By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils are clinging to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as the final month of the NHL season begins.
Wednesday at 3 p.m. is the NHL trade deadline, but Lou Lamoriello has already made a number of moves during this lockout-shortened season, re-acquiring Alexei Ponikarovsky and adding Andrei Loktionov, Tom Kostopoulos and Matt D’Agostini.
Loktionov has seven goals since making his Devils debut on February 18, the most on the team. Here is the list of Devils who have scored the most goals for New Jersey after being acquired during a season:
Season G GP
•Tim Higgins 1983-84 18 37
•Claude Lemieux 1999-00 17 70
•Rick Meagher 1982-83 15 57
•Ilya Kovalchuk 2009-10 10 27
•Bob Brooke 1989-90 8 35
•Neal Broten 1994-95 8 30
•Dave Andreychuk 1995-96 8 15
•Gary McAdam 1983-84 7 38*
•Doug Gilmour 1996-97 7 20
•Alexei Ponikarovsky 2011-12 7 33
•Andrei Loktionov 2012-13 7 19
(*-McAdam was claimed on waivers by Washington on 11/17/83 and re-acquired on 1/8/84. He had seven goals after returning to New Jersey.)
The Devils went 0-0-3 on their three-game road trip last week, losing shootouts to both Ottawa and Tampa Bay and falling in overtime to Florida.
It marked the first time in club history that New Jersey lost three consecutive games in either overtime or shootouts. The last time the Devils had three straight one-point games was back in February of 2001, when they had a pair of ties (4-4 at Ottawa and 1-1 at the Rangers) wrapped around a 5-4 overtime loss in Pittsburgh.
New Jersey is 0-and-7 on the road in games decided after regulation, going 0-and-2 in overtime and 0-and-5 in shootouts away from Prudential Center.
The last time the Devils went winless on the road in overtime for an entire season came in 1997-98, when New Jersey went 0 and 1 with nine ties in 10 road overtime games.
New Jersey gave up game-tying goals to Tampa Bay and Florida with just 15 and 27 seconds remaining in the games last weekend. Both goals came with the opponents’ goalies pulled and an extra attacker on the ice.
The Devils have given up three final-minute, extra-attacker goals in a season just three times in club history and those all came in full 80-or-more game seasons:
· 2/17/89: Laurie Boschman, Winnipeg 19:27 NJD 2 at Wpg 3 (OT)
· 11/28/89: Pat LaFontaine, NY Islanders 19:37 NYI 2 at NJD 3 (OT)
· 1/24/90 Michal Pivonka, Washington (SH) 19:22 Was 2 at NJD 3
· 11/20/91: Peter Bondra, Washington 19:43 Was 5 at NJD 6 (OT)
· 12/26/91: Derek King, NY Islanders 19:59 NJD 5 at NYI 5 (OT)
· 2/18/92: Kevin Dineen, Philadelphia 19:55 Phi 3 at NJD 4 (OT)
· 11/15/08 : Alex Ovechkin, Washington 19:59 Was 5 at NJD 6 (SO)
· 11/26/08: David Booth, Florida 19:52 NJD 3 at Fla 2 (OT)
· 4/9/09: Dany Heatley, Ottawa 19:00 NJD 3 at Ott 2 (SO)
· 10/21/11: Joe Pavelski, San Jose 19:27 SJ 4 at NJD 3 (SO)
· 12/8/11: Jesse Winchester, Ottawa (SH) 19:55 Ott 4 at NJD 5 (SO)
· 2/21/12: Phil Kessel, Toronto 19:16 NJD 4 at Tor 3 (OT)
Kostopoulos scored a penalty-shot goal in the loss at Tampa Bay, becoming just the seventh Devil to successfully score on a penalty-shot attempt on the road in club history.
Here are the six previous Devils penalty-shot goals on the road:
•3/10/00: Patrik Elias at Atlanta (vs. Damian Rhodes)
•1/6/00: Petr Sykora at Buffalo (vs. Dwayne Roloson)
•11/23/91: Doug Brown at Philadelphia (vs. Ken Wregget)
•3/24/88: Aaron Broten at St. Louis (vs. Greg Millen)
•3/12/88: Mark Johnson at Philadelphia (vs. Ron Hextall)
•3/21/87: Kirk Muller at St. Louis (vs. Greg Millen)
Plus: Keep It Short — Ryan Carter scored his first career shorthanded goal in the loss at Tampa Bay. It was New Jersey’s league-leading ninth SHG of the season.
Minus: Pointless — Martin Brodeur took the loss in New Jersey’s 3-1 defeat against the Islanders. It was Brodeur’s first game since returning to the lineup on March 21 in which New Jersey failed to come away with at least a point (2-1-3).
Is this team in trouble? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…