Schwei’s Devils Notes: Elias Joins Fraternity Of Big-Time Scorers Who Stuck With One Franchise

By John Schweibacher
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Patrik Elias, the leading scorer in New Jersey Devils history, announced his retirement Friday.

The 40-year-old forward, who did not play this season, will have his No. 26 officially retired in a ceremony next season, becoming the fifth Devils player to be so honored.

MORE: Boomer & Carton: Patrik Elias Will Remain Active During Retirement

Elias is one of 10 players in NHL history to reach the 400-goal, 600-assist and 1,000-point plateaus while playing for just one franchise their entire careers:

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The Devils’ Patrik Elias celebrates his first-period goal against the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 17, 2015, at the Prudential Center. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The others are:
• Steve Yzerman, Detroit (1983-2006) — 692 goals, 1,063 assists, 1755 points
• Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh (1984-2006) —  690 goals, 1,033 assists, 1,723 points
• Joe Sakic, Quebec/Colorado (1988-2009) — 625 goals, 1,016 assists, 1,641 points
• Stan Mikita, Chicago (1958-80) — 541 goals, 926 assists, 1,467 points
• Gil Perreault, Buffalo (1970-87) — 512 goals, 814 assists, 1,326 points
• Alex Delvecchio, Detroit (1950-74) — 456 goals, 825 assists, 1,281 points
• Jean Beliveau, Montreal (1950-71) —  507 goals, 712 assists, 1,219 points
• Dave Taylor, Los Angeles (1977-94) — 431 goals, 638 assists, 1,069 points
• Patrik Elias, New Jersey (1995-2016) — 408 goals, 617 assists, 1,025 points
• Rod Gilbert, N.Y. Rangers (1960-78) —  406 goals, 615 assists, 1,021 points

Dave Taylor is the only player on this list other than Elias who is not a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Ken Daneyko (1,283 games, 20 seasons) and Martin Brodeur (1,259 games, 21 seasons) are the only players to appear in more games and more seasons for New Jersey than Elias (1,240, 19 seasons).

The Devils fell to 0-10-0 on the road since mid-February and 0-4-2 in the last six overall with three losses this past week.

On Saturday night, New Jersey lost to the Flyers 3-0 in Philadelphia. Anthony Stolarz, who was recalled from the AHL by the Flyers to serve as an emergency backup to Michal Neuvirth (Steve Mason was ill), took over in goal when Neuvirth suddenly collapsed to the ice during a stoppage of play early in the first period. Stolarz stopped all 26 shots he faced over the final 52:23 of the game to complete the shutout for Philadelphia.

It was the second time in club history the Devils were on the losing end of a combined shutout. Back on Oct. 28, 1998, Larry Robinson’s Los Angeles Kings beat New Jersey 4-0 at the Meadowlands with Stefan Fiset and Manny Legace combining to stop 40 Devils shots. Fiset started the game but left with a groin strain late in the second period.

On Friday night, the Devils lost to the Islanders 2-1 in Brooklyn. Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves in the win. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Halak is now 7–0–1 with a 1.10 goals-against average in the eight games he has played against New Jersey during his three seasons with the Islanders, allowing two or fewer goals in each game.

Halak’s eight wins against the Devils are the third most among all goalies over the last three seasons:

• Braden Holtby (Was), 10
• Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ),  8
• Jaroslav Halak (NYI), 7
• Marc-Andre Fleury (Pit), 6
• Jake Allen (StL), 5
• Henrik Lundqvist (NYR), 5
• Ben Bishop (TB), 5
• Al Montoya (Mon/Fla), 5

Last Tuesday night, the Devils lost to the Jets 4-3 in a shootout at the Prudential Center in a game that was rescheduled game by the snowstorm two weeks earlier.

New Jersey surrendered its 11th short-handed goal of the season when Joel Armia scored to tie the game 3-3 in the third period.

Here are the seasons when the Devils allowed the most short-handed goals:

1992-93: 19
1988-89: 15
1990-91: 13
2011-12: 13
1984-85: 12
1987-88: 12
1989-90: 12
2006-07: 11
• 2016-17: 11

The shootout loss dropped the Devils’ record in the tiebreaker to 3-3 this season. New Jersey had its previous four overtime/shootout games against the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise. Their previous such defeat was on Feb. 15, 2008, a 4-3 shootout loss in Newark.

Schwei’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: New Blood. Defenseman Michael Kapla made his NHL debut with New Jersey on Friday night. The Devils have now had 11 rookies play in at least one game this season, the second most in the NHL behind the Canucks, who have had 12.

Minus: Boxed in. New Jersey had a season-high 42 penalty minutes in the loss to the Flyers and was short-handed a season-high 10 times against the Islanders. The Devils are 19-for-24 (79.2 percent) while short-handed over the last five games.

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