The Devils end the 2021-22 season with a home final against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. The club will host its annual Fan Appreciation Night, featuring special warm-up shirts and partner activations.
Game time is 7 p.m. ET and you can watch on MSG+ or listen on the Devils Hockey Network.
Check out the pre-game story, roster updates, breaking news and more below.
News and notes from recent Devils trades and team practices.
>> LEARN MORE ON THE INSIDE THE DEVILS BLOG
NEWARK, New Jersey – The Devils are playing the last game of the season tonight at the Prudential Center and they will do so by welcoming two key plays to their roster.
“Nico can play, PK can play,” Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said as the pair returned from the illness that swept the team this week. He added that a few others might not play because it’s their turn to have a flu fight.
“We have a few others who won’t be able to play.”
The addition of Hischier is significant for the club, as he collected 35 points in 30 games before having to miss the last two games due to illness.
“He’s our most important player when it comes to playing at both ends of the ice.
The price he pays to help win a hockey game. You can take out Nico and Jack, you take out your two best crosses,” Ruff said.
“He’s happy to be back and we can’t wait to bring him back.”
Alex Holtz will play again, having been called up before last night’s game in Carolina. Holtz played on the first line and should have another offensive opportunity tonight.
“We know what his game is. Offensively, he’s trying to find that hole. His line, Boqvist, was getting every chance,” Ruff said of Holtz. “To arrive at this secondary place. Defensive responsibilities of which he must be aware.
Holtz is one of several AHL Utica players currently on the roster. Ruff talked about getting a chance to take a look at these players before they come back down for the Calder Cup qualifiers.
“That gives us a good idea of where the players are. You’re looking at six or seven guys going back to Utica. We’ve pretty much decimated their team. Zetterlund, Holtz, Foote, all those types of players, where will they be at camp or at the end of camp next year? We got a glimpse of what their NHL game will look like against the NHL competition.
DEVILS (27-45-9) against RED WINGS (31-40-10)
TV: 7:00 p.m. ET on MSG+
Radio: Listen on Devils Hockey Network
The Devils meet the Red Wings for the second time in a week. The two teams faced off on Sunday afternoon with Detroit scoring a 3-0 win. The Red Wings will sweep after also winning at Motor City, 5-2, on Dec. 18.
Devils Team Scope:
The Devils end the season at home after going 0-1-1 in their last two-game road stint against Ottawa (5-4, SOL) and Carolina (6-3). New Jersey will play the second half back to back.
The team played its last game without a captain Nico Hischier, Tomas Tatar and Andreas Johnson (diseases not related to COVID), but Jimmy Vesey (left leg injury) came back. Goalie Mackenzie Blackwoodwhich kicked off in Ottawa on Tuesday for the first time in more than three months, will enter the contest.
Regardless of the final Jesper Bratt will finish the season as the club leader in goals (26), assists (46) and points (72) – all career highs. Hischier (21G-38A-59PTS), Jack Hughes (26G-30A-56PTS) and Egor Charangovich (24G-22A-46PTS) also set career highs.
Red Wings Team Scope:
Detroit ends its season with a three-game road trip, which included two trips to Newark. The Red Wings have won four of their last seven road games.
Dylan Larkin, despite his absence, will likely end up leading the team in goals (31) and points (69). Tyler Bertuzzi, who had four goals and a hat trick against the Devils this season, ranks second with 29 goals and 60 points. Rookie defenseman Moritz Seider could win NHL Rookie of the Year honors after recording 43 assists and 49 points.
In numbers :
The Devils finished with 11 road wins this season for the third time in franchise history (2018-19; 1985-86). The Devils had just nine wins in the 1990-91 season.
Bernier (hip – IR)
Hughes (MCL sprain)
Siegenthaler (broken hand)
Tatar (non-COVID disease)
Hischier (non-COVID disease)
Johnson (non-COVID disease)
Zadina (non-COVID disease)
Larkin (core muscle)
Pickard (lower body)
Fabbri (IR, knee)
Rowney (IR, lower body)
–Sam Kasan, NewJerseyDevils.com