By John Schweibacher
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The New Jersey Devils’ roller-coaster ride of a season continues, as they bounced back from a four-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak.
The Devils matched their 2016-17 point total of 70 with their 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night in Raleigh.
Taylor Hall scored the OT game-winner and now has points in each of the last 18 games he has played, although officially Hall’s streak is just 11 games because of the three games he missed prior to the All-Star game.
The Devils’ club record for consecutive games with at least one point is 15, shared by Patrik Elias from Dec. 27, 1999, through Jan. 28, 2000, and Brian Gionta, from March 21 to April 18, 2006.
Nico Hischier was named the NHL’s first star this past week with goals in four straight games and three assists, becoming the first Devil to win the weekly honor since Jamie Langenbrunner in January 2010.
LISTEN: Patrik Elias Visits Boomer & Gio
The Elias Sports Bureau says Hischier is the second Devils rookie to score a goal in four consecutive games since the franchise moved to New Jersey in 1982, joining Greg Adams, who also had a four-game streak as a rookie for the Devils in 1984-85.
The overtime victory Sunday was New Jersey’s eighth all-time vs. the Hurricanes/Whalers in the regular season in club history, and the first in over seven years.
The others (with game-winning goal scorers):
• Feb. 8, 2011: Car 2 at NJ 3 (Mattias Tedenby)
• April 11, 2006: NJ 4 at Car 3 (Brian Gionta)
• Nov. 18, 2000: Car 2 at NJ 3 (Patrik Elias)
• Nov. 19, 1998: Car 2 at NJ 3 (Jay Pandolfo)
• Oct. 28, 1992: NJ 4 at Har 3 (Randy McKay)
• March 27, 1991: Har 3 at NJ 4 (Doug Brown)
• Feb. 16, 1984: Har 5 at NJ 6 (Jan Ludvig)
On Saturday night, the Devils won their third game in a row, beating the Lightning, 4-3, in Tampa.
Eddie Lack set a single-game career high with 48 saves as he recorded his first win for New Jersey.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the highest save total ever by a Devils goaltender in a non-overtime game, breaking the old mark of 47 saves set by Cory Schneider in his 6-3 win at Toronto earlier this season (Oct. 11).
The only other Devils goaltenders to make at least 48 saves in a game were Chico Resch, who stopped 51 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss at St. Louis on March 10, 1984, and Martin Brodeur, who made 51 saves in a 1-0 shootout victory against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2010.
Lack’s 48 saves are also the most by a Devils goalie in his first career victory for New Jersey. Chris Terreri made 40 in a 6-2 opening night win over the Flyers at the Spectrum on Oct. 5, 1989, for his first Devils win.
On Thursday night in Newark, the Devils made it two straight wins with a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes.
Hischier had one goal and two assists in the win over Carolina, after recording a goal and an assist in the shootout win at Philadelphia on Feb. 13.
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that over the last six seasons the only other time a Devils rookie produced at least one goal and one assist in each of two consecutive games was Jesper Bratt, who did it in New Jersey’s first two games this season.
New Jersey ended its four-game losing streak with a 5-4 shootout win over the Flyers last Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
The Devils are now 8-1 all-time in shootouts vs. the Flyers. Here are the clubs New Jersey has the best winning percentages against all-time in shootouts:
• (1.000) 2-0 vs. Min
• (1.000) 2-0 vs. Fla
• (.888) 8-1 vs. Phi
• (.875) 7-1 vs. Was
• (.750) 6-2 vs. TB
• (.667) 6-3 vs. Ott
• (.667) 2-1 vs. Car
Hall scored a pair of goals for the Devils, including the game-tying goal with 1:21 left in the third period.
Hall, who now has 62 points in 2017-18, is the first New Jersey Devil to top the 60-point mark in a season since Jaromir Jagr had 67 in 2013-14.
No Devil has recorded 70 or more points since Ilya Kovalchuk (83) and Patrik Elias (78) in 2011-12.
Plus: Double D. Sami Vatanen had two assists in two straight games vs. Tampa Bay and Carolina. The last Devils defenseman with consecutive two-assist games was Brian Rafalski on Jan. 7 and Jan. 10, 2007.
Minus: Up and Down. The Devils’ last three winning streaks of three games or more have been followed by losing streaks of at least four games.