Devils

Schwei: Heading Into The Break On A Down Note, Olympics And More Devils Notes

The New Jersey Devils defend against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center on February 7, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Oilers 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils defend against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center on February 7, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Oilers 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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By John Schweibacher
» More Columns

The New Jersey Devils headed into the Olympic break on a down note, as they were shut out for the seventh time this season, 3-0, against the Capitals Saturday night in Washington.

New Jersey is one of six teams to be shut out seven times, tied for the most in the NHL so far in 2013-14:

• New Jersey: 7

• Buffalo: 7

• Nashville: 7

• Detroit: 7

• Edmonton: 7

• Calgary: 7

• Tampa Bay: 6

• Los Angeles: 6

On the plus side, the Devils’ six shutouts are tied for the third-most in the NHL heading into the Olympic break:

• Los Angeles: 9 (Quick 3, Jones 3, Scrivens 3)

• St. Louis: 7 (Halak 4, Elliott 3)

• New Jersey: 6 (Brodeur 3, Schneider 3)

• Boston: 6 (Rask 5, Johnson 1)

Braden Holtby made 25 saves against the Devils in his shutout win for the Capitals. It was the first time New Jersey had been shut out in Washington since March 20, 1998, and just the fifth time overall by the Caps on the road, including the first-ever shutout against the Devils back in 1982:

• 2/8/14: 3-0, Braden Holtby

• 3/20/98: 2-0, Olaf Kolzig

• 3/31/90: 4-0, Don Beaupre

• 10/20/90: 4-0, Don Beaupre

• 11/10/82: 3-0, Al Jensen

Rookie defenseman Jon Merrill’s first NHL goal was the overtime winner in New Jersey’s 2-1 victory over Edmonton last Friday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Merrill is the first player whose first career goal was an overtime one for the Devils, and the second player to register his first NHL goal with an OT winner this season. Senators rookie defenseman Cody Ceci scored his first goal in extra time against St. Louis on December 16.

Rookie defenseman Eric Gelinas scored an overtime goal for New Jersey earlier this season (December 7 against the Rangers at MSG). Elias notes that the only other team in NHL history to have two rookie defensemen score overtime goals in the same season was the 2005-06 Phoenix Coyotes (Keith Ballard and Zbynek Michalek).

New Jersey is now 6-3 with seven ties in overtime games against the Edmonton Oilers (the two teams have split their two shootouts against one another). The Devils have not lost a game in sudden-death vs. the Oilers since 1991.

Here is the list of overtime game-winners in games between New Jersey and Edmonton:

• 2/7/14: Edm 1 at NJD 2, Jon Merrill

• 1/11/12: NJD 2 at Edm 1, Zach Parise

• 11/12/10: Edm 3 at NJD 4, Ilya Kovalchuk

• 1/5/04: Edm 2 at NJD 3, Patrik Elias

• 3/17/01: NJD 6 at Edm 5, Patrik Elias

• 1/12/91: Edm 5 at NJD 4, Steve Smith

• 11/9/88: Edm 3 at NJD 2, Glenn Anderson

• 11/25/87: NJD 8 at Edm 7, Aaron Broten

• 1/24/86: NJD 6 at Edm 7, Wayne Gretzky

The overtime win was New Jersey’s eighth this season, one shy of matching the club’s single-season record set in 2008-09.

Here are the Devils’ most regular-season overtime wins by year:

• 2008-09: 9

• 2013-14: 8

• 2002-03: 8

• 2010-11: 7

• 2007-08: 7

• 2003-04: 7

• 1995-96: 7

Eight different Devils have scored their eight overtime goals this season.

• 11/20/13: 4-3 at Anaheim — Travis Zajac

• 11/21/13: 2-1 at Los Angeles — Jaromir Jagr

• 11/30/13: 1-0 vs. Buffalo — Steve Bernier

• 12/7/13: 4-3 at NY Rangers — Eric Gelinas

• 12/21/13: 5-4 at Washington — Andy Greene

• 1/11/14: 2-1 vs. Florida — Marek Zidlicky

• 1/30/14: 3-2 at Dallas – Patrik Elias

• 2/7/14: 2-1 vs. Edmonton — Jon Merrill

Patrik Elias, Jaromir Jagr and Marek Zidlicky will represent the Czech Republic, while Damien Brunner will play for the Swiss team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Here is how the New Jersey Devils’ representatives have fared overall at the previous four Olympics which have been open to NHL players:

1998: Nagano, Japan

• Scott Stevens (Can): 6 Games — 0-0-0

• Martin Brodeur (Can): did not appear

2002: Salt Lake City, Utah 

• Patrik Elias (Cze): 4 Games, 1-1-2

• Scott Niedermayer (Can): 6 Games, 1-1-2 — Gold

• Brian Rafalski: (USA): 6 Games, 1-2-3 — Silver

• Petr Sykora (Cze): 4 Games 1-0-1

• Martin Brodeur (Can): 6 Games, 4-0-1 with 1.80 GAA, Gold

2006: Torino, Italy 

• Patrik Elias (Cze): 1 Game, 0-0-0 — Bronze

• Brian Gionta (USA): 6 Games, 4-0-4

• Scott Gomez (USA): 6 Games, 1-4-5

• Paul Martin (USA): did not play

• Brian Rafalski (USA): 5 Games, 0-2-2

• Martin Brodeur (Can): 4 Games, 2-2-0 with 2.01 GAA

2010 Vancouver, Canada 

• Patrik Elias (Cze): 5 Games, 2-2-4

• Ilya Kovalchuk (Rus): 4 Games, 1-2-3

• Jamie Langenbrunner (USA): 6 Games, 1-3-4 — Silver

• Zach Parise (USA): 6 Games, 4-4-8 — Silver

• Martin Brodeur (Can): 2 Games 1-1-0 with 2.90 GAA — Gold

Schwei’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Penalty Killing – The Devils’ penalty-kill unit went 4-for-4 in loss to the Capitals and is 36-for-39 (92.3 percent) over the last 12 games. New Jersey’s 87.4 penalty-killing percentage leads the NHL.

Minus: No Support – New Jersey has scored just 54 goals in Cory Schneider’s 31 starts, but 81 in the 28 games started by Martin Brodeur.

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