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game preview

Avalanche at Devils preview

Hischier, Butcher making NHL debut for New Jersey; Bernier starting for Colorado

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

AVALANCHE (1-0-0) at DEVILS (0-0-0)

2 p.m. ET; SN, MSG+, ALT, NHL.TV


The Game

Center Nico Hischier, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, will make his NHL regular-season debut against the Colorado Avalanche at Prudential Center. Hischier will center a line with left wing Marcus Johansson and right wing Drew Stafford to begin the game.

Devils defenseman Will Butcher, who signed a two-year, entry-level contract on Aug. 27, also will make his NHL debut. Butcher became a free agent after not signing with the Avalanche, who selected him in the fifth round (No. 123) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Avalanche won 4-2 at the New York Rangers in their season opener Thursday. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier is expected to start. Center Matt Duchene, the subject of trade rumors since last season, had a goal and an assist.

Players to watch

Avalanche rookie forward Alexander Kerfoot, picked by the Devils in the fifth round (No. 150) of the 2012 NHL Draft, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Avalanche on Aug. 24.

Devils goaltender Cory Schneider, expected to start, is looking to bounce back from his worst statistical season in 2016-17 when he had an NHL career-high 2.82 goals-against average and career-low .908 save percentage in 60 games.


They said it

"I want to get back to contributing offensively; I'm always going to play a 200-foot game and work hard and win battles all over the ice, but I want to get back to contributing offensively and get back to having that shot mentality." -- Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog

"It's all about the positioning and my technique and maybe playing a little bit deeper and getting my footwork kind of back to where it needed to be, and again, I feel confident going in." -- Devils goalie Cory Schneider


Avalanche projected lineup

Sven Andrighetto -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen 

Nail Yakupov -- Matt Duchene -- Alexander Kerfoot

Gabriel Landeskog -- J.T. Compher -- Colin Wilson 

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Blake Comeau

Mark Barberio -- Erik Johnson

Patrik Nemeth -- Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov -- Chris Bigras

Jonathan Bernier 

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Carl Soderberg, Andrei Mironov, Anton Lindholm 

Injured: Sergei Boikov (shoulder), A.J. Greer (concussion)

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Pavel Zacha -- Kyle Palmieri 

Marcus Johansson -- Nico Hischier -- Drew Stafford

Jesper Bratt -- Adam Henrique -- Jimmy Hayes

Brian Gibbons -- Blake Coleman -- Stefan Noesen

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Mirco Mueller -- Steven Santini

John Moore -- Will Butcher

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Miles Wood, Ben Lovejoy , Dalton Prout

Injured: None


Status report

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Zadorov would be in the lineup after he was a healthy scratch against the Rangers. ... The Avalanche recalled Lindholm from San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

Stat pack

Bernier is 3-2-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average in six games against the Devils. ... Hall has 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 24 games against the Avalanche.

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