By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils are off to a slow start at 1-3-1 after five games, but Sunday was a day of “firsts” for New Jersey and its rookie head coach.

The Devils picked up their first win of the season, a 2-1 overtime victory over the New York Rangers Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. The win was the Devils’ seventh all-time regular-season OT win against the Rangers:

· 10/18/15: Devils 2 at Rangers 1 — Lee Stempniak
· 12/17/13: Devils 4 at Rangers 3 — Eric Gelinas
· 10/8/05: Rangers 2 at Devils 3 — Brian Rafalski
· 12/23/92: Devils 5 at Rangers 4 — Stephane Richer
· 11/17/89: Rangers 4 at Devils 5 — Kirk Muller
· 11/2/85: Rangers 5 at Devils 6 — Mel Bridgman
· 10/13/85: Devils 3 at Rangers 2 — Rich Preston

John Hynes won his first game as an NHL head coach Sunday, the last of the three rookie NHL head coaches in 2015-16 to do so. Hynes is the fourth Devils coach to get his first win with New Jersey against the Rangers:

· John Hynes 10/18/15: NJD 2 at NYR 1 (OT) — 5th game
· Lou Lamoriello: 12/20/05 NJD 3 at NYR 1 — 1st game
· Robbie Ftorek: 10/16/98 NJD 2 at NYR 1 — 3rd game
· Billy MacMillan: 10/8/82 NYR 2 at NJD 3 — 2nd game

The Devils’ win on Sunday gave them three points through their first five games of the season, and avoided their worst points total after that many games in club history.

· 1983-84: 1-4-0 — 2pts
· 2015-16: 1-3-1 — 3pts
· 2013-14: 0-2-3 — 3pts
· 2010-11: 1-3-1 — 3pts
· 1994-95: 1-3-1 — 3pts
· 2001-02: 1-3-1 — 3pts

The Devils earned their first point of the season in a 2-1 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday night at Prudential Center. New Jersey has won only two of its seven games all-time against the Sharks that were not decided in regulation:

· 10/16/15: SJ 2 at NJD 1 (SO) — Brent Burns shootout winner
· 10/21/11: SJ 4 at NJD 3 (SO) — Ryane Clowe shootout winner
· 11/5/03: NJD 3 vs SJ 2 (OT) — Jamie Langenbrunner OT goal
· 1/22/03: NJD 5 at SJ 4 (OT) — Joe Nieuwendyk OT goal
· 11/28/99: NJD 3 at SJ 4 (OT) — Patrick Marleau OT goal
· 1/5/99: SJ 3 at NJD 3 — Jeff Friesen game-tying goal
· 11/2/95: NJD 3 at SJ 3 — Kevin Miller game-tying goal

Former Devils head coach Pete DeBoer remained undefeated as the Sharks’ head coach with the win. Ex-Devils head coaches are now a combined 3-1-3 in their first games as opposing coaches back in New Jersey:

· Pete DeBoer: W San Jose 2 at NJD 1 (SO) — 10/16/15
· Brent Sutter: L Calgary 1 at NJD 2 (SO) — 11/14/10
· Claude Julien: L Boston 3 at NJD 4 (OT) — 12/5/07
· Jacques Lemaire: T Minnesota 2 at NJD — 2 1/26/02
· Robbie Ftorek: W Boston 2 at NJD 1 — 11/3/01
· Jim Schoenfeld: L Washington 2 at NJD — 4 2/15/95
· Doug Carpenter: W Toronto 5 at NJD — 1 1/26/90

Pekka Rinne stopped 22 of 23 Devils shots in the Nashville Predators’ 3-1 win in New Jersey. Rinne is the fifth different Nashville goaltender to beat the Devils in New Jersey in the six all-time wins the Predators have in The Garden State:

· 10/13/15: Nashville 3 at NJD 1 — Pekka Rinne, 22 saves
· 12/17/10: Nashville 3 at NJD 1 — Anders Lindback, 15 saves
· 10/19/06: Nashville 4 at NJD 3 (SO) — Chris Mason, 30 saves
· 1/3/02: Nashville 4 at NJD 3 — Tomas Vokoun, 32 saves
· 11/8/00: Nashville 4 at NJD 3 — Tomas Vokoun, 33 saves
· 1/30/99: Nashville 3 at NJD 2 — Mike Dunham, 27 saves

Plus/Minus:

Plus: First Impression — Lee Stempniak’s first goal for the Devils was the overtime winner in New Jersey’s 2-1 victory over the Rangers Sunday. Stempniak is only the second Devils player whose first goal for the club was scored in OT. Jon Merrill was the first on February 7, 2014 in a 2-1 win vs. Edmonton.

Minus: For Pete’s Sake — New Jersey lost 23 of its last 25 shootouts under DeBoer, but its former head coach won his first shootout with San Jose against New Jersey Friday night.