SAN JOSE, CA - Two goals in quick succession by the San Jose Sharks in the first period put the New Jersey Devils playing catch-up on Monday night. Despite an early 1-0 lead on the Sharks, the Devils gave up two goals in a span of 2:12 that forced New Jersey to play from behind the rest of the game. Unable to capitalize on power play chances, the Devils closed out their three-game road trip with a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
Here are 10 takeaways from the game:
1. As a fun note, both San Jose and New Jersey have players who go by the nickname 'Pickles'. Of course, for New Jersey that honor goes to forward Blake Coleman - who has a habit of drinking pickle juice - while in San Jose, defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic goes by the nickname 'Pickles' after his last name, which is of the famous pickle variety.
2. Drew Stafford was back in the lineup for just the seventh time this season. The Devils veteran took the place of Stefan Noesen on the fourth line with Brian Boyle and Brett Seney. Stafford has had a knack for playing against the Sharks in his career. Heading into Monday night's game, Stafford had 14 points (3-11-14) in 17 career games against San Jose.
Stafford would add to those numbers Monday night. On his third shift of the game, Stafford lightly tossed a puck towards Sharks netminder Martin Jones from the right wall that squeezed through Jones' skate and the goal post. The goal was Stafford's first of the season, on which the Devils took a 1-0 lead at 12:05 of the first.
3. Damon Severson and Andy Greene were credited with the assists on Stafford's opening goal. For Severson, the assist was his 14th of the season as well as his 18th point. In 76 games last season, Severson had 15 total assists and 24 points. The 24-year-old defenseman is on his way to surpassing his numbers from last season.
4. New Jersey held the San Jose Sharks to 11 shots on goal in the first period. It really was a tale of two halves for the Devils in the shots on goal department in the first period. New Jersey outshot the Sharks 7-1 through the first 10:35 of the first, while the latter half of the period, the Sharks outshot the Devils 10-2.
5. Greene had his first two-point night of the season, after he scored the Devils second goal of the night. Greene cleaned up a rebound in front of Jones, off a shot from Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri used his size and strength to fight off a Sharks defender and skate the puck low for a sharp angle shot. The rebound went directly to Greene in the low slot where he tapped it home for his first of the year at 8:59 of the second period.
6. Greene's goal was also his first tally since January 18, 2018, and his first road goal since November 12, 2017. (Credit: Craig Seiden, NJD Radio Statistician)
7. Greene had quite an eventful night for himself to go along with his two points. Midway through the third period, Greene got in the way of a Brent Burns point shot - and those carry some major velocity! The puck struck Greene in the skate so forcefully that his skate blade dislodged from his skate and went flying across the ice surface.
Greene remained on the ice with the Sharks in the offensive zone, though he wasn't able to move. The Devils captain waited until Kinkaid gloved the puck for a stoppage in play to have his skate fixed on the bench.
8. Palmieri and Nico Hischier assisted the Greene goal. For Palmieri, it was his fifth point (four goals, one assist) on this current three-game road trip, and for Hischier it was his sixth point in his past six games.
9. Keith Kinkaid was back in net, with Schneider playing the night before in Anaheim. Kinkaid's 24th game played did not go as he would have hoped, giving up 5 goals on 34 shots. His season record drops to 10-8-5.
Making his first start at San Jose since November 21, 2016, Kinkaid record on the road against the Sharks is now 1-2-0.
10. The Devils completed their three-game California road trip with a record of 1-1-1, worth three points in the standings.