By John Schweibacher
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The Devils ended their disappointing 2016-17 season by losing three of their last four games.
Back on Feb. 18, New Jersey’s record stood at 25-23-10. With 60 points, the Devils were just four out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. However, they went just 3-17-4 the rest of the way, ending the season with just 70 points.
Only six Devils teams finished with fewer points in a full season since the club moved to New Jersey:
— 1983-84: 17-56-7, 41 points
— 1982-83: 17-49-14, 48
— 1984-85: 22-48-10, 54
— 1985-86: 28-49-3, 59
— 1986-87: 29-45-6, 64
— 1988-89: 27-41-12, 66
This NHL postseason will be the first since 1985-86 without either the Devils or Detroit Red Wings, who beat New Jersey, 4-1, on Sunday in the final game at Joe Louis Arena.
John Moore scored the lone goal in the loss for the Devils, who finished 13-20-2 all-time at “The Joe.” The first goal the Devils ever scored at Joe Louis Arena came off the stick of Hector Marini against Wings goalie Greg Stefan in a 1-1 tie back on Nov. 6, 1982. Detroit’s goal that night was scored by Colin Campbell against New Jersey’ Chico Resch.
The Devils lost their final home game of the season, 4-2, to the Islanders on Saturday night at Prudential Center. Beau Bennett scored twice for New Jersey.
It was Bennett’s second multi-point game of the season, as well as the second two-goal game of his career. Bennett finished the season with a career-high eight goals.
Here is the list of the goals scored by the players acquired by Ray Shero since the end of the 2015-16 season, the span covering his second full year as Devils general manager:
— Taylor Hall, 20
— *P.A. Parenteau, 13
— Beau Bennett, 8
— Stefan Noesen, 6
— **Kyle Quincey, 4
— Yohann Auvitu, 2
— Ben Lovejoy, 1
— ***Vernon Fiddler, 1
(* traded to Nashville on 3/1) (** traded to Columbus on 3/1) (*** traded to Nashville on 2/4)
The Pittsburgh Penguins tied a franchise record with 16 different players producing at least one point during their 7-4 win over the Devils on Thursday night in Newark.
It was the fifth time New Jersey allowed at least seven goals in a game against Pittsburgh on home ice and the first time in nearly 18 years:
— 4/6/17: Penguins 7, Devils 4 (Rust, Guentzel, Archibald, Sheary, Hornqvist, Cullen and Bonino)
— 10/7/99: Penguins 7, Devils 5 (Morozov 3, Jagr, Kovalev, Lang and Slegr)
— 12/17/87: Penguins 7, Devils 4 (Lemieux 2, Kachowski 2, McLlwain 2 and Cunneyworth)
— 3/19/86: Penguins 7, Devils 3 (Schmidt 2, Ruskowski 2, Lindstrom, Duguay and Loney)
— 10/31/84: Penguins 7, Devils 6 (Babych 2, Young 2, Lemieux, Bodger and Crowder)
The Devils went 0-4-1 against the Penguins this season, marking the first time since 1994-96 New Jersey went winless in the regular season against Pittsburgh (0-1-2).
The Devils beat the Flyers, 1-0, in overtime last Tuesday night at “The Rock.” John Moore scored 59 seconds into the sudden death.
It was the fourth overtime goal of Moore’s career, three of which coming in 2015-16, his first season with the Devils. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Moore is now tied with Brent Burns and Shayne Gostisbehere for the most overtime goals over the last two seasons by NHL defensemen.
New Jersey has now won six 1-0 overtime regular season games in club history, with two coming against Philadelphia:
— 4/4/17: over Flyers (John Moore)
— 11/30/13: over Sabres (Steve Bernier)
— 10/13/10: over Sabres (Ilya Kovalchuk)
— 12/23/07: over Flames (Patrik Elias)
— 12/10/03: over Islanders (Patrik Elias)
— 12/2/02: over Flyers (Brian Gionta)
Plus/Minus: Plus: Ping-Pong balls. New Jersey has an 8.5 percent chance to win the No. 1 overall pick in NHL Draft Lottery on April 29, the fifth-best odds among the non-playoff clubs and the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Minus: Golf balls. The Devils missed the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, matching their record of futility from 1982-83 through 1988-89, their first seven seasons in New Jersey.