New Jersey Suffers Heartbreak And Euphoria During Recent Road Trip, As Team Continues Impressive Start

By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils completed their recent road trip with a 2-1-1 record, thanks to more overtime heroics from defenseman John Moore.

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Moore scored the winner in New Jersey’s 4–3 victory over the Wild in Minnesota on Monday night.

The sudden death goal was Moore’s second this season and the sixth of his NHL career, with all of them coming since he signed with the Devils prior to the 2015-16 season:

— 11/20/17: Devils 4, Minnesota 3
— 10/19/17: Devils 5, Ottawa 4
— 4/4/17: Devils 1, Philadelphia 0
— 3/12/16: Devils 2, L.A. Kings 1
— 1/2/16: Devils 3, Dallas 2
— 11/28/15: Devils 3, Montreal 2

After scoring his first career NHL goal on Saturday in the Devils’ loss at Winnipeg, rookie defenseman Will Butcher scored again in the win on Monday night in Minnesota.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Butcher tied a Devils record for consecutive games with a goal by a rookie defenseman, something that was done multiple times in the club’s first 11 seasons in New Jersey, but only twice since 1993–94:

— Brian Rafalski, Feb. 9 and 13, 2000
— Paul Martin, Feb. 15 and 17, 2004.

The franchise record for goals in consecutive games by a rookie defensemen is six, set by Barry Beck from Dec. 3-17, 1977, when the team was located in Colorado and known as the Rockies.

The Devils lost to the Jets, 5-2 on Saturday in Winnipeg.

The Jets broke open a tie game with goals by Patrick Laine, Jacob Trouba, and Matt Hendricks in a span of 95 seconds midway through the second period.

The fastest three goals ever scored by an opposing team against the Devils came in a 51-second spurt by the Chicago Blackhawks’ Denis Savard (two) and Darryl Sutter in the second period of a 6-3 New Jersey win on Nov. 6, 1983 at the Meadowlands.

Brian Gibbons scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the Devils’ loss on Saturday.

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Gibbons has the most goals by players who were signed as free agents by new NHL teams after July 1 (though Nov. 20):

— Brian Gibbons, Devils, 9
— Patrick Marleau, Toronto, 8
— Alexander Radulov, Dallas, 7
— Alexander Kerfoot, Colorado, 7
— Nail Yakupov, Colorado, 6
— Benoit Pouliot, Buffalo, 6
— Kevin Shattenkirk, Rangers, 5
— Thomas Vanek, Vancouver, 5
— Drew Stafford, Devils, 5

The Devils lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Maple Leafs on Thursday night in Toronto. The Maple Leafs’ William Nylander broke a scoreless tie with three seconds left in overtime.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Nylander tied the NHL record for the latest regular season overtime goal in a 1-0 game since the five-minute sudden death format was introduced in 1983. The mark was originally set by Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne in the San Jose Sharks’ win at Colorado on Jan. 15, 2002.

Prior to Thursday night’s game, the latest regular season overtime loss by New Jersey happened back on Oct. 20, 2007, when ex-Devil Bill Guerin scored a power play goal at 4:56 of OT to give the Islanders a 4-3 win at Nassau Coliseum.

Thursday’s defeat marked the third time in club history the Devils lost a 1-0 game to the Maple Leafs:

— 11/16/17: William Nylander
— 12/7/02: Travis Green
— 4/3/93: Doug Gilmour

New Jersey had previously lost five 1-0 regular season overtime games in club history:

— 3/23/16: Washington (John Carlson)
— 3/30/10: Boston (Patrice Bergeron)
— 12/9/07: Rangers (Brendan Shanahan)
— 1/26/06: Tampa Bay (Ruslan Fedotenko)
— 1/26/95 : Boston (Adam Oates)


Plus: Adam Henrique. The veteran forward snapped an 10-game scoring drought with a goal and two assists in the win over the Wild.

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Minus: Pavel Zacha. He has been a healthy scratch in four of the past six games. Zacha had two goals and three assists in his first 15 games of the season.