By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils have a busy Thanksgiving week ahead after taking two of their three games on their California road trip.
The Devils won back-to-back overtime games last Wednesday and Thursday nights against Anaheim and Los Angeles, respectively. It was just the eighth time in club history that New Jersey won consecutive regular-season overtime games and the fourth time that both victories were on the road:
• 11/20/13: 4-3 at Ana (Zajac)
11/21/13: 2-1 at L.A. (Jagr)
• 3/11/11: 3-2 at Atl (Zajac)
3/12/11: 3-2 vs. NYI (Salmela)
• 2/8/11: 3-2 vs. Car (Tedenby)
2/10/11: 2-1 at Tor (Kovalchuk)
• 1/29/09: 4-3 at Bos (Langenbruneer)
1/30/09: 4-3 vs. Pit (Langenbrunner)
• 12/4/08: 3-2 at Phi (Elias)
12/6/08: 2-1 at Mtl (Parise)
• 11/30/02: 5-4 at Stl (Friesen)
12/2/02: 1-0 at Phi (Gionta)
• 11/16/00: 3-2 at Bos (Gomez)
11/18/00: 3-2 vs. Car (Elias)
• 3/9/96: 4-3 at Pit (Thomas)
3/10/96: 3-2 at Phi (Guerin)
Since the start of the work-stoppage shortened 2012-13 season, New Jersey had lost 15 of the 18 games that were decided in overtime or the shootout prior to their two OT wins last week.
The Devils had lost 12 straight overtime or shootout decisions on the road prior to the sudden-death victory in Los Angeles. The last overtime win away from home for New Jersey was back on February 21, 2012, a 4-3 victory in Toronto.
Jaromir Jagr’s overtime goal in Los Angeles was the 18th of his career, extending his NHL record. It was Jagr’s first OT goal for New Jersey, and he became the 40th different Devils player to score a regular-season overtime goal for the Devils.
Jagr is currently one of five players to have scored 10 career goals or fewer for New Jersey, but have at least one overtime goal:
• Anssi Salmela: 2 goals, 1 OT goal (3/12/11 vs. NYI)
• Brad Lukowich: 5 goals, 1 OT goal (2/1/07 at Phi)
• Jaromir Jagr: 9 goals, 1 OT goal (11/21/13 at L.A.)
• Mark Fayne: 9 goals, 1 OT goal (2/21/12 at Tor)
• Mattias Tedenby: 10 goals, 1 OT goal (2/8/11 vs. Car)
Here is a list of the players who scored the most career goals for the Devils without ever scoring a regular-season overtime goal:
• Pat Verbeek: 170 goals, 0 OT goals
• Claude Lemieux: 142 goals, 0 OT goals
• Sergei Brylin: 129 goals, 0 OT goals
• Brendan Shanahan: 94 goals, 0 OT goals
• Mark Johnson: 89 goals, 0 OT goals
Here is a list of the players who scored the most career goals for the Devils and scored exactly one regular-season overtime goal:
• Petr Sykora: 166 goals, 1 OT goal (10/23/97 vs. Mtl)
• Aaron Broten: 147 goals, 1 OT goal (11/25/87 at Edm)
• John Madden: 140 goals, 1 OT goal (2/24/08 at Was)
• Brian Rolston: 130 goals, 1 OT goal (1/4/09 vs. Ott)
• Jason Arnott: 110 goals, 1 OT goal (4/8/00 vs. Fla)
New Jersey was outshot by Los Angeles, 35-15, overall Thursday night in their 2-1 overtime victory over the Kings, including a season-low two shots on goal in the first period by the Devils.
The win was the 6th in Devils history in which they were credited with 15 shots on goal or fewer:
• 11/21/13: 2-1 (OT) at LA, 15
• 11/29/02: 2-1 win at Nsh, 15
• 10/27/01: 3-1 win vs. Buf, 11
• 3/23/01: 4-0 win vs. Van, 15
• 1/3/97: 1-0 win at Ott, 15
• 3/17/84: 5-3 win at Bos, 15
The Devils return to Newark this week to face the Winnipeg Jets Monday night. They have a home-and-home with the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday and Friday and close out November against the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night at Prudential Center.
Buffalo named Ted Nolan its interim head coach back on November 13. Nolan was the head coach of the Sabres back in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
Only one other current NHL head coach, Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues, was also a head coach in the league back in 1995-96. Hitchcock took over the Dallas Stars 40 games into the 1995-96 season.
Pat LaFontaine, Buffalo’s newly-appointed president of hockey operations, played for the Sabres against the Devils the first time New Jersey faced Nolan and Buffalo back on October 15, 1995, a 4-3 Devils win.
Nolan has a record of 11-9-4 against New Jersey in his coaching career, including his two seasons with Buffalo and two with the New York Islanders.
Plus: Three in a Row –– The Devils’ three-game winning streak was its longest of the season and the longest by New Jersey since winning five straight from February 3-February 10.
Minus: Damien Brunner — A healthy scratch for the first time this season last Thursday vs. the Kings, Brunner has just two points in his last 16 games after starting the season with five points in his first five games.
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