New Jersey Just A Few Points Out Of A Playoff Spot, Thanks To A Solid Trip Out West, Win In Philadelphia

By John Schweibacher
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With two games remaining before the NHL All-Star break, the resurgent New Jersey Devils find themselves just three points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

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The Devils beat the Flyers, 4-1, on Saturday in Philadelphia. Miles Wood registered his first career two-goal game. As the Elias Sports Bureau noted, Miles’ father, Randy Wood, who played 11 seasons in the NHL, had his first multiple-goal game against the Flyers in Philadelphia for the Islanders back on Nov. 21, 1987.

According to Elias, Wood’s multi-goal game was only the third by a New Jersey rookie over the last five seasons. The others were by Damon Severson (Oct. 6, 2014 at Washington) and Sergey Kalinin (April 7, 2016 vs. Tampa Bay.)

Wood became the seventh Devils rookie to have a two-goal game against the Flyers. Here is a list of the previous six:

— 12/12/09: Niclas Bergfors; NJD 4, Philly 1

— 2/1/07: Travis Zajac; NJD 6, Phi 5 (OT)

— 4/13/06: Zach Parise; NJD 4, Philly 1

— 10/27/97: Patrik Elias; NJD 5, Philly 0

— 12/19/93: David Emma; NJD 4, Philly 2

— 3/3/85: Greg Adams; NJD 5, Philly 2

The Devils had their three-game winning streak snapped by the Canadiens, 3-1, in New Jersey last Friday night. Montreal went 3-for-7 on the power play, including scoring twice during Karl Stollery’s boarding major early in the third period.

According to the team game finder on hockey-reference.com, it was the third time in club history that New Jersey allowed three goals in a game, with all three coming on the power play:

— 1/20/17: Montreal 3, NJD 1

— 1/24/98: NJD 3, NY Rangers 3

— 2/17/93: NJD 4, St. Louis 3

— 11/28/92: NJD 6, Quebec 3

Alexander Radulov had assists on all three of the Canadiens’ goals, becoming the seventh Montreal player to record at least three assists in a game against the Devils in New Jersey:

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— 1/20/17: Radulov (3); Montreal 3, NJD 1

— 1 1/2/15: P.K. Subban (3); Montreal 4, NJD 2

— 12/14/96: Brian Savage (3); Montreal 3, NJD 3

— 12/11/92: Mike Keane (3); Montreal 8, NJD 3

— 10/14/88: Stephane Richer (3); Montreal 7, NJD 3

— 12/27/85: Mats Naslund (3); Montreal 7, NJD 3

— 3/17/84: Bobby Smith (3); Montreal 5, NJD 2

The Devils closed out their four-game Western Conference road trip with a 3-0-1 record, thanks to a 4-3 win over the Wild in Minnesota on Tuesday. New Jersey has five road wins against Western teams so far this season after recording eight during the 2015-16 campaign.

Here are the most wins the Devils have had on the road against Western Conference clubs since the 1993-94 season, when the NHL alignment first used the Eastern-Western designations:

— 2000-01: 10

— 1996-97: 9

— 2015-16: 8

— 1998-99: 8

— 4 seasons: 5

The Wild were atop the Western Conference standings at 28-9-5 when the Devils faced them last week. The last time New Jersey defeated the top team in the West on the road at least 40 games into a season was back on March 2, 2010, when they beat the Sharks, who were 40-13-9 at the time, 4-3, in San Jose.

Plus/Minus:

Plus: Brotherly Love. With their win Saturday night, the Devils are now 7-1-1 at Wells Fargo Center and 13-3-3 overall against Philadelphia since the 2012-13 season.

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Minus: Habs Nots. With their loss Friday, the Devils fell to 4-7-3 overall against the Canadiens since the 2012-13 season.