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Devils hope to regain momentum vs. Coyotes

Just when New Jersey's Jack Hughes finally gets his offensive game going and is finding the score sheet, the Devils get shut down for a while.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 June draft, Hughes recorded his long-awaited first NHL point last week with an assist in a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers.

He followed that with the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, giving the Devils a much-needed two-game winning streak.

And then ... New Jersey was idle for five long days.

The Metropolitan Division team suits back up for action against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. ET in Newark, N.J.

The wait for Hughes, 18, was an unproductive one through New Jersey's first six winless contests, but the rookie center now seems primed to turn the corner.

The prized prospect from Orlando, Fla., failed to produce a point while centering a third line between Blake Coleman and Wayne Simmonds.

Meanwhile, the Devils couldn't check off their first win of the season, even blowing a three-goal home lead against the Florida Panthers that turned into a 6-4 defeat in a Columbus Day matinee.

But Hughes recorded his first NHL point by garnering the primary assist on Miles Wood's game-winning goal in the win over the Rangers.

Hughes finally cashed in his first NHL goal on the power play on Saturday, scoring the only marker as the Devils and goalie Mackenzie Blackwood blanked the visiting Canucks.

Hughes became the first player in league history to score his first career goal while his brother was playing for the other side.

Quinn Hughes, Jack's older brother, is a defenseman for the Canucks, and roughly 75 members of the family were in attendance.

"When you see it go in, you just start screaming a bunch of random stuff. It's a little overdue, but it's good to get on the board," said the younger Hughes of his one-timer tally.

Added Quinn: "Honestly, I think (that type of goal) is something new in his arsenal because usually he comes down and just rips a wrister."

Christian Dvorak has been a major reason for Arizona's strong start and recent four-game winning streak.

The 23-year-old Illinois native has recorded all four of his goals this season in the last five games, and none may have been bigger than Tuesday's overtime winner against the Rangers.

Dvorak darted around Blueshirts free-agent acquisition Artemi Panarin in the three-on-three session, then he roofed in his first career overtime goal 64 seconds into the extra period as Arizona won for the fourth consecutive time.

After the 3-2 overtime win in Madison Square Garden, teammate Lawson Crouse talked up the play of Dvorak.

"I think he could be probably one of the hottest players in hockey right now," Crouse said. "I've been fortunate enough to see him grow the last three or four years now. He's a very special player."

The Coyotes lost 4-2 to the New York Islanders on Thursday night, marking the first time they had given up more than two goals in a game in regulation.

Arizona has allowed just 19 goals through nine games, tying the Pacific club with division rival Vancouver for the fewest in the NHL.

--Field Level Media

Updated October 25, 2019

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