New Jersey's long, agonizing and generally confusing local nightmare is over
The Devils defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Thursday via the shootout, snapping an 18-game shootout losing streak dating back more than a year. More specifically, it had been 599 days since the Devils last won a shootout. It was the most random and befuddling streak in recent hockey history.
And now it's over. After Michael Ryder scored the goal of the night to tie the game in the third, the Devils survived until the dreaded shootout.
And there go the Devils' demons, in more than one sense. This was also a statement game from Cory Schneider, who has struggled out of the gate this year after being handed the keys to the netminder position. Aside from an impressive Blake Wheeler goal in the first period, Schneider locked down his net for the entire game while looking as confident as he has all year.
With some demons exorcised, the Devils could be primed for a strong run of good form.
All the NHL scores
Devils 2, Jets 1 (SO)
Three Things We Learned
1. The Sabres showed signs of life. Never mind taking the Bruins to overtime; the fact that the Sabres scored a power play goal cannot be overlooked. Buffalo had gone 0-for-43 on the man advantage since last season, a ridiculous stat that underscores just how awful the Sabres have been over the last 12 months. But they got a power play marker from Drew Stafford on Thursday and played significantly better than the previous game. Baby steps.
2. Are the Avalanche finally waking up? It's hard to believe that Colorado wunderkind Nathan MacKinnon had gone the first 10 games of the year without a goal, but he broke through with two huge tallies on Thursday. And although they gave up 40 shots to the Islanders, it appears the Avalanche are beginning to stop the bleeding that began on opening night. They've collected points in each of their last five games and their offense looks reinvigorated.
3. Don't look now, but Jakub Voracek is taking over the NHL scoring charts. With another goal and assist on Thursday, Voracek overtook the league lead in assists and points (where he's tied with Dallas' Tyler Seguin). It might seem like a quiet ascension to outsiders, but Flyers fans have watched Voracek rack up points for years. He's a talented, talented player and it shouldn't surprise anyone if he keeps up this pace all season and overshadows his captain, Claude Giroux.
Marian Hossa began his career in Ottawa in 1997. Seventeen years later, he registered his 1,000th career NHL point where it all began.
Stat of the Night
Hossa joined some pretty great company on Thursday.
Marian Hossa's 2nd point in #CHIvsOTT was 1000th of his NHL career; he joins Jagr, Thornton & Iginla as only active players to hit the mark.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 31, 2014
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Finally, here's Maxime Talbot as a dancing hot dog: