Eric Gelinas Scored His 1st Career NHL Goal On Thursday

By John Schweibacher
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The Devils picked up their first road win of the season Saturday night, coming from behind in the final 1:08 of the third period to shock the defending Eastern Conference-champion Boston Bruins.

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According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the fourth time in Devils history that New Jersey won a game in regulation time after trailing in the final two minutes of the third period:

• 10/26/13 at Bos, trailed 3-2 (Zidlicky 18:52 & Greene 19:15)
• 3/10/12 at NYI, trailed 1-0 (Clarkson 18:21 & Zidlicky 18:35)
• 2/5/10 vs. Tor, trailed 3-2 (Zajac 19:16 & Pandolfo 19:41)
• 12/6/03 at Ott, trailed 1-0 (S. Niedermayer 18:23 & Gionta 19:42)

The Devils scored all four of their goals in the win on the power play, the most by New Jersey in one game since January 22, 2008, when they scored five with the man-advantage in a 7-3 win at Philadelphia.

The Devils have scored five power-play goals in one game three times in club history, but the franchise record is six, set in 1980 when the team was located in Colorado:

5 Power-Play Goals (Devils’ Team Record):

• 1/22/08: 7-3 win at Phi (Oduya, Langenbrunner, Zubrus, Elias & Parise)
• 1/14/96: 7-2 win vs. Dal (Guerin, Stevens, Sykora, Zelepukin & Thomas)
• 10/29/86: 8-6 win at Pit (Muller (2), Verbeek (2) & A. Broten)

6 Power-Play Goals (franchise record):
• 2/19/80: 8-6 win vs. Phi @ Col (Robert (2), Morrison, McDonald, Valiquette & Ramage)

The Rockies came into that game with the worst record in the NHL (14-34-9) and defeated the Flyers, who had the league’s best mark (39-4-13) and had just set a North American pro sports record by going unbeaten in 35 games (25-0-10) from October 14 through January 6 that season.

Defenseman Eric Gelinas, who was recalled from Albany (AHL) last Wednesday, scored his first career NHL goal on the power play last Thursday night against Vancouver. Gelinas was playing in just his second NHL game. Josef Boumedienne is the only Devils rookie defenseman to score in his NHL debut, back in October of 2001.

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Here is a list of the 13 players who did score goals for the Devils in their NHL debut, and how many goals they would go on to score for New Jersey:

Player         |         Game       |       Opponent        |           Goalie           |    Career Goals With Devils

• Petr Vrana          10/18/08            at WAS                     Brent Johnson                        1
• Zach Parise        10/5/05              vs. PIT                      Jocelyn Thibault                   194
• Mike Rupp (2)     1/13/03             vs. FLA                     Robert Luongo                      23
• Josef Boumedienne 10/6/01       at WAS                      Olaf Kolzig                             1
• Jiri Bicek               2/19/01           at TOR                      Curtis Joseph                         6
• Pierre Dagenais   2/17/01           at BUF                       Domenik Hasek                     6
• Brendan Morrison 12/4/97         at PIT                        Tom Barrasso                       23
• Pascal Rheaume   2/20/97          at FLA                       Mark Fitzpatrick                     5
• Steve Sullivan       2/23/96          vs. MTL                     Pat Jablonski                         15
• Petr Sykora           10/28/95        vs. PIT                       Tom Barrasso                       166
• Denis Pederson   10/12/95         vs. WPG                    Tim Chevaldae                      44
• Scott Pellerin       12/6/92           at BUF                       Domenik Hasek                     12
• Jeff Madill            1/12/91           vs. EDM                    Kari Takko                               4

Gelinas is the 10th-youngest defenseman in Devils history to score his first career NHL goal:

Craig Wolanin: 18 years, 133 days old — 12/9/85 at Min
Adam Larsson: 18 years, 364 days old — 11/11/11 at Was
Scott Niedermayer: 19 years, 68 days old — 11/7/92 at SJ
Ken Daneyko: 19 years, 194 days old — 10/30/83 vs. Pit
Alex Urbom: 20 years, 111 days old — 4/10/11 vs. Bos
Mike Commodore: 21 years, 46 days old — 12/23/00 at TB
Sheldon Souray: 21 years, 156 days old –12/16/97 at NYR
Jason Smith: 21 years, 344 days old — 10/12/95 vs. Wpg
Colin White: 22 years, 103 days old — 3/24/00 at NYI
Eric Gelinas: 22 years, 169 days old — 10/24/13 vs. Van

Schwei’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Jaromir Jagr — He recorded two assists in the come-from-behind victory in Boston and now has points in a team and season-high four straight games. Jagr (2g-7a-9pts) is now tied with Marek Zidlicky (1g-8a-9pts) for the Devils’ team lead.

Minus: Long Road — New Jersey earned its first road victory of the season (1-5-2) on Saturday night. The seven-game road winless streak to start the season was the Devils’ longest in club history, topping their 0-4-1 road mark to begin the 1994-95 season. The expansion Kansas City Scouts went 0-7-1 in their first eight road games, the worst start away from home-ice in franchise history.

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