The New Jersey Devils look to assemble their first three-game win streak tonight, as they face the Los Angeles Kings during the second of three games in their Californian road trip. This will be their third attempt at winning more than two games in a row; unfortunately, the Devils are 0-2-0 in games directly following two-game win streaks, and have been blanked in both of them.
Streak One: 10/26 @Bos (4-3 W), 10/29 TBL (2-1 W)
After surprising the Boston Bruins by pulling out a late-game comeback towards the end of October, the Devils went on to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Although this provided their first win streak, the team dropped their next game against the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0. The one-goal loss may not have been so bad if they hadn’t again failed to break the ice against the Minnesota Wild a game later.
Streak Two: 11/10 Nsh (5-0 W), 11/12 @NYR (3-2 W)
A week after back-to-back scoreless games, the Devils managed to dominate the Nashville Predators 5-0, which resulted in a hot Martin Brodeur‘s 123rd career shutout. Two days later, the team played another strong game in Madison Square Garden where they earned two points in a victory over the New York Rangers. However, when it came time to host the Los Angeles Kings later that week, they could not beat goaltender Ben Scrivens.
Streak Three: 11/16 Pit (4-1 W), 11/20 @Ana (4-3 W)
Jaromir Jagr helped the Devils bounce back after their loss to the Kings by scoring two goals against the formidable Pittsburgh Penguins, leading the team to a 4-1 win. He then netted the game-tying goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the following game, which the squad went on to win in overtime.
Tonight the Devils rematch the Los Angeles Kings, but this time on the west coast. Ben Scrivens is 4-0-0 with two shutouts and a 1.00 GAA in replacing Jonathan Quick over the past four games; one of those shutouts came against the Devils. He will be the man to beat if New Jersey is to break the curse that has kept them off the board in each of their would-be three-game win streaks.
How to Break the Curse
The Devils have shown a lot of life from the opening faceoffs lately. They held their own against a dominant Anaheim team and came through with a win in overtime. The Devils’ chances at a win tonight may heavily rely on their ability to get on the board first; if they can beat Scrivens early, it will reduce the Kings’ intimidation factor and will prevent them from overthinking their shots. The Devils’ offense has proven capable but streaky, and if they can find a way to stay consistent, then they may finally be able to put together three in a row. During a road trip in which they face three of the top seven teams in the league, they could certainly use the confidence.