By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils went 1-1-1 on their three-game road trip, finishing it off with their first win away from home ice this season — 4-1 Sunday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Michael Cammalleri, who had not scored a goal since Dec. 30, 2015, had the hat trick for the Devils in the victory. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cammalleri became the first player to score three consecutive goals in one game for New Jersey since Zach Parise scored the first three goals in a 4-0 win over the Canadiens on Nov. 30, 2007, at the Prudential Center.
Elias also notes that Cammalleri’s natural hat trick was only the second one for the Devils franchise in a road game. John Madden scored three unanswered goals in a 4-1 Devils win at Washington on Feb. 5, 2003.
The only other hat trick by a New Jersey Devil in a game against the Whalers/Hurricanes franchise was by Randy McKay in a 6-0 win over Hartford on March 13, 1997, at the Meadowlands.
The Devils will face the Hurricanes on Tuesday night in Newark before playing the Buffalo Sabres in a home-and-home matchup Friday in Buffalo and Saturday in New Jersey.
The Hurricanes and Sabres are two of only three NHL teams that have gone longer than the Devils without making the postseason:
• Edmonton Oilers, 2005-06
• Carolina Hurricanes, 2008-09
• Buffalo Sabres, 2010-11
• Arizona Coyotes, 2011-12
• New Jersey Devils, 2011-12
The Devils lost to the Lightning, 4-1, Saturday night in Tampa. Ben Bishop made 37 saves in the win and now has an 8-2-0 record in his 10 career games against New Jersey, and as the Elias notes, has won his last six games against the Devils dating back to March 2014 while allowing only seven goals in the process.
Elias says that Bishop’s 1.28 career goals-against average against the Devils is the lowest GAA vs. the franchise by any goaltender, active or retired, with at least 10 games played
Pavel Zacha scored his first career NHL goal in the loss against the Panthers. Zacha is the ninth player in club history whose last name begins with the letter “Z”:
• Valeri Zelepukin, 1991-92 to 1997-98, 85 goals, 133 assists, 218 points
• Peter Zezel, 1996-97 to 1997-98, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points
• Andrei Zyuzin, 2001-02 to 2002-03, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points
• Travis Zajac, 2006-07 to present, 145 goals, 253 assists, 398 points
• Dainius Zubrus, 2007-08 to 2014-15, 87 goals, 137 assists, 224 points
• Vladimir Zharkov, 2009-10 to 2011-12, 2 goals, 12 assists, 14 points
• Steve Zalewski, 2011-12, (7 games), 0 points
• Marek Zidlicky, 2011-12 to 2014-15, 22 goals, 70 assists, 92 points
• Pavel Zacha, 2015-16 to present, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points
Just as they did in the season opener last month, the Florida Panthers beat the Devils in overtime, this time by a 4-3 score last Thursday night in Sunrise, Florida.
It is the third time in club history the Devils have lost at least two overtime games against the Panthers in the same regular season, something no other team has done more than once vs. New Jersey:
• 2010-11: Florida Panthers (1/15/11: 3-2 at Fla) (2/4/11; 4-3 at NJD).
• 2005-06: Atlanta Thrashers (12/15/05,; 3-2 at NJD) (3/23/06: 6-5 at Atl).
• 1997-98: Florida Panthers (11/22/97: 2-1 at Fla) (1/1/98; 2-1 at Fla).
• 1996-97: Phoenix Coyotes (11/28/96; 4-3 at Phx) (12/7/96; 4-3 at NJD).
• 1991-92: Washington Capitals (3/7/92; 3-2 at Was) (4/12/92; 4-3 at NJD).
• 1988-89: New York Islanders (3/11/89; 3-2 at NYI) (3/29/89; 5-4 at NJD).
• 1983-84: St. Louis Blues (12/27/83; 5-4 at NJD) (1/20/84; 4-3 at NJD) (3/10/84; 6-5 at Stl).
Plus: Damon Severson. The Devils defenseman scored his second goal of the season in the loss to Tampa Bay, and he now leads New Jersey in scoring (two goals, seven assists, nine points).
Minus: Road Woes. New Jersey’s win over Carolina was their first road victory of the season. The Devils are now 1-3-2 on the road overall.