Kyle Palmieri, a native of New Jersey, talked about growing up with this legendary team in his backyard.
"The biggest thing for me was, having played at South Mountain the old practice rink and seeing those guys practice," Palmieri said. "Giving them fist bumps when they come off the ice. It was cool to be around an NHL team. It's a special moment for me to be a part of this NHL organization."
Palmieri also added that it was apparent to him how much that team helped grow hockey in New Jersey.
"You look at the programs and different rinks that were popping up. As a kid, youth hockey here was a little spread out. You had to travel quite a bit. That's something I've seen grow over the past 20 years that has a lot to do with the success of this franchise," he began.
"I didn't come from a hockey family. Having that kind of success and the respect that this organization had, it was something really special to have grown up in this area."
Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine said having the greats around the current squad will be an excellent experience.
"It was huge for the organization. It's great to have those guys around and go back in history on what the Cup meant to this organization."
HOME SWEET HOME
The Devils are in the midst of a stretch where they play six of seven at home with the lone road contest being a bus trip to Philadelphia. Palmieri said that having all these home games coming up will be a big benefit to the team.
"Homestands are really important. You want to take advantage of playing in front of your home fans. Tonight's a special example. You're going to have storied players in this franchise (in the building). It's a special atmosphere tonight so they building is going to have a ton of excitement."
Will Butcher said that it will be easier to have the team get into a routine after the all-star break being at home for so long.
"A lot of guys in the League love routine. They do the same things every day. Your body gets in a rhythm and in a groove. Eating good food at home that you cook, it's all used to your advantage at the end of the day."
Louis Domingue gets the call in goal tonight. Nasreddine reiterated his comments from earlier this week, wanting more of a balance between the pipes with Domingue and Blackwood.
"We want to try to use Louis a little bit more. Not necessarily to give Blackie more rest but we're playing a lot of hockey here and it's important to have two guys ready to go and stay sharp."
Nasreddine noted that the Stars are excellent defensively so the team will need to not only be sharp offensively but pay attention to their own end to limit the number of goals they need to score.
"They're the best defensive team in the League. Last time we were in their building it wasn't a great game. It took us 40 minutes to get going. We know we're going to have a fight."
Connor Carrick draws into the lineup and MIrco Mueller draws out. Will Butcher was asked if anything changes with his game depending on who his partner is.
"Carrick talks, projects his voice a little more. I have to talk more with Mueller as opposed to Carrick. But both guys bring very good things. Mueller is very sound situationally and Carrick moves the puck really well. It's good to play with both of them."
Butcher added that it's mostly on him to be ready.
"The biggest thing personally is staying ready, competitive and in the moment. Getting myself ready to play to help whoever I'm playing with. That's the challenge of it. Trying to stay consistent and be the best partner I can be."
Nasreddine said that Butcher's ability to adapt to different partners, whether they shoot left or right has given the team great flexibility.
"He's been great. Guys, they're used to playing with one another as long as they know the role. He understands what he needs to bring every night."
-- Marc Ciampa, NewJerseyDevils.com
DEVILS (18-24-8) vs. STARS (28-18-4)
TV: 7:00 p.m. ET; Televised on MSG+
Tonight's game is the second and final meeting between the two teams this season.
They had previously met on December 10 with the Stars winning 2-0. The Dallas goals were scored by Radek Faksa and Joe Pavelski.
Devils team scope:
The Devils have dropped four of their last five games dating back through the all-star break but have picked up points in each of their last two with both of those games going to a shootout.
They won in Ottawa in a shootout but then lost on Thursday 6-5 to Nashville in a shootout.
Kyle Palmieri leads the Devils with 33 points and Blake Coleman is the team leader with 19 goals.
Stars team scope:
The Stars started the season 1-7-1 but since then have been one of the best teams in the NHL at 27-11-3. They've struggled a little recently, however, with a record of 2-4-0 in their last six games and no regulation wins in that span. Their last regulation win came on January 9 against Anaheim and their last regulation win against a team that's currently in a playoff position (Arizona) was December 29.
Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 37 points through 50 games. Alex Radulov and Roope Hintz have 15 goals each to top the team in that category.
What You Need to Know For Tonight:
If you are attending Saturday night's game against the Dallas Stars, you probably already know it will also be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 2000 Stanley Cup championship presented by Bud Light.
There are some things you should know before arriving to Prudential Center to make sure you have the best experience.
Every fan in attendance will receive a replica Stanley Cup championship ring
Fans should be in their seats by 6:45 pm ET for the pre-game ceremony honoring the team
All the trophies won by the team that season including the Stanley Cup will be on display on the concourse for fans to take photo of during the game
Exclusive merchandise will be available in-arena only including shirts featuring Martin Brodeur and Scott Niedermayer, recreations of the 2000 Stanley Cup Champions on-ice apparel, commemorative jersey patch, and more
The expected special guests include: Jason Arnott, Brad Bombardir, Martin Brodeur, Steve Brule, Sergei Brylin, Vladimir Bure (fitness coach), Jacques Caron (goaltending coach), Bob Carpenter (assistant coach), Ken Daneyko, Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Steve Kelly, Lou Lamoriello (general manager), Claude Lemieux, John Madden, Randy McKay, Sergei Nemchinov, Scott Niedermeyer, Krzysztof Oliwa, Larry Robinson (head coach), Scott Stevens, Petr Sykora and Colin White.
Devils - Ben Street (upper body) is on IR
Stars - Roote Hintz (upper body) is day-to-day; Justin Dowling (lower body) is on IR