LAST GAME: NEW JERSEY 4 vs. COLORADO 1
The New Jersey Devils opened their 35th season in front of a sold out crowd at Prudential Center with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The Devils are now 19-10-6 in home-opening games and are 20-9-6 overall in season-openers. It is the second consecutive year that New Jersey won their first home game of the season (2-1 W, vs. ANA, Oct. 18, 2016).
Rookie defenseman Will Butcher set a franchise record for the most points scored by a player in a Devils' debut with three assists. Forward Jesper Bratt also made his Devils/NHL debut and recorded a goal (PP) and an assist (SH), while 2017 first overall draft pick Nico Hischier recorded 15:44 of ice-time and had six shots on goal. Jimmy Hayes tallied the game-winner (PP) in his first game as a Devil.
John Moore scored the first shorthanded goal of his NHL career to put NJD ahead 4-1; it was just the second shorthanded point of his career. Adam Henrique opened the scoring with a PP goal at 4:04 of the first, while Taylor Hall had an assist on Bratt's PPG.
Kyle Palmieri recorded two assists on the night but left the game early with a lower body injury and did not return. Drew Stafford also exited the match early (lower body) and did not return.
D Mirco Mueller, F Drew Stafford, F Marcus Johannson and F Brian Gibbons also played in their first game as Devils.
Cory Schneider stopped 40 of 41 (.971) for the win.
New Jersey was 3-4 (75.0%) with the man-advantage and a perfect 6-6 on the penalty kill.
This afternoon is the Devils' first road game of 2017-18 and their first game against an Eastern Conference opponent. Last season, New Jersey was 3-0-0 against Buffalo and won 2-1 (OT)in their only game at KeyBank Center. The club is 4-0-0 at Buffalo since the 2013-14 season. The Devils are 15-15-4 in first road games of the season.
Marcus Johansson had five points (1g-4a) against BUF in 2016-17 and has eight points (6g-2a) over his last five games vs. the Sabres.
Cory Schneider is 7-3-2 in his career vs. the Sabres with a .933 save% and 2 shutouts.
The clubs face-off two more times this season; Dec. 29 at Prudential Center & Jan. 30 at KeyBank Center