(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils will try once again to pick up their first win of the 2013-14 season when they visit Sean Monahan and the surprising Calgary Flames for Friday's clash at the Saddledome.
Although the Devils are winless through four games, the club has earned three points thanks to their last three setbacks coming after regulation. Still, the 0-1-3 start is the worst for New Jersey since it went 0-3-1 to begin the 2001-02 campaign.
Another loss on Friday would give the Devils its longest stretch without a win to begin a season since the Colorado Rockies where 0-4 with a tie through five games in 1981-82.
The Devils are in the midst of a five-game road trip and will try to get on the board with a win in the third test of that swing in Calgary. Unfortunately for New Jersey it has lost two straight and three of its past four trips to the Saddledome and the Flames are 5-2-2 in the last nine meetings between the clubs overall.
Jersey was last in action on Tuesday, when it lost a 3-2 overtime decision to the Vancouver Canucks, who received a game-winner from Mike Santorelli at 2:18 of the extra session.
In the extra session, Jason Garrison let fly with a shot from the point that zipped past a screened Cory Schneider. Garrison was originally credited with the goal, but it was subsequently changed to Santorelli, who was jostling in front of the netminder with New Jersey's Marek Zidlicky.
"I saw Garrison block the middle. I looked one way and next thing I know it is in the net. There was some traffic and I just didn't look hard enough to find it," Schneider said of the game-winning tally.
Schneider, of course, was acquired by the Devils from Vancouver in a draft-day deal earlier this year and he stopped 29 shots in a losing effort against his former club.
Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias each posted a goal and an assist for the Devils.
The Flames, meanwhile, are off to a 2-0-2 start to a season that was supposed to be all about rebuilding. If one judges the youth movement by the play of Monahan early this season, it would seem the rebuilding project is going extremely well.
Monahan, the sixth overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, tallied a goal and an assist to lift the Flames to a 3-2 win over visiting Montreal on Wednesday and has already recorded five points (3G, 2A) in his first four games as an NHLer.
The rookie opened up the scoring for the Flames on Wednesday a little less than 10 minutes into the game. Travis Moen coughed up the puck in the neutral zone to Monahan, who advanced into Montreal's zone and dished a backhand pass over to Lee Stempniak. Stempniak fired a shot off goaltender Carey Price and Monahan was there to tap the rebound into the back of the net.
"(Monahan) is having fun, he is bringing passion, he is bringing excitement and he's learning. He is a pretty special kid," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said of the 18-year-old rookie.
Joey MacDonald stopped 33-of-35 Montreal shots to ensure the victory for the Flames.
Calgary is capping a three-game homestand on Friday and will begin a five-game road trip when it plays Wednesday evening in Anaheim.