By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils have won eight of their last 10 games, bouncing back from a road loss to the Islanders last week with consecutive home wins over the Blackhawks and Canucks.
Kyle Palmieri scored a power-play goal in overtime to give the Devils a 4-3 win over the Canucks Sunday night. It was the 11th time in club history that the Devils won a home game in overtime on the power play:
· 11/8/15: 4-3 vs. Van, Kyle Palmieri
· 3/4/11: 2-1 vs. Pit, Ilya Kovalchuk
· 11/12/10: 4-3 vs. Edm, Ilya Kovalchuk
· 1/29/10: 5-4 vs. Tor, Travis Zajac
· 1/4/09: 4-3 vs. Ott, Brian Rolston
· 12/6/06: 2-1 vs. Mtl, Patrik Elias
· 12/28/02: 2-1 vs. Was, Scott Niedermayer
· 12/12/01: 3-2 vs. NYI, Scott Niedermayer
· 11/9/01: 3-2 vs. Tor, Patrik Elias
· 10/23/97: 2-1 vs. Mtl, Petr Sykora
· 12/19/95: 5-4 vs. Phi, Bill Guerin
The win was just New Jersey’s second in overtime over the Canucks in club history. The other was back on January 30, 1996, a 3-2 victory in Vancouver. Steve Thomas scored the game-winner against Corey Hirsch. The Devils are now 2-4-2 all-time vs. the Canucks in games decided after regulation.
The Devils defeated the Blackhawks, 4-2, Friday night at Prudential Center. Lee Stempniak, Palmieri and Travis Zajac each registered one goal and one assist for the Devils in the victory.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was only the second time in the last two seasons that three New Jersey players each had at least one goal and one assist in the same game. The other instance was in the Devils’ 4-1 victory over the Sabres on January 6 last season, when Zajac and Mike Cammalleri each posted one goal and one assist, and Patrik Elias notched a goal and two assists.
The win was New Jersey’s first at home in regulation since March 17, 2015 vs. Pittsburgh, and their first regulation win against Chicago on home ice since March 17, 2009, the game in which Martin Brodeur broke Patrick Roy’s all-time NHL record for career victories.
The Devils lost to the Islanders, 2-1, last Tuesday night in Brooklyn. It was the seventh time in club history that New Jersey lost by that score to their local rival:
· 11/3/15: NJD 1 at NYI 2, Casey Cizikas game-winning goal
· 3/29/14: NJD 1 at NYI 2 (SO), Frans Nielsen shootout winner
· 11/10/07: NJD 1 at NYI 2, Miroslav Satan game-winning goal
· 3/7/06: NJD 1 at NYI 2, Trent Hunter shootout winner
· 2/11/06: NYI 1 at NJD 2, Alexei Yashin game-winning goal
· 4/18/98: NYI 1 at NJD 2, Zigmund Palffy game-winning goal
· 10/24/07: NJD 1 at NYI 2, Bryan Trottier game-winning goal
The Devils will host the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night at Prudential Center. Former Devil Scott Gomez is now with the Blues after playing for New Jersey last season. Martin Havlat, who was also with the Devils a year ago, signed a one-year deal with St. Louis last week.
Here is the current status of the players who finished the 2014-15 season with the Devils but did not return to New Jersey for 2015-16:
· Scott Gomez: signed with St. Louis
· Steve Bernier: signed with NY Islanders
· Michael Ryder: unsigned free agent
· Martin Havlat: signed with St. Louis
· Dainius Zubrus: released from pro tryout with St. Louis
· Peter Harrold: signed with St. Louis; now with Chicago AHL
· Mark Fraser: signed with Ottawa; now with Binghamton AHL
Phil Housley, who played briefly for the Devils in 1995-96, will be among the Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2015 induction class Monday night in Toronto.
Housley’s 1,232 career points are second to Mike Modano’s 1,374 as the most among U.S.-born NHL players. He played 1,495 NHL games without winning the Stanley Cup, the most of any player in NHL history.
The Devils acquired Housley, along with Dan Keczmer, on February 26, 1996 from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Tommy Albelin, Cale Hulse and Jocelyn Lemieux.
Housley played just 22 games with New Jersey at the end of that season, scoring one goal and adding 15 assists as the Devils fell short of a playoff spot.
Housley appeared in the fewest games with the Devils among the nine Hall of Famers who played with New Jersey:
· Phil Housley: 22 games
· Igor Larionov: 49 games
· Doug Gilmour: 83 games
· Joe Nieuwendyk: 94 games
· Peter Stastny: 217 games
· Brendan Shanahan: 315 games
· Viacheslav Fetisov: 341 games
· Scott Niedermayer: 892 games
· Scott Stevens: 956 games
Plus: Winning the Close Ones — With Sunday’s 4-3 OT win over Vancouver, the Devils are now 6-1-1 in games decided by one goal, going 3-0 in overtime and 2-1 in shootouts.
Minus: Boxed Up — New Jersey was shorthanded six times in the OT win over the Canucks, the fifth time in their 14 games this season the Devils have allowed at least five power-play opportunities.