By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils had a winning opening month of the season, going 6-4-1 in October and getting 13 out of 14 points (6-1-1) in the last eight games after an 0-3 start.
The Devils’ first matinée game on home ice since April of 2014 was a winning one, as they defeated the Islanders, 3-2, in the shootout Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center.
The shootout victory was just New Jersey’s third in 10 all-time against the Islanders, and the Devils first against the Isles since March 6, 2011, a 3-2 shootout win at Nassau Coliseum.
Bobby Farnham, who was claimed on waivers by New Jersey from Pittsburgh earlier in the week, made his Devils’ debut on Saturday afternoon and scored his first NHL goal after recording his first NHL assist on John Moore’s goal.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Farnham is the sixth player in the last 15 years to record at least two points in his first game with the Devils:
- Bobby Farnham: 10/31/15 vs. NYI (goal, assist)
- Mike Cammalleri: 10/9/14 at Phi (2 goals)
- Ilya Kovalchuk: 2/5/10 vs. Tor (2 assists)
- Zach Parise: 10/5/05 vs. Pit (goal, assist)
- Igor Larionov: 10/8/03 at Bos (2 assists)
- Mike Rupp: 1/13/03 vs. Fla (2 goals)
With Saturday’s win, the Devils are now 6-4-1 all-time on Halloween:
- 10/31/84: Pittsburgh 7 at NJD 6
- 10/31/85: Detroit 2 at NJD 2
- 10/31/87: Edmonton 5 at NJD 6
- 10/31/89: NJD 3 at Vancouver 4
- 10/31/92: NJD 5 at NY Islanders 3
- 10/31/93: NJD 1 at NY Rangers 4 (at Halifax, NS)
- 10/31/95: NJD 1 at Edmonton 2
- 10/31/98: Florida 1 at NJD 3
- 10/31/07: Tampa Bay 1 at NJD 6
- 10/31/09: NJD 2 at Tampa Bay 1 (SO)
- 10/31/15: NJD 3 vs. NY Islanders 2 (SO)
The first Halloween game in franchise history took place in 1978 when the Colorado Rockies faced the New York Islanders. The Isles defeated the Devils’ predecessors, 8-5, at the Nassau Coliseum. Future Rockies and Devils goalie Chico Resch got the win, stopping 16 of Colorado’s 21 shots on goal. Bob Bourne had two goals and three assists for the Islanders.
Travis Zajac scored two power-play goals in the Devils’ 4-1 win at Philadelphia last Thursday night. It was just Zajac’s second multiple-goal game in the last five seasons.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Zajac is only the third player to score two power-play goals in one game for New Jersey over the last four seasons. Mike Cammalleri and Steve Bernier both did it last season; Cammalleri vs. Detroit on November 28 and Bernier at Los Angeles on January 14.
Thanks to the player game finder at hockey-reference.com, here are the Devils players with the most multi-power-play goal games since the 1987-88 season:
- John MacLean: 10
- Claude Lemieux: 5
- Kirk Muller: 5
- Patrik Elias: 4
- Scott Niedermayer: 4
- Brian Gionta: 3
- Brendan Shanahan: 3
- Patrik Sundstrom: 3
- Travis Zajac: 3
The Blue Jackets beat the Devils, 3-1, last Tuesday night at Prudential Center, despite being held to only 14 shots on goal.
Since the 1987-88 season, New Jersey has lost five games where they allowed 13 or fewer shots against:
- 4/15/13: NJD 0 at Toronto 2 (13 shots allowed)
- 2/24/88: NJD 1 vs. Winnipeg 3 (12 shots allowed)
- 3/18/11: NJD 0 vs. Washington 3 (12 shots allowed)
- 4/12/13: NJD 0 vs. Ottawa 2 (11 shots allowed)
- 10/29/02: NJD 0 vs. Carolina 2 (11 shots allowed)
Plus: Jacob Josefson — Scored shootout-tying goal in the Devils’ win Saturday and is now 3-for-4 on the season and 8-for-14 (57.1 percent) in the tiebreaker in his career.
Minus: New Jersey improved its record on home ice to 2-3-1 with its shootout win on Halloween, but the Devils have not won in regulation at Prudential Center since St. Patrick’s Day, a 2-0 victory vs. Pittsburgh.