NEWS

Davis, Palmieri eager for opportunity

Wednesday, 01.20.2010 / 2:59 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Davis, Palmieri eager for opportunity
Opportunity is knocking for Patrick Davis and Nick Palmieri. They were called up yesterday from Lowell, and will be in the lineup tonight, when the Devils host Florida.

Davis, 23, made his NHL debut last season with one appearance in New Jersey. Palmieri, 20, makes his debut tonight.

“It’s nice to be back here,” said Davis. “I played my first game last year and it was really exciting. I think I’ll be a little bit more comfortable this year than I was last year; all the anxiety I had. I’m just looking forward to it.”

Both are enjoying breakthrough seasons for the Devils’ AHL affiliate, which is poised to make the playoffs for the first time under rookie coach John MacLean. Davis is tied for second in Lowell scoring with 28 points (12g-16a). Palmieri is fourth on the team with 26 points, and third among AHL rookies with 15 goals.

“Me personally, I’m having a career year down there,” Davis said. “Everyone’s doing well; our team’s doing great. John MacLean’s just doing a great job down there.”

Palmieri, New Jersey's second choice in 2007, has been lighting the lamp after some helpful advice from MacLean.

“I think I’ve been shooting more,” said Palmieri. “That’s the idea that’s been drilled into my head from Day One from Coach MacLean. He really wants me to shoot every chance I get, and so far, I’ve been lucky that the shots that have been getting on net have been going in. “

Davis takes a more streamlined approach.

“Like John MacLean said this year, 'Just take a step back and let the game come to you. Simplify it,' ” he recounted. “It has become a little easier. I’m not rushing things. I’m playing with energy but at the right times and I feel that’s helped me a lot.”

Davis, a native of Sterling, Mich., will battle a familiar face in tonight’s game. The Panthers are coached by Pete DeBoer, who also coached Davis for two-plus seasons in Kitchener (OHL). Davis eventually became the Devils' fourth choice in the 2005 Draft.

“It’s pretty exciting,” he said. “I haven’t seen him in a while and I really respect him as a coach and as a person. He’s a great guy and he helped me a lot in my development. I can’t say enough about him and (Kitchener GM) Steve Spot and how they helped me. It should be pretty exciting. Hopefully I get to say hi to him.”

Palmieri, who hails from Clinton, N.Y., near Utica, will have a strong family presence in Newark for his first NHL appearance. His father, Nick, and mother, Amy, will be at the Rock with his brother, Jack, 4, along with their grandparents.

He's no stranger to performing at Prudential Center. He had two goals, including the game-winner, in Lowell’s 3-2 win over Hartford in Newark on Jan. 6. Maybe that’s why Palmieri doesn’t expect nerves to be a problem.

“The nerves might be there a little bit, but I’ve played this game a thousand times,” he said. “The only thing I think I change is the level of play. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get used to it relatively quick and learn on my feet. After that, I think the nerves will probably be gone, once I get that first shift in.”

Davis and Palmieri look to continue what has been a trend in New Jersey this season: young players getting the job done when called up by the big club. They hope to follow the example set by Matt Corrente, Tyler Eckford, Matt Halischuk, Tim Sestito, and Vladimir Zharkov, all of whom have made a difference in New Jersey this season.

“It’s definitely nice to see the guys from Lowell that get called up make an impact here,” Palmieri said. “Obviously I would like the same for myself, but I’m going to take it one step at a time and just work on my game and try to be the player I can out there.”

“This has always been my dream, so to get a chance to play in the NHL,” he said. “Everyone that plays, that’s what they’re trying to do. It’s definitely a really exciting time for me and my family.”

NJD NOTES
Davis will wear No. 14; Palmieri, No. 16.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59