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NJD vs. NYI Preseason pregame notes

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Tonight’s Rosters

Devils

Goaltenders: Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood

Defensemen: Marc-Andre Gragnani, Seth Helgeson, Raman Hrabarenka, Adam Larsson, John Moore, Vojtech Mozik, Reece Scarlett.

Forwards: Joseph Blandisi, Reid Boucher, Mike Cammalleri, Stephen Gionta, Sergey Kalinin, Blake Pietila, John Quenneville, Tuomo Ruutu, Lee Stempniak, Jiri Tlusty, Jordin Tootoo, Travis Zajac.

New York Islanders

Goaltenders: Jaroslav Halak, Stephon Williams.

Defensemen: Johnny Boychuk, Kevin Czuczman, Nick Leddy, Tom Nilsson, Adam Pelech, Marek Zidlicky.

Forwards: Mathew Barzal, Taylor Beck, Steve Bernier, Eric Boulton, Sebastian Collberg, Justin Florek, Mikhail Grabovski, Ben Holmstrom, Nikolay Kulemin, Louis Leblanc, Alan Quine, Ryan Strome.

Tonight’s Storylines

Shero’s Devils Take The Ice: Ray Shero was named the fourth general manager in team history on May 4, 2015. Prior to joining the Devils, he spent eight seasons, 2006-07 through 2013-14, as executive vice president and general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, During that time, the team compiled a 373-193-56 (.645) mark, won the 2009 Stanley Cup Championship, two consecutive Eastern Conference titles in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and had three first-place divisional finishes. Shero received the General Manager of the Year Award in 2012-13, as voted on by the 30 NHL GMs, a panel of NHL executives, as well as print and broadcast media.

Hynes Leads New Coaching Staff: John Hynes was introduced as the 17th head coach in Devils’ history June 2, 2015. He joined the organization after spending the previous six seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), including the past five years, 2010-11 through 2014-15, as head coach. Hynes led the Penguins to a 231-126-10-17 (.637) mark during his tenure, including five straight 40-plus victory campaigns and five consecutive playoff berths, which included back-to-back AHL Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2012-13 and 2013-14. On June 17, Geoff Ward and Alain Nasreddine were named assistant coaches. Ward was named the German Ice Hockey League’s Coach of the Year in 2014-15 after leading Adler Mannheim to the championship. Nasreddine spent the previous five seasons as an assistant under Hynes with Wilkes-Barre. Chris Terreri returns as goaltending coach, marking his 27th season with the organization and 15th as a member of its coaching staff.

Kinkaid to Start in Goal: Keith Kinkaid will make his second start of the preseason tonight. He stopped 12/13 shots in 30:00 of action but took the loss Sunday vs. Boston in Providence.

Worth Another Look: Marc-Andre Gragnani, Seth Helgeson, Sergey Kalinin and Lee Stempniak are each expected to make their third appearance of the preseason tonight. Gragnani was signed to a two-way deal on July 3 and has 1a in two games thus far. Helgeson led the Devils with seven hits in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Islanders at Barclays Center. Kalinin ranks third on the club with five total shots on goal this preseason. Stempniak, who agreed to a PTO on Sept. 16, scored an unassisted goal on Wednesday night and has four shots total.

Quenneville Back in Lineup: John Quenneville, New Jersey’s first choice (30th overall) in the 2014 Entry Draft, will make his second appearance of the preseason tonight. He posted two shots on goal in the Devils’ opener on Sunday vs. Boston in Providence.

Boucher’s Return: Reid Boucher made his preseason debut on Wednesday, registering one shot on goal in 15:17 of playing time, and is expected to be in the lineup again tonight. He was sidelined for the first two games due to a concussion suffered during the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo on September 12.

Lucky 13: Mike Cammalleri will become the first player in Devils’ history to wear the no. 13 on his jersey this season. He’ll become the second player in franchise history to suit up with No. 13, joining Robin Burns – cousin of the late former Devils’ Coach and Hall-of-Famer Pat Burns – who wore it with the Kansas City Scouts in the 1970’s.

