Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Colorado at New Jersey
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 18, 2018
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

Off to their best start in 23 years, the New Jersey Devils look to remain the NHL's lone undefeated team when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. Kyle Palmieri is largely responsible for New Jersey's fast start, becoming the first player in NHL history to score the opening goal in each of the first four games of a season.

Palmieri registered his seventh goal -- and fourth on the power play -- to spark a 3-0 win over Dallas on Tuesday as the Devils improved to 4-0-0 for the first time since 1995. "It's nice to get rewarded for putting pucks on net but I think it's fun to come to the rink right now," Palmieri said. "The team is in a good mood and we're happy with the way we're playing and beating some really good teams so hopefully we keep that going." Nathan MacKinnon is in the midst of a torrid stretch on his own for the Avalanche, who opened a four-game road trip with a 3-2 shootout loss at the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Colorado was swept in the season series in 2017-2018, scoring once in each loss, and has failed to produce more than three goals in the last 11 meetings against New Jersey.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), MSG-Plus (New Jersey)

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (3-1-2): MacKinnon, who set career highs with 39 goals, 58 assists and 97 points in 2017-18, already has seven goals after setting a franchise record by becoming the first player to score in the first six games of a season. Linemate Mikko Rantanen set up the record tally by MacKinnon to boost his point total to nine while also notching an assist in each of the first six games, matching the second-longest streak in club history. “They’ve been good,” coach Jared Bednar said of his No. 1 line. “Offensively, when they have the puck, they’re dangerous.”

ABOUT THE DEVILS (4-0-0): Netminder Keith Kinkaid entered the season with four career shutouts to his credit, but he already has notched a pair while allowing a combined four goals in winning all four of his starts. Kinkaid was a career backup before getting his chance to assume the No. 1 role during the second half of last season due to injuries to starter Cory Schneider. "I have a shot to play a few games in a row and I think I play my best that well because then you don't have to dwell on a week or two weeks so that's huge in a goalie's play," Kinkaid said.

OVERTIME

1. The Devils had no update on D Will Butcher, who exited Tuesday's game with a shoulder issue.

2. Colorado F Marko Dano, acquired on waivers, has yet to join the club due to immigration issues.

3. New Jersey has killed off its last 13 penalties.

PREDICTION: Devils 3, Avalanche 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Colorado 3-1-1-0 L1 2-0-1-0 1-1-0-0 0-0-0-0 3-1-1-0 1-0-0-0
New Jersey 3-0-0-0 W4 3-0-0-0 0-0-0-0 1-0-0-0 2-0-0-0 1-0-0-0
Last Meeting
Colorado New Jersey
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
12/1/17 NJ 2 COL 1 23 19 1-5 21 22 1-6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Colorado T. Barrie 1
New Jersey J. Bratt 2
Goals Player  
Colorado J. Compher 1
New Jersey B. Boyle 1
Assists Player  
Colorado T. Barrie 1
New Jersey J. Bratt 1
Saves Player  
Colorado S. Varlamov 19
New Jersey C. Schneider 22
Season
Total Points Player  
Colorado M. Rantanen 12
New Jersey K. Palmieri 11
Goals Player  
Colorado N. MacKinnon 6
New Jersey K. Palmieri 8
Assists Player  
Colorado M. Rantanen 9
New Jersey T. Hall 6
Saves Player  
Colorado S. Varlamov 200
New Jersey K. Kinkaid 135
Quickchart Matchup
Colorado Off vs  New Jersey Def
3.8 GF
1.33 GA
31.6 Shots
26.3 Shots
5 PP
1 PK
New Jersey Off vs  Colorado Def
4.67 GF
2.4 GA
33 Shots
33 Shots
3 PP
1 PK