidate.”

For a second straight year, the New Jersey Devils will be represented by Kyle Palmieri at the NHL All-Star Game. As the Devils point-leader and goal scorer he will represent the franchise on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

“It’s an honor to represent New Jersey,” he said. “Being able to go there for a second year in a row. I’m excited for it. Really looking forward to it.”

Don’t forget you can also vote in Nico Hischier to the All-Star Game as one of the NHL’s ‘Last Men In’ competition. It’s super easy… just head to THIS LINKand vote your maximum 10 times per 24 hours and let’s send Nico along with Kyle to the NHL’s big event!



  1. GAME STORY: Islanders 4, Devils 3 OT

by Marc Ciampa /


NEWARK, NJ – The Devils deserved a better fate, coming from behind to take the lead before allowing a goal late in the third period followed by one with 51 seconds left in overtime in a 4-3 OT loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

In overtime, Anders Lee rifled a shot past Mackenzie Blackwood from the high slot to end the game.




View Photo Gallery

Box Score

Look back at the In-Game Blog


Full Highlights

POST-GAME REPORT | Amanda Stein wraps up the game

POST-GAME RAW | Hischier


POST-GAME RAW | Hischier

POST-GAME RAW | Devils Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine


New Jersey’s next two games are on the road. The team plays their rival, the NY Rangers, on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, before heading to the nation’s capital to face the Capitals on Saturday.

Devils return home to play the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 12. Tickets Still Available

Both teams had great chances in the three-on-three overtime.

“It’s exciting, it’s nervewracking. It’s why they went to three-on-three format,” said Blake Coleman. “We had a few chances but unfortunately didn’t bury ours. They buried theirs.”

Islanders got on the board first almost four minutes into the game. Leo Komarov took the puck in behind the Devils net and out in front to Matt Martin. His shot was denied by Blackwood but Casey Cizikas was in front to backhand home the rebound.

Blackwood made a big stop as a shot from Mathew Barzal went off his mask, a common theme throughout the night.

With 11:23 to go in the first, P.K. Subban blasted a shot from the top of the right circle past Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss to get things on even terms.

One hundred seconds later, the Islanders tied things up. Taking advantage of a Damon Severson giveaway in the slot, Jordan Eberle intercepted the feed and quickly fired it past Blackwood.

After one, shots on goal were 10-9 for the Islanders.

“I really liked our work ethic for the majority of the game,” said Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine afterwards. “I just felt we worked hard but not necessarily smart. Puck decisions that weren’t good on our part. Puck decisions gave them easy offense. That’s not something you want to do against a team that’s stingy defensively.”

Coleman agreed with his coach.

“I thought everyone played pretty hard and we had a lot of looks but maybe gave up a few too many defensively,” Coleman stated. “It’s something we’ll correct right away and move forward.”

Islanders carried the play for a lot of the period, outshooting the Devils 9-2 eight minutes in and ultimately 18-12 when all was said and done through 40 minutes. The toughest shot for Blackwood came in the final minute of the period as a blast by Ryan Pulock off his cage resulted in a bloody mouth but he stayed in the game.

“He’s fighting a bit of illness and missing some teeth and comes up with a massive save at the end of the second period,” Coleman said of Blackwood. “He’s our glue right now and giving us a chance to win every night.”

Despite being outshot, it was the Devils who scored the period’s only goal. Nico Hischier circled the zone, lost the puck for a moment but recovered just enough to backhand the puck past Greiss to knot the game up at 2-2 with 1:36 to go in the period.

Islanders opened the third period with the first six shots on goal through the first seven minutes of the game.

With 8:44 to go in the third, Coleman snuck in behind the Islanders defense and was denied by Greiss.

Devils strong play continued through the latter half of the period. The only penalty of the entire game came with just over eight minutes to play and it was on the Isles. Greiss was called for hooking Nikita Gusev as the Devils forward raced behind the net.

Nineteen seconds into the man advantage, Kyle Palmieri one-timed a blast from the right circle to put the Devils in front. Nico Hischier and Damon Severson got the assists.

Tom Kuhnhackl wired a blast from the point that beat a screened Blackwood to tie the game up only 2:19 later, however.

“Our game management wasn’t at its best. You take a 3-2 lead and look at the tying goal, the mistakes we made. You just have to be better when you have the lead,” noted Nasreddine.

