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Rinne eyes Predators record against Kinkaid, Devils

by Mike G. Morreale

PREDATORS (2-0-0) at DEVILS (0-2-0)


NEWARK, N.J. -- Goaltender Keith Kinkaid will make a second straight start for the New Jersey Devils and Pekka Rinne is expected to set the Nashville Predators record for most games played by a goaltender when the teams play at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Kinkaid will start in place of Cory Schneider, whose wife Jill gave birth to a baby boy at approximately 3 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Goaltender Yann Danis was recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League under emergency conditions to back up Kinkaid.

Rinne, selected in the eighth round (No. 258) of the 2004 NHL Draft, is tied with Tomas Vokoun for the Predators lead with 383 games played for the Predators. While Predators coach Peter Laviolette didn't name his starter after practice, Rinne was the first goalie off the ice, which usually indicates the starter for that game.

"Growing up you only dream about playing in the NHL," Rinne, 32, said. "When I was drafted, that's the first time it kind of became a little bit more of my goal that one day I want to play in the NHL. When I got drafted it obviously became a little bit more of a realistic goal. I've been unbelievably fortunate to have the trust and everything like that and a little bit of luck along the way. It means a lot to me that I've been able to stay with one team and one organization. I spent pretty much my whole childhood with the organization. So that means a lot to me."

Rinne is 2-2-1 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in five games against the Devils, and 206-115-43 with a 2.35 GAA and .919 save percentage in six seasons with the Predators.

Predators rookie forward Austin Watson is expected to make his season debut beside center Paul Gaustad and left wing Eric Nystrom. Watson played six games for the Predators in 2012-13 and had one goal and four shots on goal. He led the Predators' AHL affiliate in Milwaukee with 26 goals in 76 games in 2014-15.

"Austin was training in Nashville all summer with me so he looks good, he's faster and has got a lot stronger," Predators defenseman Seth Jones said. "We really pushed each other in the weight room in Nashville this summer. I'm glad for him that he might get into some games early in the season."

Devils coach John Hynes said defenseman John Moore is not ready to play physically after sustaining a right arm bruise when he blocked a shot attempt by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin in a 5-3 loss Saturday. He will be replaced in the lineup by Damon Severson.

The Predators are looking to improve to 3-0-0 for the second time (2005-06). The Devils are looking to avoid a 0-3-0 start for the second time (2001-02, 0-4-0).

The Predators finished 20-10-2 against teams in the Eastern Conference in 2014-15, including a 9-6-1 record against the Metropolitan Division.

"We've all put a lot of hard work in over the summer and you want to validate it," Devils captain Andy Greene said. "You want to get that first win out of the way so it doesn't linger. You want to get that first win, get on a roll, get some confidence and start playing the right way. We played well enough to win against Washington [on Saturday], even though we didn't. So we have to make sure we're a better team against Nashville."

Here are the projected lineups:


Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - James Neal

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Craig Smith

Gabriel Bourque - Cody Hodgson - Calle Jarnkrok

Eric Nystrom - Paul Gaustad - Austin Watson

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Barret Jackman - Seth Jones

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Injured: None

Scratched: Victor Bartley, Anthony Bitetto, Viktor Arvidsson


Jiri Tlusty - Adam Henrique - Kyle Palmieri

Mike Cammalleri - Travis Zajac - Jordin Tootoo

Lee Stempniak - Jacob Josefson - Brian O'Neill

Stefan Matteau - Stephen Gionta - Tuomo Ruutu

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

David Schlemko - Eric Gelinas

Jon Merrill - Damon Severson

Keith Kinkaid

Yann Danis

Injured: Patrik Elias (knee), John Moore (arm)

Scratched: Sergey Kalinin, Cory Schneider

Status report: The Devils assigned forward Reid Boucher to Albany of the AHL. ... Elias, out since training camp after sustaining a right knee injury, has been skating on his own, according to Hynes.

Who's hot: Rinne's 31-save shutout Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers was his 37th since the start of the 2008-09 season, tied for the second-most in the League behind Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, who has 38. … Cammalleri has one goal and two assists in two games.


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