Tag: New Jersey Devils

Montreal Canadiens v New Jersey Devils

Gelinas, Bernier in Devils lineup tonight vs. Blues

Defenseman Eric Gelinas will replace Jon Merrill tonight when the New Jersey Devils play host to the St. Louis Blues.

Merrill, who has appeared in all 11 games for New Jersey this season scoring a goal and three assists, is nursing an unspecified injury according to Rich Chere of the Star Ledger.

Gelinas has a goal and three assists in eight games this season – he has sat out the previous two games.

Steve Bernier will make his regular season debut on the Devils fourth line tonight alongside Tuomo Ruutu and Stephen Gionta. Bernier was recalled from the Albany Devils on Monday.

In nine American Hockey League games this season, the 29-year-old has a goal and four assists.

Goalie nods: Greiss gets Wild, despite Fleury’s back-to-back shutouts

Anaheim Ducks v Pittsburgh Penguins

News and notes from around the crease…

Fleury takes a seat

Interesting decision from the Penguins tonight, as they’ll give backup Thomas Greiss the start against the Wild at Xcel — even though Marc-Andre Fleury, the NHL’s reigning third star of the week, is in the midst of a two-game shutout streak.

The Penguins kick off a five-game roadie starting tonight and Greiss hasn’t played since Oct. 23, so there are some reasons to get him in. That said, Fleury has been nothing short of outstanding lately — he actually has three shutouts in his last four starts — and tonight’s game is one of Pittsburgh’s bigger tests; Minnesota is third in the NHL in goals per game (3.40) with a perfect 5-0-0 record at home, and the Penguins have some “easier” games on this trip, including a stop in Buffalo on Saturday.

For the Wild, Darcy Kuemper will be in goal.


Panthers at Bruins: Roberto Luongo vs. Tuukka Rask

Oilers at Flyers: Viktor Fasth vs. Steve Mason

Flames at Caps: Jonas Hiller vs. Braden Holtby

‘Canes at Jackets: Cam Ward vs. Curtis McElhinney

Wings at Sens: Jimmy Howard vs. Craig Anderson

‘Hawks at Habs: Corey Crawford vs. Carey Price

Blues at Devils: Jake Allen vs. Cory Schneider

Preds at Jets: Carter Hutton vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Kings at Stars: Kari Lehtonen for Dallas, Jonathan Quick likely for L.A.

Canucks at Avs: Ryan Miller vs. Semyon Varlamov

Leafs at Coyotes: Mike Smith for Arizona, Jonathan Bernier likely for Toronto.

Get your game notes: Blues at Devils

St. Louis Blues v New Jersey Devils

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New Jersey Devils hosting the St. Louis Blues at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Even with STL’s forward line combinations in flux this season due to a series of injuries and illnesses, RW Vladimir Tarasenko has stepped up, scoring 6 goals in his last 4 games and powering the Blues to a 5-game win streak heading into tonight.

• Top forwards David Backes (concussion), T.J. Oshie (concussion), Joakim Lindstrom (bacterial infection) and Paul Stastny (shoulder) have all missed time this season, causing Blues coach Ken Hitchcock to use whatever combination “pops out of the blender” during morning skate for his starting top line. Backes and Lindstrom are now back, but Oshie and Stastny are not expected to play tonight.

• Tarasenko leads STL with 13 points (7G-6A) this season. The 22-year-old Russian, who told NHL.com he talks to his grandfather Vladimir after every game, had his first career hat trick in a 4-3 OT win over DAL last week. He scored a highlight-reel power-play goal in regulation and the shootout winner in STL’s 4-3 (SO) victory over NYR on Monday. But his grandfather always tells him “it’s only one night” and “tomorrow” is always the most important.

• Tarasenko previously played with Blues teammate Jori Lehtera at Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL and represented Russia at the 2014 Sochi Games.

• NJ has won 3 of its last 4 games, but in all 3 of those victories the Devils have had to come from behind, which has frustrated their two Czech veterans, 42-year-old RW Jaromir Jagr and 38-year-old C Patrik Elias. NJ beat OTT, 3-2 (OT), on Oct. 25 and ended their 0-for-18 shootout game skid with a 2-1 (SO) win over WPG on Thursday before beating CBJ, 3-2, on Saturday.

