NEWARK, NJ — As the New Jersey Devils celebrated their 13th straight win Monday night, breaking the franchise record, a sold-out home crowd stood up to celebrate the moment.
“I think the team deserves a standing ovation. A run like this is incredible,” said Devils coach Lindy Ruff after his team’s 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
The Devils previously won 13 straight games from February 16 to March 23, 2001, a team that would go on to play for the Stanley Cup. Their current streak began on October 25 and has fueled New Jersey’s stunning rise to the top of the Metropolitan Division (16-3-0) after finishing 28th in the NHL last season.
“We’re up there [in] the history book. No one will take that away from us now,” said the captain Nico Hischier, who had three assists in the win. “It proves that we are a good team. That we can win hockey games. That we don’t have to hide anymore.”
According to research from ESPN Stats & Information, the Devils’ 13-game winning streak is the fifth-longest season winning streak by a team that finished the previous season under .400 in MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL history.
The Devils may set a new franchise record for consecutive wins when they meet the Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Wednesday night. The all-time NHL record for most straight wins is 17 straight wins, set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93 – a streak that ended in a tie against the Devils in the last game of the regular season.
Monday marked the second time New Jersey defeated Edmonton during this current winning streak; the Devils rallied to beat the Oilers 4-3 on November 3 in Edmonton.
New Jersey took the lead as a winger Monday night Jesper Brat‘s first-half power-play goal, his eighth of the season. Edmonton responded with their own Star power play record Leon Draisaitl (11th). But the Devils built a lead they weren’t about to give up in the second half with goals from the middle DawsonMercer — scored thanks to a mistake by the Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner — and defender Damon Seversonset up by pinpoint passes from Bratt and Mitte Jack Hughes (two assists).
Edmonton came close to scoring thanks to a Ryan Nugent Hopkins Record at 4:52 of the third period, but the Devils responded just under 2:15 later than back Tomas Tatar gloved his own rebound and then smashed the puck past Skinner. Yegor Sharangovich finished scoring after an Oilers turnover at 2:45 of the third.
goalie Vitek Vanecek, who appeared in 10 of New Jersey’s 13 straight wins, made 27 saves to earn the win. Vanecek was acquired by the Washington Capitals during the offseason.
“It’s great to be here. When you win, it’s more fun. When you lose, it’s no fun, you know? So we’re winning right now and it’s really fun,” he said.
Ruff praised the efforts of Vanecek and his entire team, but cautioned that with every celebration comes a sense of the long road ahead for the Devils.
“I feel like we haven’t proved anything yet. I think we’ve done a lot of good things. We played good hockey. But we’ve got 19 games behind us,” he said. “We had a great run but we know we are the hunted now. We can expect the best that any team can bring because we get recognition. We have to deal with this part.”
Right now, the Devils are enjoying a hot streak that rivals anyone in franchise history.
“This is definitely one of the most fun tracks I’ve ever been on,” said Hischier. “I don’t want it to end. It’s definitely just for fun. As we say, just keep riding the wave.”