NHL Hockey

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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, December 16, 2021
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey  Attendance: 12,724

Devils prepare to take on streaking Max Pacioretty, Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights at New Jersey Devils

  1. The Golden Knights and Devils have played each other six times, with Vegas winning four times and New Jersey twice. The Golden Knights have won their last three meetings, most recently a 3-0 victory in Las Vegas on March 3, 2020.
  2. The Golden Knights scored only 20 goals in their first nine games this season (an average of 2.2 per game), but they've scored 78 goals in 19 games since then (4.1 per game).
  3. Max Pacioretty has scored 10 goals during his current seven-game goal-scoring streak. It's the longest goal streak of his career, the longest in Golden Knights history, and tied for the longest streak in the NHL this season (Auston Matthews). Since 2009-10, the only longer single-season goal streak in the NHL is Connor Brown's eight-game streak last season.
  4. Robin Lehner has a 1-5-0 record and 3.01 GAA in the six games he's played against the Devils in New Jersey. Lehner did win his most recent game in Newark, though it was nearly four years ago: a 4-3 overtime victory for the Buffalo Sabres in which he made 35 saves.
  5. Over their last 13 games, the Devils have allowed twice as many goals as they've scored on their own power plays! They've scored two power-play goals in 34 opportunities over that stretch (5.9%) and given up four shorthanded goals.
  6. MacKenzie Blackwood has a 4.75 GAA in his seven road games this season, second-highest in the NHL among goalies who've played at least six road games, but his 1.98 GAA in eight games at Prudential Center is the NHL's eighth-lowest home GAA (minimum: six games).

Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty is carrying three impressive streaks into Thursday's road game against the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J.

Pacioretty extended his goal scoring streak to a career-high seven games after tallying twice in Vegas' 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. His first goal came on a breakaway with 4:41 remaining in the first period.

"Transition is a big part of our game," said Pacioretty, who is tied with Jonathan Marchessault for the team lead in goals (12).

"Every year you have a couple things you harp on. Our transition is one of them. Every team wants to fill lanes, and when you get the puck, you definitely want to get it with speed. It's an area we've addressed, and we're definitely gaining a lot of offense from it."

Pacioretty also is riding a nine-game point streak (10 goals, six assists). His four-game multi-point streak is one shy of the franchise-record runs of Mark Stone (2020-21) and William Karlsson (2017-18).

Pacioretty has flustered the Devils in his career, to the tune of recording 14 goals and 21 points in 29 encounters.

As for Stone, he set up Pacioretty's first goal on Tuesday to extend his assist streak to a franchise-best nine games. Stone has recorded four goals and 11 assists on his nine-game point streak, which is tied with Pacioretty and Alex Tuch (2018-19) for the longest in franchise history.

Chandler Stephenson boosted his team-leading totals in assists (20) and points (29) after setting up seven goals in the last two games.

The Golden Knights have erupted for 28 goals during their last six games (5-1-0).

"(Part of our offensive success) is we're getting healthy," Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. "We're starting to score on the power play fairly regularly, which is adding about a goal a night, which we didn't have early in the year."

While the Golden Knights are ascending, the Devils are heading in the opposite direction. New Jersey has lost three in a row and 12 of its last 15 contests (3-9-3).

"I find it hard to sit here and make excuses because there were probably three or four goals we gave up that were really on the hands of all our players," Devils coach Lindy Ruff said after his team's 6-1 setback to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

The excuses are there for the taking, however. Captain Nico Hischier and defensemen Ryan Graves and Christian Jaros reside in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol while others are dealing with other illnesses. Mackenzie Blackwood, who is dealing with an illness, yielded five goals on 22 shots on Tuesday before being relieved to start the third period.

New Jersey also surrendered a short-handed goal for the second time in as many games, adding to Ruff's displeasure.

"I think the unit is totally going to have a shakeup," Ruff said. "The disappointing part for me is we were point blank on one of our power plays early and we missed the net, a wide-open net. (Pavel Zacha) had a wide-open net. We wouldn't even be talking about a short-handed goal if we put that (in)."

Jesper Bratt saw his five-game point streak come to a halt on Tuesday. He leads the team in assists (16) and points (24).

--Field Level Media

Updated December 15, 2021

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