One more member of the "Core Five" will get his number lifted into the Prudential Center rafters.
Scott Niedermayer, one of five New Jersey Devils who won the organization's three Stanley Cup championships, will watch his number 27 be retired tonight. He joins Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko - two other "Core Five" members - as the only players to have their number retired by New Jersey.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Niedermayer's career highlighted the overall success of the Devils.
"There's no question that you can put winning synonymous with Scott Niedermayer," Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record.
"The one word I would use to describe Nieder is winner," Ken Daneyko, Niedermayer's former defense partner, told Gulitti. "He's won at every level. There have been a lot of great players that have never won a Stanley Cup and some say that it's not their fault, which is true. But it's also no coincidence that wherever Nieder has gone he's won. He's a winner on and off the ice."
The Devils will look to keep up that winning tradition tonight as they face off against the Dallas Stars at the Prudential Center. Gametime is 8 p.m. and can be seen on MSG Plus.
New Jersey enters tonight with a two-game win streak. They defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-2, Tuesday night. Kris Versteeg scored the first two goals, staking the Panthers to a 2-0 lead. But New Jersey battled back, with goals from Patrik Elias and Zach Parise knotting the game at two. The teams went to the shootout, where Ilya Kovalchuk and Elias beat Jose Theodore. Martin Brodeur blanked all three Panthers skaters for the win.
The win gave New Jersey a 7-1 record when playing games after regulation.
Parise has turned around from his early season struggle, entering tonight's game with 12 points in his last nine games. He's scored goals in three of his last four games and leads all Devils skaters with 25 points.
Dallas has surged to the top of the Pacific Division and carries it's own two game win streak into tonight's game. The Stars defeated the New York Islanders, 3-2, Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum. Trailing 2-1 in the third period, Dallas evened the score on a Brendan Morrow power-play tally just 1:07 into the period. Jamie Benn scored the game-winner, netting his eighth goal of the season at 4:33 of the final period.
Rookie Richard Bachman stopped 25 shots for his third straight win. He's allowed just three goals in three starts.
Dallas won the first meeting of the season, 3-1, at the American Airlines Arena. Dallas scored twice in the third period to defeat the Devils.
Travis Zajac makes his season debut tonight for New Jersey. The center missed the first two-plus months of the season after he tore his achilles during offseason workouts. He'll skate on the third line with David Clarkson and Mattias Tedenby. The center believes his line will bring a lot of energy tonight.
"Teddy plays with a lot of speed, Clarkie's physical and he's having a great season," Zajac told Gulitti. "He's playing with a lot of confidence right now, so, hopefully, I can just come in and they'll help me out tonight and eventually I can start contributing offensively."
But it won't be about the game, as the retirement of Niedermayer's number will overshadow the game itself. Parise, who didn't play with Niedermayer, said it's a big event for everyone involved.
"I think it's important for us to understand how much of an impact he had on this organization, how much of an impact he had in the league and how great of a player he was," Parise said. "He was arguably one of the best defensemen of all time. So, it's important for the younger guys in the locker room to understand that and what he meant to the Devils."