• Jagr after beating CBJ: “I’m getting frustrated. We’re just wasting energy away and we don’t make plays. The third period comes and you’re going to put it together, and the power is here to win the hockey games, but we can make it so much easier for ourselves and more enjoyable by playing games the right way.”

• Elias after beating CBJ: “We’re not skating as well as we should, for whatever reason. You saw how we played in the first few games of the season. For six or seven games, even though we lost some of them, we were still playing well. That’s what we’ve got to get back to.”

• This is NJ’s first season since 1992-93 without G Martin Brodeur – the NHL’s all-time wins leader (688) – starting in net. After facing questions on whether he could handle Brodeur’s workload, American G Cory Schneider has started all 11 of the team’s games, posting a 6-3-2 record, 2.83 GAA and .909 SV%.


• 101st regular-season meeting and the first of 2 meetings this season between STL and NJ. They will play again on Thursday in STL.

• STL leads all-time series 49-36-14-1 (W-L-T-OL).

• Last season, NJ won 7-1 at home on Jan. 21, and STL won 3-0 at home on Jan. 28. In the first game, 7 different players scored goals for NJ.


• STL: Since 2013, the Blues’ .781 (12-3-1 record) winning percentage in the month of November is the best in the NHL (Per Elias).

• NJ: 10-for-38 on the power play this season (26.3% – 3rd best in NHL).

• NJ: 33-for-48 on the penalty kill this season. (68.8% – 2nd worst in NHL).


• NJ: RW Jaromir Jagr needs 1 goal to tie Mike Gartner for 6th on the all-time goal list with 708. Jagr already has the most career goals among active NHL players with 707.


• STL: C Paul Stastny (shoulder) and RW T.J. Oshie (concussion) are both day-to-day.

• NJ: LW Mike Cammalleri (jaw/neck) and RW Jordin Tootoo (foot) are both day-to-day.


• STL: C David Backes: 1G-5A in 7 career GP vs. NJ.

• STL: LW Alexander Steen: 2G in 2 GP vs. NJ last season, including one game-winner.

• NJ: RW Damien Brunner / D Eric Gelinas: Both had 1G-2A in NJ’s 7-1 win over STL on Jan. 21 last season.

• NJ: RW Jaromir Jagr: 8G-16A, including 3 PPG, in 27 career GP vs. STL.


• Captain C David Backes, a two-time U.S. Olympian, returned to the lineup on Nov. 1 vs. COL after missing one game with a concussion. He was third on STL with 57 points last season, but has just 2G-3A so far this season, putting him seventh on the team with 5 points.

• RW T.J. Oshie is day-to-day after suffering a concussion vs. DAL on Oct. 30. He has 1 assist in 8 games this season, one in which he’s caring for both his 8-month-old daughter and his father with Alzheimer’s off the ice.

• Oshie became a worldwide star last February at the Sochi 2014 Games, converting 4 of 6 shootout attempts vs. Russia to give the U.S. a 3-2 victory in the preliminary round. He is 27-for-49 (55.1%) in shootouts in six-plus seasons with STL, including an NHL-leading 9 shootout goals last season. He is 0-for-1 on shootout attempts this season.

• D Alex Pietrangelo, part of Canada’s gold-medal winning Sochi 2014 Olympic team, leads STL this season with 25:38 TOI/G. For the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, he shaved his head in late October to support his girlfriend’s niece, Ellie, who was diagnosed with cancer last August.

• Following the departures of G Jaroslav Halak and G Ryan Miller, G Brian Elliott took over as the team’s top goaltender to start the season despite having never played more than 38 games in a season in three years with STL. Because Elliott played Monday against NYR, G Jake Allen is expected to make the start at NJ tonight.

• STL is allowing 2.00 goals/game this season (T-6th best in NHL). Allen is 2-1-0 in 3 starts so far in his first full NHL season with a 1.34 GAA and .944 SV%.


• C Adam Henrique leads NJ with 9 points (4G-5A) this season and has an upbringing unlike any of his teammates. Henrique and his three brothers were raised on a family tobacco farm in Burford, Ontario, and it was his job to prime the leaves.

