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3/4 Pregame Notes: Devils vs. Golden Knights

New Jersey Devils (33-24-8) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (41-18-5) 5:00 PM • Prudential Center • MSG+ • The One Jersey Network

by James Stolfi / newjerseydevils.com

LAST GAME - MARCH 2: NEW JERSEY DEVILS 1 @ CAROLINA HURRICANES 3

New Jersey fell, 3-1, to the Carolina Hurricanes and finished 1-2-0 on their three-game road trip. On the trip, the Devils also made stops in Pittsburgh (Feb. 27, 3-2 W) and Florida (Mar. 1, 3-2 L). With the loss, the Devils concluded the second half of their 13th of 16 back-to-back sets this season, and are now 6-5-2 in first games and 6-7-0 in second games of back-to-backs.  

 

New Jersey is 22-15-5 vs. Eastern Conference opponents and 12-9-1 against the Metropolitan Division. 

Keith Kinkaid made his career-high 27th start of the season, stopping 27 of 29 shots and falling to 15-9-2 overall. Even with the loss, Kinkaid boasts a 10-5-0 record, 2.73 GAA and .911 SV% against Metropolitan Division opponents in 2017-18.  

Taylor Hall extended his league-leading 17 game points-streak (12G-10A-22PTS) and three-game goal streak, when he scored the Devils lone goal of the game on the power play with 33 seconds remaining in the second period. The tally was Hall's 29th goal of the season and 10th on the power play. 

Sami Vatanen and Kyle Palmieri had the assists on Hall's goal and were both tied for the team-lead with five shots apiece. Vatanen led the Devils with 23:04 TOI and has 10 assists in his last 11 games played. Additionally, with the assist, Palmieri has five points (3G-2A) in his last 5GP. 

Nico Hischier still leads the Devils with four points (2G-2A) in their season-series against Carolina, while Brett Pesce, Justin Williams and Victor Rask each have three points for the Hurricanes. 

Feb. 15 - CAR 2 @ NJD 5 W
Feb. 18 - NJD 3 @ CAR 2 Wo
Mar. 02 - NJD 1 @ CAR 3 L
Mar. 27 - CAR @ NJD

TONIGHT vs VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Tonight's game will be the first between the Devils and the Vegas Golden Knights, with the two teams meeting for the second and final time in the regular season on Mar. 14 at T-Mobile Arena. The Devils are 6-2-1 in their first game against expansion teams, and 19-3-3 overall against teams in their inaugural season. 

The Golden Knights are 41-18-5 and sit at the top of the Pacific Division. Vegas is 14-9-3 against the Eastern Conference, but only 6-5-1 against Metropolitan Division opponents. New Jersey is 11-9-3 against the Western Conference and 5-4-2 against the Pacific Division. 

The Vegas Golden Knights selected Jon Merrill from the New Jersey Devils in the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21st. Merrill was the Devils first selection (2nd RD, 38th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft and played four seasons in New Jersey, totaling six goals and 30 assists in 216 games played. Merrill has appeared in 19 games this season and signed a two-year contract extension with the Golden Knights on January 16th. 

Marc-Andre Fleury leads Vegas with 51 career games played against New Jersey after spending 13 seasons (2003-17) with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fleury is 23-24-4, with a 2.35 GAA and a .918 SV% against the Devils in his career. 

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