The Devils win 13 in a row to equal a franchise record
NEWARK, NJ — As the New Jersey Devils celebrated their 13th consecutive victory Monday night, a sold-out crowd stood to celebrate the moment.
“I think the team deserves a standing ovation,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said after his team’s 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. “A tour like this is unbelievable.”
The Devils previously won 13 straight games from February 16 to March 23, 2001, and are the team that would go on to play in the Stanley Cup. Their current streak began Oct. 25 and has led to New Jersey’s stunning rise to the top of the Metropolitan Division (16-3-0) after finishing 28th in the NHL last season.
“We are there [in] history book. “It’s not going to take that away from us now,” said captain Nico Hischier, who provided three assists in the win. This proves that we are a good team. That we can win hockey games. We don’t have to hide anymore.”
The Devils could set a franchise record for consecutive victories when they meet the Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Wednesday night. The all-time NHL record for most consecutive wins is 17 in a row, set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins – a series that ended in a tie against the Devils in the final game of the regular season.
Monday marked the second time New Jersey has defeated Edmonton during their current winning streak. The Devils rallied to beat the Oilers 4-3 in Edmonton on November 3.
New Jersey jumped out to the lead Monday night on winger Jesper Pratt’s power play goal in the first period, his eighth goal of the season. Edmonton answered with its own power stat from superstar Leon Dricetel (11th overall). But the Devils built up a lead they wouldn’t give up during the second half on goals by center Dawson Mercer — scored thanks to an error by Edmonton goalkeeper Stuart Skinner — and fullback Damon Severson, who was set up with pinpoint assists from Pratt and center Jack. Hughes (2 assists).
Edmonton scored at one point thanks to a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tally at 4:52 of the third period, but the Devils’ response came just under 2:15 later as Thomas Tatar rebounded and then flicked the ball past Skinner. Igor Sharanjović closed the scoring after an Oilers turnover at 14:45 from third.
Goalie Vitek Vanecek, who appeared in 10 of New Jersey’s 13 straight wins, made 27 saves to clinch the win. Vanecek was acquired from the Washington Capitals in the offseason.
“It’s great to be here. When you win it’s even more fun,” he said. “If you’re losing, it’s not fun, you know? So now we’re winning, and it’s really fun.”
Rafe praised the efforts of Vanecek and his entire team, but cautioned that any celebration comes with a sense of the long road ahead for the Devils.
“I feel like we haven’t proven anything yet. I think we did a lot of good things. We played good hockey. But we’re 19 games in,” he said. “We’ve done a great job, but we know we’re being chased now. We can expect the best that each team can give because we get recognition. That part we’ll have to deal with.”
Right now, the Devils have a hot streak comparable to anything in franchise history.
“It’s definitely one of the most fun stretches I’ve ever been on,” Hischer said. “I don’t want it to end. It’s definitely just fun. Like we say, just keep riding away from the wave.”
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