Patrik Elias Scores 400th Career Goal As Devils Beat Toronto


Patrik Elias had to wait exactly one month, but he finally was able to reach the milestone of 400 career NHL goals. So first off, congratulations Patty! The goal came off a beautiful dish by Travis Zajac who cut back on the defense and found Elias trailing the play. Patty ripped a nasty shot past James Reimer and the Rock went crazy. What was interesting was that Patrik Elias hit the crossbar just seconds before scoring #400. I remember groaning as the puck hit iron and then how that feeling changed to jubilation moments later. Elias’ goal would put the Devils up 2-0 early in the second as they cruised to a 4-1 beat down of the Toronto Maple Leafs, their 11th straight loss.

Feb 6, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; The New Jersey Devils celebrate a goal by New Jersey Devils left wing Patrik Elias (26) during the second period at Prudential Center. The goal was Elias

The Devils have now won three games in a row… FINALLY. The last three game winning streak? The first three games of the season. New Jersey could never seem to put a string of wins together, but they were able to notch number three tonight. They now have points in six straight and are 6-1-1 in their last eight games. They went 4-0-1 on their five game homestand which is outstanding. It isn’t always pretty, but results speak louder than anything. Currently, the Devils sit in sixth place – just one point behind Philadelphia – with 51 points, but they’re climbing steadily.

The most intriguing aspect of the night is that the Devils were outshot 34-17 tonight and still won 4-1. Normally I’d be upset at being outshot by a 2:1 ratio, but not tonight. It didn’t feel like the Devils were outplayed at all. Cory Schneider was brilliant, but he didn’t have to make many tough saves. He got some puck luck as some shots hit the post, but most of the shots came from the outside. As for the Devils, at least half of their shots were high quality chances. They didn’t have much as far as quantity, but it took some miraculous James Reimer saves to keep the game somewhat manageable. If not for him, the Devils could have won 8-1.

That being said, Cory Schneider was the second star of the game as he made 33 saves. He didn’t have a chance on Tyler Bozak’s rebound goal that came off a Phil Kessel shot that hit every post possible and sat in the crease as everyone thought the puck went in. Schneider is now tied for seventh in the league with a .924 SV% and tied for eight with a 2.30 GAA. He’s 19-19-5 overall, but is 6-1-1 in his last nine games. The guy is an elite goalie in this league.

More from Pucks and Pitchforks

What was good for NJ tonight was they didn’t take much time to get into the game. The first shift was horrible, but after that they upped the tempo. The line of Tuomo Ruutu, Jacob Josefson and Jordin Tootoo was terrific providing energy and an early goal. Mark Fraser’s point shot went wide and Ruutu was there to put home the rebound. Ruutu had his best game in a long time adding five thundering hits in addition to his goal. After Elias scored 400, the Devils seemed to be in control and Steve Bernier made sure of that when he had a puck go in off his skate for the 3-0 second period lead.

Adam Larsson, the guy who shot the puck that hit Bernier, had another fabulous game of his own. I can’t rave about Larsson enough as he plays better and better each night. He played another 20+ minute game – 23:18 to be exact – and added two assists, a block and a hit. He and Andy Greene have solidified the Devils’ defense, especially the penalty kill, and have formed a real bond on the top pairing. How about this… the entire team was a +1 or a +2 tonight. Talk about balanced scoring and all-around good play. The Devils now have a tough test tomorrow night as they travel to Montreal. One final thing – happy birthday to Adam Henrique!

Next: NJ Devils Fan Spotlight: Alex from Bradley Beach