“Guys worked. We skated. We just have to be smarter.”

Shots on goal in the third period ended up 13-10 for the Devils; 39-33 Islanders in the game overall through regulation.








  1. POST GAME | Devils Downed In OT

by njd.TV–devils-downed-in-ot/t-277437418/c-5058932



by njd.TV






  1. Year In Review – 2019-20 Episode 13

by New Jersey Devils Official Podcast





  1. Anders Lee scores OT winner, Islanders beat Devils 4-3

By TOM CANAVAN AP Sports Writer


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Getting contributions from almost all their lines was what the New York Islanders needed to end their recent goal-scoring woes.

Anders Lee scored with 51 seconds left in overtime and the Islanders got goals from three of their four lines in a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

“That’s how it has been for us the last couple of years,” Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock said. “It’s important to have that when you have different guys stepping up every night.”

Casey Cizikas, Jordan Eberle and Tom Kuhnhackl also scored for the Islanders, who had been limited to two goals in their previous three games. Thomas Greiss made 32 saves for the Islanders, including one on defenseman Sami Vatanen on a 3-on-1 break in overtime.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz said the Devils got their odd-man break because Brock Nelson lost his stick and then could not grab another at the bench despite five players handing him sticks.

“It was a comedy of errors,” Trotz said after his team won its second game in as many nights, following a 1-0 win over Colorado. “Big save by Greisser and a big goal by Leesie, who I thought was our best player by a long shot.”

P.K. Subban, Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils, who were looking for their second win over the Islanders in less than a week.

A gutsy Mackenzie Blackwood shook off an illness and bloodied mouth and stopped 37 shots for New Jersey.

“He’s been sick the last couple of days. He looked terrible in practice yesterday,” Palmieri said of Blackwood. “He was fighting it a little bit this morning with whatever he’s got going on. He came out and battled.”

The game-winner came when the Islanders caught the Devils and rookie Nikita Gusev on a line change. Devon Toews gave Lee the puck and he beat Blackwood up high for his 13th goal.

“It happened fast. I think Goose went for a change,” Hischier said. “I got to be honest. I think I cheated a little bit, too much on offense there. I thought it was going to be a chip. I was too late back. The third guy was mine but I was too late.”

Blackwood was hurt late in the second period when a hard slap shot by Pulock hit him in the mask. He did not talk after the game and it appeared he might have had some teeth knocked loose.

Neither team led by more than a goal in the entertaining game between the longtime rivals.

The Devils grabbed their first lead of the night when Palmieri scored on the game’s only power play with 8:05 left in regulation.

Kuhnhackl, who was sidelined from Oct. 27 to Dec. 19 with a lower-body injury, tied the game a little more than two minutes later with a shot from the right point after the Devils turned the puck over in their own zone.

The Islanders took two one-goal leads, only to see the Devils tie the game.

Hischier tied it at 2-all with 1:36 left in the second period. He collected the puck in the right corner, skated to the blue line and then cut back toward the goal and beat Greiss with a backhander from the left circle after fighting off a check by Mathew Barzal.

Eberle gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead midway through the first period with a shot from between the circles after a giveaway by Devils defenseman Damon Severson.

Cizikas opened the scoring at 3:38, putting the rebound of Matt Martin’s shot past Blackwood.

Subban tied the game with a slap shot about five minutes later. Miles Wood set up the goal, circling the Islanders zone to find the defenseman.

NOTES: There were no penalties for the first 51:36. … No. 1 overall draft pick Jack Hughes missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury. … F Jesper Bratt missed his second straight with lower-body injury. … Subban and Hischier also scored in the Devils’ 2-1 win over the Islanders last week. … Islanders D Sebastian Aho was scratched for the third straight game since his recall from Bridgeport (AHL). … New York D Noah Dobson turned 20 Tuesday.


Islanders: Host Boston on Saturday at Barclays Center.

Devils: At the New York Rangers on Thursday night.



  1. Predators hire former Devils coach John Hynes as new coach

by Associated Press


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nashville Predators have hired former New Jersey Devils coach John Hynes as the third coach in franchise history after firing Peter Laviolette.

The Predators announced the hiring Tuesday before a morning skate. Nashville hosts Boston on Tuesday night.

