By John Schweibacher
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After winning just one of their previous four games, the New Jersey Devils have been officially eliminated from playoff contention.
New Jersey lost to Dallas, 2-1, in overtime Sunday night at Prudential Center. It was the sixth regular season OT loss to the Stars’ franchise in club history:
— 3/26/17: Stars 2, Devils 1; GWG: Tyler Seguin
— 10/8/10: Stars, 4-3; Loui Eriksson
— 10/22/99: Stars, 2-1; Sergei Zubov
— 1/5/98: Stars, 4-3; Jere Lehtinen
— 11/15/89: Minnesota North Stars, 2-1; Clark Donatelli
— 11/23/84: North Stars, 5-4; Craig Hartsburg
Lone Star state native Blake Coleman scored the lone goal for the Devils in Sunday’s loss, the first of his NHL career. The last Devils player to score his first NHL goal against the Stars was Travis Zajac back on Oct. 7, 2006, at Dallas.
The Devils lost to the Hurricanes, 3-1, Saturday night in Newark, a defeat that officially eliminated New Jersey from playoff contention. Jeff Skinner scored the go-ahead goal on a breakaway with 10:26 left for Carolina, which has not reached the postseason since 2008-09.
Skinner and the Devils’ Taylor Hall are both in the top six on the following dubious list: the most games played among active players who have not appeared in a playoff game (through March 26).
— Ron Hainsey, 901 games
— Zach Bogosian, 527
— Jordan Eberle, 500
— Evander Kane, 489
— Skinner, 488
— Hall, 446
(NOTE: Hainsey, with Pittsburgh, and Eberle, with Edmonton, will be in the playoffs this season.)
Pavel Zacha had his six-game assist streak snapped in the Devils’ 4-2 loss at Toronto on Thursday. Zacha fell two games shy of the club record for rookies, shared by Kevin Todd (Feb. 8-21, 1992), Scott Gomez (Nov. 12-Dec. 1, 1999) and Travis Zajac (March 15-30, 2007).
Zacha’s 22 points are the sixth-most among Devils rookies since the 2005-06 season:
— Adam Henrique: 16 goals, 51 points (2011-12)
— Zajac: 17, 42 (2006-07)
— Zach Parise: 14, 32 (2005-06)
— Eric Gelinas: 7, 29 (2013-14)
— Niclas Bergfors: 13, 27 (2009-10)
— Zacha: 8, 22 (2016-17)
Thursday’s loss to the Maple Leafs marked just the second time the Devils lost to Toronto in their last 12 meetings (6-2-4).
John Moore scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season in the defeat and leads all Devils defensemen in goals. It was the first two-goal game of his career.
The only other New Jersey defenseman to have a two-goal game against Toronto was Marek Zidlicky, who scored twice in a 4-2 loss at Air Canada Center on March 4, 2013.
The Devils won the fourth and final game of their season series against the Rangers, 3-2 in overtime last Tuesday night at Prudential Center.
Joseph Blandisi scored the first sudden death of his NHL career, with 55 seconds remaining. It was just the fourth regular season, home-ice overtime victory for the Devils over the Rangers and the first at Prudential Center:
— 3/21/17: Devils 3, Rangers 2; GWG Joseph Blandisi
— 10/8/05: Devils, 3-2; Brian Rafalski
— 11/17/89: Devils, 5-4; Kirk Muller
— 11/2/85: Devils, 6-5; Mel Bridgman
John Quenneville scored his first career NHL goal in the win. According to the player game finder on hockey-reference.com, as well as the boxscores from the Hockey Summary project, Quenneville is the seventh player to score his first NHL goal for the Devils against the Rangers:
— 3/21/17: John Quenneville vs. Antti Raanta
— 3/7/98: Krzysztof Oliwa vs. Mike Richter
— 12/10/97: Sheldon Souray vs. Jason Muzzatti
— 3/4/92: Jarrod Skalde vs. Mike Richter
— 11/10/87: Brendan Shanahan vs. John Vanbiesbrouck
— 1/26/87: Anders Carlsson vs. Bob Froese
— 10/5/83: Rich Chernomaz vs. Steve Weeks
Plus: Going Greene. Devils captain Andy Greene played his 700th career NHL game Sunday, one day after he was selected as a Masterton Trophy candidate for the second straight season by the Devils’ chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association
Minus: Low Five. The Devils were officially eliminated from the playoffs for the fifth straight season, matching their longest stretch since moving to New Jersey — from 1982-83 through 1986-87.