Larsson Gets Offensive: Adam Larsson posted 2g-18a-20pts in 42 games from January 3 through the end of the 2014-15 regular season schedule; he had 2g-11a-13pts in his previous 85 appearances dating back to the start of 2012-13. Larsson recorded a career-high 3a/pts February 20 vs. Vancouver and, with 3g-21a-24pts overall, established new career-highs across the board (previously, 2g-16a-18pts, 2011-12).

NHL Aspirations: The Devils signed a pair of European free agents this summer and both could see action tonight. New Jersey inked right wing Sergey Kalinin on May 29. The 24-year-old forward spent the previous five seasons with Avangard Omsk (KHL) and set career highs across the board in 2014-15 with 12g-13a-25pts, 49 PIM & 58 games played, while serving as the club’s captain. Vojtech Mozik signed with New Jersey on June 15 following his third season with Plzen (Czech Republic). The 22-year-old led all defensemen in the Czech Extraliga with a career-high ten goals & also established career highs with 19 assists, 29 points and 94 penalty minutes in 2014-15.

Injuries

Forward Patrik Elias (right knee, three games missed) is out for the remainder of the preseason.

Transactions

Sept. 24: Assigned seven players to Albany (AHL): goaltender Yann Danis; defensemen Dan Kelly and Jacob Sweeney; and forwards Graham Black, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley and Ben Thomson.

Sept. 23: Assigned seven players to their junior teams: goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie, OHL); defensemen Joshua Jacobs (Sarnia, OHL), Ryan Rehill (Kamloops, WHL) and Colton White (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL); and forwards Brandon Baddock (Edmonton, WHL), Connor Chatham (Flint, OHL), and Blake Speers (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL). Also, forward Alexandre Goulet was been released from his ATO.

Preseason Game Recaps

Sept. 23: Devils 1 at NY Islanders 2 - New Jersey closed-out its three-game road trip to open the preseason. Cory Schneider (25 saves) made his second straight start and went the distance in the loss. Lee Stempniak, who is attending camp as a PTO, scored the Devils’ first even-strength goal of the preseason, an unassisted tally at 17:59 of the second period. Kyle Palmieri posted a team-high four shots on goal in the contest and leads the club with eight overall in two appearances. Reid Boucher made his preseason debut after missing the first two games due to a concussion suffered September 12. He registered one shot on goal and was +1 in 15:17 of playing time. Tyler Kennedy, who is also attending camp as a PTO, scored in the 3-on-3 overtime demonstration that too place following the game.

Sept. 21: Devils 3 at NY Rangers 6 - The Devils fell to 0-2-0 to open their 2015 preseason schedule. Jordin Tootoo, Mike Sislo and Adam Larsson each scored a power play goal, as New Jersey went 3/5 with the man-advantage. Tyler Kennedy, who’s attending training camp on a PTO, recorded 2a. Cory Schneider (L, 32:26, 10 saves/12 shots against) made the start in goal. He was relieved by Yann Danis (26:27, 7 saves/11 shots against) midway through the second period. John Moore and Jiri Tlusty, who were each signed as free agents this summer, made their Devils’ preseason debuts.

Sept. 20: Devils 0 at Boston 2 - New Jersey played a preseason game in Providence for the first time since September 28, 2001 (L, 0-2 to Boston). The Devils outshot the Bruins, 30-21. Keith Kinkaid (12 saves/13 shots against) made the start in goal for New Jersey but was replaced midway through the second period by Scott Wedgewood (8 saves/7 shots against). Kyle Palmieri and Sergey Kalinin led the Devils with four shots on goal apiece. John Quenneville and Pavel Zacha both made their NHL preseason debuts. Zacha was the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Quenneville was chosen 30th overall by the Devils in 2014.

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