Devils left wing Brett Seney (43) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 14, 2019, at Prudential Center.

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Schwei's Devils Notes: A Scoring Barrage Vs. Blackhawks And More

John Schweibacher
January 15, 2019 - 9:58 am
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After starting the new year with four losses in five games, the New Jersey Devils have put together back-to-back wins for the first time in 2019.

The Devils scored five goals in the second period and came away with an 8-5 victory over the Blackhawks on Monday night at Prudential Center.

New Jersey, who scored seven goals in a victory at Chicago last season, equaled its all-time high versus the Blackhawks by scoring eight against them for the third time in franchise history.

The Devils beat the Blackhawks 8-7 on Jan. 8, 1986, at Chicago Stadium and, as the Colorado Rockies, defeated Chicago 8-3 in Denver on Nov. 18, 1978.

Despite allowing five goals in a game for the second time, Mackenzie Blackwood won for the fifth time in seven decisions and leads all rookie goaltenders who have played in at least 10 games in both goals-against average and save percentage:

NHL Rookies Goals Against Average
• Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD) 2.25
• Cal Peterson (LA) 2.61
• Carter Hart (Phil) 2.70
• Adin Hill (Arz) 2.76
• Linus Ullmark (Buf) 2.86

NHL Rookies Save Percentage
• Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD) .935
• Cal Peterson (LA) .924
• Linus Ullmark (Buf) .918  
• Carter Hart (Phi) .913
• Garret Sparks (Tor) .905

On Saturday in Newark, the Devils beat the Flyers, 3-2.

Blackwood returned to the lineup after missing three games with a groin injury and made 32 saves in the victory versus Philadelphia's rookie goalie, Carter Hart.

MORE: Lichtenstein: With Playoffs Out Of Reach, Devils Fans Must Embrace Another Tank

According to the trivia question on the MSG-Plus telecast, the last time rookie goaltenders started against each other for the Devils and Flyers was on March 11, 1987, when Craig Billington faced Ron Hextall in a 6-4 New Jersey loss at the Meadowlands.

The Flyers are the fourth team in NHL history to use seven goaltenders in one season, including Mike McKenna, who appeared in two games for the Devils in 2010.

The most goaltenders to play for the Devils in a single season is five, in both the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons.

On Thursday night at Prudential Center, New Jersey lost to Toronto, 4-2.

With the loss, the Devils finished a combined 0-6-0 against the Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning this season after going 5-0-1 in the 2017-18 regular season against two of the top clubs in the Eastern Conference.

Michael Hutchinson, who made his fourth start for the Maple Leafs, stopped 27 of 29 shots in the win.

Hutchinson is now 3-0 in his career starts against New Jersey.

According to Hockey-Reference.com, the only other goalies since the 1987-88 season to have gone undefeated against the Devils with at least three career wins are Jake Allen (6-0-0) and Wade Dublielewicz (3-0-0).

Blake Coleman and Brian Boyle scored in a 26-second span for the Devils late in the second period to get New Jersey within a goal in the loss to Toronto.

As was noted on the MSG-Plus telecast, they were the two fastest goals scored by New Jersey since 2016, when Lee Stempniak and Reid Boucher scored 19 seconds apart in the second period of a 4-2 win against Calgary on Jan. 19, 2016, in Newark.

Last Tuesday night in Buffalo, the Devils lost the final game of their four-game road trip, 5-1, to the Sabres.

The Sabres scored all five of their goals in the second period, the most allowed in one period by the Devils since they gave up five goals to the Jets in the second period of a 5-2 loss on Nov. 18, 2017, at Winnipeg.

As New Jersey Devils radio statistician Craig Seiden noted, the last time the Sabres scored five goals in a period against the Devils franchise was on Dec. 9, 1981, versus the Colorado Rockies. Buffalo scored five goals in the third period of that game in a 7-1 win against Colorado and goalie Chico Resch.

Travis Zajac had an assist on Blake Coleman’s first period goal in the loss to the Sabres.

The assist moved Zajac, who added a goal and two more assists Monday night, into fourth place on the Devils’ all-time scoring list:
• Patrik Elias, 1,025
• John MacLean, 701
• Kirk Muller, 520
• Travis Zajac, 488
• Scott Gomez, 484

Plus/Minus

Plus: Second to One. Monday night’s game was the 291st regular-season contest behind the Devils bench for coach John Hynes, moving him into second place all-time in club history behind Jacques Lemaire (509 games).

Minus: Blame it on the Red and Green. With the loss to the Maple Leafs, the Devils are now 0-2-0 this season and 4-9-0 all-time when wearing their heritage jerseys.