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NJD vs. NYR Preseason pregame notes

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Tonight’s Rosters

Devils


Goaltenders:
Cory Schneider, Scott Wedgewood.

Defensemen: Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas, Andy Greene, Jon Merrill, John Moore, Reece Scarlett, Damon Severson.

Forwards: Joseph Blandisi, Reid Boucher, Adam Henrique, Jacob Josefson, Tyler Kennedy, Matt Lorito, Stefan Matteau, Jim O'Brien, Kyle Palmieri, Mike Sislo, Paul Thompson, Pavel Zacha.

New York Rangers

Goaltenders: Henrik Lundqvist, Antti Raanta.

Defensemen: Mat Bodie, Raphael Diaz, Dan Girardi, Dylan McIlrath, Marc Staal, Chris Summers.

Forwards: Luke Adam, Emerson Etem, Jesper Fast, Tanner Glass, Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Oscar Lindberg, Jayson Megna, J.T. Miller, Dominic Moore, Viktor Stalberg, Derek Stepan.

Tonight’s Storylines

Schneider to Start in goal: Cory Schneider is expected to make his third start of the preseason tonight. He’s 0-1-0 with a 2.61 goals-against average & .897 save-percentage in his previous two appearances. In 2014-15, Schneider ranked third in the NHL in saves (1,834), shots against (1,982) & games started (68), was fourth in games-played (69), fifth in save-percentage (.925) & minutes (3,924), eighth with five shutouts (tie, seven others) and ninth in goals-against average (2.26, tie, Brian Elliott). He finished 14-13-6 with two shutouts, a 1.87 goals-against average & .934 save-percentage in 34 games at Prudential Center in 2014-15 & is 26-17-10 with five shutouts, a 1.74 GAA & .934 save % in 55 career games played at The Rock.

Scoring More Playing Time: Joseph Blandisi, Reid Boucher and John Moore each scored in last night’s 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders; all three are back in the lineup tonight. Blandisi scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal at 5:58 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1. He led the Ontario Hockey League with 10 SHG in 2014-15. Boucher, who was playing in his second straight game since returning from a concussion, scored at 12:10 of the third period to put New Jersey up 4-2. Moore netted his first goal of the preseason 10:50 into the second period. He also led the club in TOI at 23:56, tied for the lead with four shots on goal (Cammalleri) and was +2.

Welcome Home: Kyle Palmieri will play his in his first game at Prudential Center as a Devil tonight. On June 27, the Devils acquired Montvale, NJ native from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the 41st pick (previously acquired from Florida) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and a third-round choice in the 2016 Draft. He’ll join Jim Dowd as just the second player from New Jersey to ever skate for the Devils. Palmieri played two seasons of high school hockey at St. Peter’s (Jersey City) from 2005-07 before joining the U.S. National Development Program. He was Anaheim’s first pick, 26th overall, in the 2009 Entry Draft and played one season at the University of Notre Dame before beginning his NHL career with the Ducks in 2010-11. Palmieri recorded 14g-15a-29pts and 37 PIM in 57 appearances with Anaheim last season and has career totals of 43g-46a-89pts and 90 PIM in 198 NHL games.

Zacha Expected to Play: Pavel Zacha, the sixth overall selection of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, is expected to skate in his third preseason game tonight. He’s recorded one shot on goal and is -1 in his previous two appearances. Zacha posted 16g-18a-34pts and 56 PIM in just 37 games last season for Sarnia and was named to the OHL’s All-Rookie Team. He added 2g-1a-3pts and 10 PIM in five post-season contests and also skated for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships.

Kennedy Gets an Opportunity: Tyler Kennedy signed a PTO with the Devils Sept. 16. He recorded two power play assists on Monday at the New York Rangers, scored in the three-on-three overtime demonstration following Wednesday’s game in Brooklyn and is expected to be in the lineup again tonight. Kennedy split the 2014-15 season between San Jose (25 games), Worcester (AHL, 3) and the NY Islanders (13). He totaled 6g-8a-14pts in 38 NHL appearances overall last season and also saw action in three playoff games for New York. The eight-year NHL veteran has career totals of 86g-113a-199pts and 225 PIM in 477 regular season contests. Kennedy also has 12g-15a-27pts and 27 PIM in 79 post-season games and won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009.

Iron Man: Andy Greene was the only Devil to appear in all 82 games last season & has now played in 228 straight games dating back to March 6, 2012. He’s just the sixth player (Aaron Broten did so twice) in team history to appear in 200-or-more consecutive games. The stretch is the second-longest ever by a Devils’ defenseman; Ken Daneyko (388 games, November 4, 1989-March 29, 1994) holds the record for d’men, while Travis Zajac (401 games, October 26, 2006-April 10, 2011) is first overall.

Stefan Steps Up: Stefan Matteau, New Jersey’s first choice (29th overall) in the 2012 Entry Draft, recorded 12g-15a-27pts in 61 AHL games last season, 11g-7a-18pts of which come over his final 31 appearances from Jan. 10-Apr. 18. He scored all four of his game-winning goals during that stretch, which ranked third (tie, Mike Sislo) on the club overall. Matteau also led Albany with a +9 mark (tie, Graham Black). He appeared in seven games with New Jersey last season, as well, and scored a goal vs. Montreal on Apr. 3.

Injuries

Forward Patrik Elias (right knee, four 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. 25: NY Islanders 2 at Devils 4 - The Devils won their preseason home-opener and improved to 1-3-0 overall. Joseph Blandisi (SH), John Moore, Mike Cammalleri (GWG) and Reid Boucher each scored for New Jersey. Lee Stempniak picked up an assist on Moore’s goal and now has points in back-to-back games (1g-1a-2pts). Keith Kinkaid (21 saves) made his second start of the preseason and went the distance to improve to 1-1-0.

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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