“John Hynes is a bright young coach and great leader who has a track record of both effectively developing young players and successfully motivating veterans,” Nashville general manager David Poile said in a statement. “We love his coaching resume and are confident that he has learned from every stop during his career, and has the best skill set to get the maximum potential out of our team.”


Poile fired Laviolette and assistant coach Kevin McCarthy on Monday after the Predators (19-15-7) had dropped four of five. They are 11th in the Western Conference standings with 45 points.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to join an organization with a history of success, a team with immense talent and a phenomenal fan base,” Hynes said. “This organization has a strong foundation, from its ownership and executives to the entire front-office staff, and I’m excited to come in and try to maximize this team’s abilities.”

Hynes, 44, was 150-149-5 as head coach with the New Jersey Devils, who fired him Dec. 3 despite signing him to a multiyear extension last January. He was let go after a 9-13-4 start that left New Jersey in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the NHL’s second-worst record.

New Jersey hired Hynes before the 2014-15 season, and he led the Devils to six more points than in their previous season. He guided the Devils to the 2018 playoffs for the first time since 2012 in a season when Taylor Hall won the Hart Trophy for scoring a career-best 93 points in 76 games. He also helped develop Nico Hischier, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017.

Hynes was head coach in the AHL of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for five seasons after being an assistant coach. He also spent nine seasons on the staff of the USA Hockey National Team Development program, including as head coach from 2003-09 working with players like Patrick Kane, Jimmy Howard, Phil Kessel, Jimmy Hayes and Jason Zucker.

The native of Warwick, Rhode Island, was coach when the Americans won the 2004 World Junior Championship, their first medal there since 1997.

Laviolette went 248-143-60 in 5 1/2 seasons with Nashville, reaching the playoffs each of his first five seasons. The Predators lost to Pittsburgh in six games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. They won the Presidents’ Trophy and made it to the second round of the playoffs in 2018. They were eliminated in the first round a year ago.

Poile traded away defenseman P.K. Subban, Nashville’s highest-paid player, and signed free-agent forward Matt Duchene to a $56 million, seven-year contract on July 1. But the Predators sputtered through the first half of this season. They hadn’t won more than two straight games since a four-game streak in late October.

This marked the sixth NHL coaching change of the season.



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New Jersey Devils Post-Game Notes: Jan. 7 vs. NY Islanders

New Jersey Devils 3 vs. NY Islanders 4 (OT)


  • Attendance: 14,518
  • Three Stars: 1. Anders Lee Nico Hischier 3. Kyle Palmieri





  • The Devils fell to the Islanders in overtime, 4-3, in the second of four contests of the 2019-20 regular season series. New Jersey falls to (1-0-1; 3pts) against the NY Islanders this season.
  • New Jersey falls to 4-5-2 (2-2-2 home) against Metropolitan Division rivals this season.
  • New Jersey drew zero PIM tonight for the first time this season. There has only been one game in Devils franchise history where they did not take a penalty in a game versus the Isalnders back on Feb. 16, 1978 when the Colorado Rockies took zero PIM against the Islanders. *credit Craig Seiden, NJD Radio. The club was 1-1 on the power play.
  • The Islanders outshot the Devils, 41-35.
  • New Jersey was 26-50 (52%) in face-offs tonight.
  • The Devils are 4-2-3 at Prudential Center and 6-8-4 overall against the Islanders since the 2015-16 season.







  • Mackenzie Blackwood got the start for his 30th this season. Blackwood stopped 37 of 41 shots faced, and falls to 14-11-6 this season.
  • K. Subban opened the scoring for the Devils, 8:37 into the first frame, assisted by Miles Wood and Ben Street. The goal gives Subban two points in his last four games played (1G-1A; 12/31-1/7), and Street his first point as a Devil.
  • Nico Hischier notched New Jersey’s second goal of the contest, 18:24 into the second period, assisted by Kyle Palmieri and Wayne Simmonds.
  • Palmieri put the Devils up 3-2 at 11:55 into the third frame, assisted by Hischier and Damon Severson. The goal gives Palmieri his fifth multi-point game this season (1G-1A), and Hischier his fourth of his 2019-20 campaign (1G-1A).
  • Anders Lee notched the game-winner in overtime (4:09) for the Islanders.









UPCOMING SCHEDULE   *Subject to change


Tomorrow:  12PM Practice @ RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House



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