Devils make road history in dominant win over Kings

LOS ANGELES — Erik Haula, Nikita Okhotiuk and Ryan Graves scored in the second period and the New Jersey Devils became the first NHL team to win 17 of their first 20 road games by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 on Saturday night.

Tomas Tatar had a power-play goal, Jesper Bratt scored an empty netter and Jack Hughes had two assists as the surprising Devils improved to 17-2-1 at home, including a six-game winning streak. Mackenzie Blackwood made 34 saves, stopping a Kevin Fiala penalty in the third period.

Fiala and Anze Kopitar scored on the power play, but Jonathan Quick allowed four goals on 27 shots and the Kings had their three-game winning streak snapped.

The Devils broke the game open with three goals in the second after both teams found the back of the net on the power play in the first.

Tomas Tatar celebrates after scoring a goal during the Devils' 5-2 win over the Kings.
Tomas Tatar celebrates after scoring a goal during the Devils’ 5-2 win over the Kings.
NHLI via Getty Images

Haula scored 2-on-1 2:37 into the period to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead.

Kopitar tied the game at 6:48 by tipping in Drew Doughty’s shot from the blue line, but the Devils regained the lead 52 seconds later when Okhotyuk beat Quick with his right block on a long shot.

Graves made it 4-2 with 9:03 to go when his shot from the left point took an unexpected deflection off the skate of defenseman Sean Walker.

New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff is no stranger to road success. The 2006-07 Buffalo Sabers were one of five teams in league history to win 15 of their first 19 road games, a mark Ruff’s Devils surpassed with a 6-2 victory in Anaheim on Friday.

Buffalo went 25-12-4 on the road and won the presidents trophy before losing to Ottawa in the Eastern Conference Finals.