By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils bounced back after a blowout loss in Pittsburgh last Tuesday night with a pair of come-from-behind wins against Winnipeg and Columbus.
The Devils trailed 2-1 after two periods but rallied to beat the Blue Jackets, 3-2, Saturday night at Prudential Center. They defeated rookie goaltender Anton Forsberg, who made his NHL debut.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Devils are now 5-1-1 all time in games in which the starting goaltender for the other team was playing in his first NHL game.
Here is the list of the six previous goalies:
Doug Dadswell – 1/22/87 (Cal 5 at NJD 7)
Rick Tabaracci – 10/21/88 (Pit 4 at NJD 6)
Scott Bailey – 11/16/95 (NJD 2 at Bos 2 (OT))
Mike Fountain – 11/14/96 (Van 3 at NJD 0)
Ryan Miller – 11/19/02 (Buf 3 at NJD 4 (OT))
Henrik Lundqvist – 10/8/05 (NYR 2 at NJD 3 (OT))
The Devils ended their NHL-record, 18-game shootout losing streak against the same team they last defeated in a shootout — the Winnipeg Jets — defeating them, 2-1, last Thursday night at Prudential Center.
New Jersey won a shootout for the first time since March 10, 2013, ending the streak of futility dating back to March 15, 2013 at Philadelphia.
Ondrej Pavelec, who took the loss in the shootout for Winnipeg, was also the losing goaltender for the Jets in that last Devils shootout win, allowing a Patrik Elias goal as Johan Hedberg stopped all three Winnipeg attempts.
Pavelec led the NHL in shootout wins last season, tying San Jose’s Antti Niemi with seven.
Jacob Josefson scored the game-deciding goal, the first of his career. He is now 2-for-4 all time in the shootout. Here is the Devils’ all-time list of shootout winning goals for New Jersey:
• Patrik Elias: 9
• Zach Parise: 9
• Ilya Kovalchuk: 8
• Jamie Langenbrunner: 6
• Viktor Kozlov: 5
• Brian Gionta: 4
• Travis Zajac: 4
• John Madden: 3
• David Clarkson: 3
• Scott Gomez: 1
• Sergei Brylin: 1
• Brian Rolston: 1
• Brendan Shanahan: 1
• Adam Henrique: 1
• Jacob Josefson: 1
New Jersey might not have gotten to the shootout if Michael Ryder had not tied the game with 3:27 left to play in regulation.
It was the first tying goal by a Devils player in the last five minutes of the third period in a game this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, New Jersey recorded five such goals last season and Ryder was the only Devils player with two.
Here are those late, game-tying goals for New Jersey last season:
• 10/7/13 at Edm, Patrik Elias 19:06 (Lost 5-4 SHO)
• 10/26/13 at Bos, Marek Zidlicky 18:52 (Won 4-3 Reg.)
• 11/8/13 at Tor, Michael Ryder 15:15 (Lost 2-1 SHO)
• 11/20/13 at Ana, Jaromir Jagr 18:59 (Won 4-3 OT)
• 1/7/14 vs. Phi, Michael Ryder 19:30 (Lost 3-2 OT)
The Devils were beaten, 8-3, by the Penguins last Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.
It was just the second time in the last 21 years that New Jersey allowed at least eight goals in a game, and the first since October 21, 2006 — an 8-1 loss in Ottawa.
Prior to that 2006 game, the last time the Devils gave up eight goals in a game was back on December 26, 1993, an 8-3 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The last time New Jersey gave up as many as eight goals on home ice was back on November 11, 1992, an 8-3 defeat against the Montreal Canadiens at the Meadowlands.
Dainius Zubrus scored 0:09 into the game in the loss at Pittsburgh, the second-fastest goal to start a road game in Devils history, and one second shy of the quickest overall since the club moved to New Jersey:
• 0:08 – Alexander Semak, 3/9/93 (7-2 loss at Van)
• 0:08 – Kirk Muller, 12/13/88 (4-3 win at Stl)
• 0:09 – Greg Adams, 12/21/85 (7-6 loss at Hfd)
• 0:09 – Dainius Zubrus, 10/28/14 (8-3 loss at Pit)
• 0:10 – Jamie Langenbrunner, 11/2/02 (5-1 win vs. Chi)
• 0:12 – Travis Zajac, 3/31/14 (6-3 win vs. Fla)
• 0:12 – Brendan Shanahan, 2/9/89 (6-3 win at Det)
Plus: Team Offense — With his first goal of the season Saturday night, Adam Larsson became the 17th different Devil to score a goal this season. New Jersey is now tied with Boston and Minnesota for the most players with at least one goal.
Minus: Penalty-Kill — New Jersey allowed four more power-play goals last week and now lead the NHL with 15 given up this season.
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