The New Jersey Devils are off to a surprisingly torrid start to the season and hope to continue it Friday, when they begin a month-ending three-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks. New Jersey rallied on the road Thursday to edge Ottawa 5-4 in overtime for its sixth win in seven contests after finishing 29th in the league last season with 28 victories.
Rookie Nico Hischier scored his first two career goals and added an assist while Taylor Hall set up four tallies, including defenseman John Moore’s winner 1:20 into the extra session as the Devils posted their third consecutive one-goal triumph. San Jose will become the last team to play a contest on the road as it begins a five-game trip after kicking off the season with a five-game homestand. The Sharks ended that string on a high note, producing their highest offensive output of 2017-18 with a 5-2 win over Montreal on Tuesday. Logan Couture led the way with two goals and two assists after recording just one point in his first four games of the campaign.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (San Jose), MSG Plus (New Jersey)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (2-3-0): Couture’s four-point performance versus the Canadiens gave him a share of the team lead for both goals (three) and points (five), tying him with Kevin Labanc in both categories. Couture was not the only member of the team to register multiple points in the victory as captain Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl each notched a goal and an assist to give them three points apiece on the season. San Jose has scored 13 times over its first five games, with only eight different players netting tallies.
ABOUT THE DEVILS (6-1-0): Hischier, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, registered four assists over his first six NHL games before finally breaking through on Thursday. The 18-year-old from Switzerland scored on the 12th and 13th shots of his career while Hall’s four-point effort raised his season total to nine, matching rookie defenseman Will Butcher for the team lead. Keith Kinkaid recorded the win in relief on Thursday and could start against San Jose as Cory Schneider exited the victory in Ottawa with a lower-body injury.
1. The Sharks have allowed just one goal in their last 20 short-handed situations.
2. San Jose D Tim Heed notched an assist Tuesday for his first point in four NHL games.
3. New Jersey will have six days off before returning to action on Oct. 27, when it hosts Ottawa.
PREDICTION: Devils 3, Sharks 2