By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils, who don’t play again until Friday, are still off to a good start, having won six of their first eight games.
It is just the fourth time in club history that New Jersey has had at least six wins in their first eight contests:
• 1993-94 — 7-1-0
• 1995-96 — 6-2-0
• 2002-03 — 6-2-0
• 2017-18 — 6-2-0
The Devils lost to the Sharks, 3-0, Friday night at the Prudential Center, as San Jose goaltender Martin Jones posted his first shutout of the season with 28 saves.
Jones, who also shut out New Jersey, 4-0, on Nov. 21 last season in San Jose, has two of the Sharks’ three shutouts all-time against the Devils. Evgeni Nabokov had the first shutout in club history against New Jersey, a 2-0 win at San Jose on Nov. 25, 2006.
The Devils have now been shut out at home 13 times since the start of the 2014-15 season, the most of any NHL club.
• New Jersey, 13
• Colorado, 12
• Vancouver, 12
• Buffalo, 11
• Columbus, 11
• Edmonton, 11
On Thursday night in Ottawa, the Devils trailed 4-2 after the second period but rallied to beat the Senators, 5-4, on John Moore’s overtime goal.
Moore did not score an overtime goal in his first five seasons in the NHL, playing for the Blue Jackets, Rangers and Coyotes, but according to the Elias Sports Bureau, his five regular-season OT goals since he signed with New Jersey as a free agent in July 2015 are the most by any NHL defenseman over the last three seasons.
Moore’s five regular season overtime goals are the second most all-time among New Jersey defensemen and tied for the fourth most among all Devils skaters:
• Patrik Elias, 16
• Scott Niedermayer, 8
• Zach Parise, 7
• Brian Gionta, 5
• Ilya Kovalchuk, 5
• Stephane Richer, 5
• John Moore, 5
Taylor Hall tied a career high with four assists in the OT win over Ottawa. Hall did not score a goal in the game and fell one assist short of becoming the fifth Devils player to have a five-point game with all the points being assists. The others are:
• Scott Gomez, March 30, 2010, vs. NYI
• Tom Kurvers, Feb. 13, 1989, vs. Tor
• Kirk Muller, March 25, 1987, at NYR
• Greg Adams, Oct. 10, 1985, at Phi
Nico Hischier, the No. 1 overall pick by the Devils in this year’s draft, scored the first two goals of his NHL career in the overtime win at Ottawa.
Elias noted that Hischier is the fourth player in KC/Colorado/New Jersey franchise history to score two goals in one game as an 18-year-old.
• Nico Hischier, NJD at Ott, Oct. 19, 2017
• Kirk Muller (twice), NJD at NYI, Oct. 16, 1984; NJD at Hfd, Dec. 26, 1984
• Pat Verbeek, NJD at NYR, April 1, 198
• Paul Gagne (twice), Que at Col, Oct. 14, 1980; Col at Chi Dec. 17, 1980
With the OT victory, the Devils improved to 4-0-0 on the road to start the season, their best start away from New Jersey since they won their first nine road games to begin the 2009-10 season. The Devils had just four wins in their first 21 road games a year ago.
Last Tuesday night in Newark, the Devils outlasted the Lightning, 5-4, with a shootout win.
Drew Stafford scored twice in the victory, including the game-tying power play goal in the third period.
Stafford is one of eight newcomers on New Jersey’s roster, and all eight have at least one point through the Devils’ first eight games:
• Will Butcher — 0g, 9a, 9pts
• Nico Hischier — 2g, 5a, 7pts
• Jesper Bratt — 3g, 3a ,6pts
• Brian Gibbons — 3g, 2a, 5pts
• Marcus Johansson — 3g, 2a, 5pts
• Drew Stafford — 3g, 1a, 4pts
• Jimmy Hayes — 1g, 0a, 1pt
• Mirco Mueller — 0g, 1a, 1pt
Nikita Kucherov extended his season-opening goal streak to seven games when he scored in the second period for the Lightning, becoming the sixth player in the NHL since 1967-68 to score at least one goal in each of his club’s first seven games of a season.
The Devils’ club record for a season-opening goal streak is four, shared by Randy McKay (1997-98), Claude Loiselle (1987-88) and Mel Bridgman (1985-86).
Plus: Brian Boyle. Devils center was medically cleared for full participation in practice and was on the ice Sunday with his New Jersey teammates for the first time since he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia a month ago.
Minus: Cory Schneider and Kyle Palmieri. The Devils goalie and right wing are both day-to-day with lower-body injuries.