By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils have gone 2-0-1 on their current four-game Western Conference road trip, with one game remaining Tuesday night in Minnesota against the Wild, the top team in the Conference.
On Sunday night, Taylor Hall’s overtime goal gave the Devils a 2–1 win against the Canucks in Vancouver. It was the fourth time in club history New Jersey played a game that was decided after 60 minutes on the road against the Canucks:
• 1/15/17: Devils 2 at Canucks 1, Taylor Hall (GW)
• 10/8/13: Devils 2 at Canucks 3, Mike Santorelli (GW)
• 1/30/96: Devils 3 at Canucks 2, Steve Thomas (GW)
• 11/25/88: Devils 2 at Canucks 2, John MacLean (GW)
The Devils have now played 17 games this season that have gone past regulation, the most in the NHL:
• Devils, 17 (5-7 in OT; 3-2 in SO)
• Florida, 16 (5-3 in OT; 3-5 in SO)
• Philadelphia, 15 (4-2 in OT; 5-4 in SO)
• Vancouver, 15 (5-4 in OT; 4-2 in SO)
Hall has done most of his damage this season against the teams in the Pacific Division, where he spent the first six seasons of his NHL career while with Edmonton:
• Hall vs. Metropolitan Division: 8 games, 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points
• Hall vs. Atlantic Division: 13 games, 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points
• Hall vs. Central Division: 7 games, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points
• Hall vs. Pacific Division: 7 games, 7 goals, 3 assists, 10 points
On Friday night, the Devils beat the Flames, 2-1, in Calgary. New Jersey had not beaten the Flames on the road since Dec. 23, 2007, a 1-0 overtime win with Patrik Elias scoring the game-winner. New Jersey’s last regulation win in Calgary prior to Friday night was on March 19, 2001, a 4-2 victory.
Including their season as the Scouts and Rockies, the Devils are now 8-31-10 all-time on the road against the Flames in both Calgary and Atlanta:
• Devils at Flames, 7-14-8
• Rockies at Flames, 1-12-2
• Scouts at Flames, 0-5-0
On Thursday night, Leon Draisaitl’s overtime goal gave the Oilers a 3-2 victory against the Devils in Edmonton.
Steven Santini scored his first career goal for New Jersey in the loss. The only other player in franchise history to score his first NHL goal in Edmonton was Paul Gagne, who scored his first goal as an 18-year-old rookie for the Colorado Rockies against Ed Mio and the Oilers on Oct. 12, 1980.
Connor McDavid, on the eve of his 20th birthday, assisted on the game-winner, giving him 98 points in 89 NHL games (30 goals, 68 assists).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other active players who recorded at least 98 points in the NHL as a teenager are Sidney Crosby (222), Jaromir Jagr (108), Jeff Skinner (107), Steven Stamkos (107), Nathan MacKinnon (101) and Matt Duchene (98).
Kirk Muller had 93 points as a teenager for New Jersey, the most in franchise history.
Plus: Comeback. The Devils’ come-from-behind win Sunday night in Vancouver was the team’s first since rallying to beat Nashville, 5-4, on Dec. 3.
Minus: Stuck on 2: New Jersey heads to Minnesota with back-to-back wins, but has not won three straight games since taking five in a row back in early November.