• In May 2012, Henrique told the New York Times that priming tobacco growing up made him chase a career in hockey a little harder: “You’re like this, picking leaves, putting the leaves in your bag, and the leaves are hitting you in the face, and it’s wet. You got tar all over you, and you’ve got an 80-pound bag that you’re filling up. It’s no fun.”

• Henrique is expected to be put on the same line with C Patrik Elias tonight to give the Devils offense a jolt. Elias has gone 10 straight games without a goal.

• At 42, RW Jaromir Jagr is in his 21st season with his 7th NHL team and is tied for second on NJ with 8 points this season. He leads all active players in goals (707), assists (1,056), points (1,763) and games played (1,484).

• The 5-time Olympian and 5-time Art Ross Trophy winner (NHL scoring leader) is one of 25 players in the Triple Gold Club, having won two Stanley Cups with PIT (1991, 1992), an Olympic gold with the Czech Republic (1998) and two IIHF World Championships with the Czech Republic (2005, 2010).

• D Damon Severson, 22 years younger than Jagr, already has 4G-4A and in 21:59 TOI/G in his rookie season.

NHL on NBCSN: Devils try to cool booming Blues

Patrik Berglund, Stephen Gionta

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the New Jersey Devils host the St. Louis Blues at the Prudential Center at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

From injuries to mysterious infections (and maybe injured players dealing with said infections), the St. Louis Blues have been dealing with some notable hurdles early this season. Even so, they’re really starting to look like a team many pegged as a serious Stanley Cup contender, as they’re currently on a five-game winning streak.

That most recent win came last night against the New York Rangers, so the New Jersey Devils get two obvious advantages: they’re fresher and play on home ice tonight.

The Devils have been a tough team to peg in some ways.

They started off the 2014-15 campaign boasting a robust offense, as they won their first two games 11-5. A three-game winning streak was followed by a four-game skid, deflating some of that early optimism.

Now the Devils are on a two-game winning streak of their own, so Tuesday’s game against the Blues provides a chance for Cory Schneider & Co. to prove that New Jersey is better than a “bubble team.”

To do so, they’ll have to find a way to cool off red-hot Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored his seventh goal of the season in dazzling fashion last night:

Tarasenko now has six goals and two assists in his last four games.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Tuesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Tuesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Each squad is hoping to get key offseason additions back sometime soon, though probably not tonight.

Paul Stastny was recently cleared for contact on the Blues’ end while Mike Cammalleri is expected to start skating again soon for New Jersey.

The Devils and Blues split their 2013-14 season series, and they’ll get the 2014-15 version over with quickly. Today’s match begins a home-and-home set that will represent their meeting this year (barring a Stanley Cup Final matchup, of course). Speaking of Cup Final matchups, Ken Hitchcock’s face may conjure up positive memories for longtime Devils fans, as his Dallas Stars fell to the Devils in a competitive 2000 championship round.

That’s probably about as far as the “history” angle goes for these two teams, really, but that doesn’t mean that tonight’s game won’t be heated.

Considering their reputations, one would expect a defensive battle, yet there are plenty of factors that could make for fireworks. Ultimately, it’s an interesting test for both squads, perhaps especially for New Jersey.

Kings’ Pearson named NHL’s rookie of the month

Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli

Los Angeles’ “That 70s Line” was dominant over the first month of the season and, on Monday, the line’s leading goalscorer netted a major award.

Tanner Pearson, currently tied for fourth in the NHL with seven goals, was named October’s Rookie of the Month, the league announced. The 22-year-old finished the month with nine points in 11 games and a plus-9 rating, and currently sits second in rookie scoring to Nashville’s Filip Forsberg (who finished October with eight points, but jumped to 11 following a three-point outing in Sunday’s win over Vancouver).

Pearson, the Kings’ first-round pick (30th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has been a productive contributor since making his debut at the tail end of last season. He scored seven points in 25 games, then broke out with four goals and 12 points in 24 games, helping the Kings capture their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

As for other rookies that starred during the opening month:

— New Jersey’s Damon Severson led all first-year blueliners with four goals and seven points. He’s also currently leading all first-year skaters in TOI per game, at 21:59.

— Washington forward Andre Burakovsky finished with two goals and eight points, finishing the month tied with Forsberg for second among rookie scorers.