By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils continue to come away with points, having done so in 11 of their last 14 games (6-3-5 17 pts), but the points they have let get away by failing to protect one-goal leads late in regulation may come back to haunt them should they narrowly miss the playoffs.

The Devils have allowed the tying goal with less than two minutes to play in regulation and the opposing goaltender pulled in each of their last three games.

It is the first time in club history that New Jersey has allowed tying goals with an extra attacker on the ice in three consecutive games. The only time the Devils had allowed this to happen in two straight games was last season, when Tampa Bay and Florida both tied games with their goalies pulled back on March 29 and 30, respectively.

New Jersey still got two points by winning in overtime in Dallas, but settled for just one point after losing in sudden-death to both Nashville and Colorado.

The Devils are now 5-2 in overtime on the road and 7-5 overall. New Jersey’s seven overtime wins are currently the most in the NHL this season (through games of 2/3):

• New Jersey: 7

• Colorado: 6

• Vancouver: 6

• Calgary: 6

• Anaheim: 5

• Tampa Bay: 5

New Jersey’s five overtime losses are tied for the second-most in the NHL (through games of 2/3):

• Carolina: 6

• Chicago: 6

• Phoenix: 6

• New Jersey: 5

• Ottawa: 5

• Dallas: 5

The Devils’ overtime loss to the Avalanche was New Jersey’s first in club history in the 14 games the two teams have played that were tied after regulation.

The Devils are 1-2 in shootouts vs. the Avs and 2-1-8 in the overtimes played against the Quebec/Colorado franchise. Rich Preston (2/20/86) in a 4-3 win over Quebec at the Meadowlands and Stephane Richer (11/29/95), also a 4-3 home-ice victory against Colorado, were the two players to score the OT winners for New Jersey.

Patrik Elias scored the 16th overtime goal of his career to give New Jersey the 3-2 win over the Stars. Elias moved past Sergei Fedorov and Mats Sundin (and Alex Ovechkin, who collected his 15th career OT goal Sunday) for sole possession of second place in NHL history behind Jaromir Jagr, who has 18 career overtime winners.

Elias’ goal came 40 seconds into sudden death — topping Andy Greene’s overtime goal 43 seconds into overtime against Washington back on December 21 — as the fastest into OT for New Jersey this season.

The overtime winner, however, failed to crack the top 10 for the fastest regular-season sudden-death goals in club history, three of which belong to Elias:

• :13, 11/25/87: Aaron Broten — NJ 8 at Edmonton 7

• :19, 12/22/99: Patrik Elias — Boston 4 at NJ 5

• :21, 3/9/96: Steve Thomas — NJ 4 at Pittsburgh 3

• :25, 12/23/07: Patrik Elias — NJ 1 at Calgary 0

• :28, 4/11/06: Brian Gionta — NJ 4 at Carolina 3

• :28, 3/6/01: Patrik Elias — Ottawa 2 at NJ 3

• :29, 4/1/08: Zach Parise — NJ 2 at NY Islanders 1

• :31, 12/6/08: Zach Parise — NJ 2 at Montreal 1

• :35, 12/17/86: Doug Sulliman — Toronto 2 at NJ 3

• :37, 2/4/08: Zach Parise — Pittsburgh 3 at NJ 4

Other than Jason Arnott’s Stanley Cup-winning goal in 2000, it was the only time the Devils have defeated the Dallas Stars or their predecessor — the Minnesota North Stars — in sudden-death in either the regular season or playoffs:

• 1/30/14: NJ 3 at Dallas 2 — Patrik Elias

• 10/8/00: Dallas 4 at NJ 3 — Loui Eriksson

• 6/10/00: NJ 2 at Dallas 1 (2 OT) — Jason Arnott

• 6/8/00: Dallas 1 at NJ 0 (3 OT) — Mike Modano

• 10/22/99: NJ 1 at Dallas 2 — Sergei Zubov

• 1/5/98: Dallas 4 at NJ 3 — Jere Lehtinen

• 11/15/89: Minnesota 2 at NJ 1 — Clark Donatelli

• 1/28/89: NJ 4 at Minnesota 4 — (Tie)

• 11/23/84: NJ 4 at Minnesota 5 — Craig Hartsburg

• 11/2/84: Minnesota 2 at NJ 2 — (Tie)

Shea Weber’s second goal of the game was the overtime winner for the Predators against the Devils on Friday night in Nashville. It was the third time a Devils-Predators game was decided in sudden death:

• 1/31/14: NJ 2 at Nashville 3 — Shea Weber

• 10/18/02: Nashville 2 at NJ 3 — Patrik Elias

• 1/30/99: Nashville 3 at NJ 2 — Sebastien Bordeleau

Jaroslav Halak became the first goaltender to register 20 career shutouts for the Blues when he beat the Devils, 3-0, in St. Louis last Tuesday night.

It was just the third time New Jersey had ever been shut out in a game against the Blues, and the fifth-time overall vs. St. Louis in franchise history:

• 1/28/14: NJ 0 at St. Louis 3 — Jaroslav Halak

• 3/20/10: St. Louis 1 at NJ 0 — Ty Conklin

• 2/10/90: NJ 0 at St. Louis 7 — Vincent Riendeau

• 3/8/81: Stl 7 at Colorado 0 — Mike Liut

• 2/7/75: Kansas City 0 at Stl 5 — Eddie Johnston

A pair of two-time New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup winners, Brian Rafalski and Jay Pandolfo, officially announced their retirements last week.

Rafalski, who signed with New Jersey as an undrafted free agent on June 18, 1999, played the sixth-most regular-season games (541) of any defenseman in Devils history. Rafalski’s 44 goals, 267 assists and 311 points all rank fourth on the team’s all-time lists for defenseman. His 17 playoff goals match Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer for the most among defensemen in club history, and his 60 postseason points rank him third behind those two Hall of Famers for the club’s all-time lead at their position.

Pandolfo was the Devils’ second-round draft choice, 32nd overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Pandolfo appeared in 819 regular-season contests for New Jersey, trailing only Elias (1,131 and counting) and John MacLean (934) for the most in club history among forwards. He appeared in 131 postseason games for the Devils, second only to Elias’ 162 among forwards and the sixth-most by any Devils player, trailing Martin Brodeur (205), Ken Daneyko (175), Elias (162), Scott Stevens (153) and Niedermayer (146).

Schwei’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Almost Healthy –– With Peter Harrold activated for Monday night’s game, New Jersey had no players on the injured list for the first time this season — although Harrold was taking the place of Anton Volchenkov, who was sidelined with a lower-body injury.

Minus: Almost Happy —  New Jersey has now allowed goals with the opposing goalie pulled and an extra attacker on the ice in the final two minutes five times this season — each of the last three games, December 4 vs. the Canadiens and December 7 against the Rangers.

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