Ruff hails Devils and Hischier after extending win streak to 11 games

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New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff hailed his side's play after extending their win streak to 11 games with Thursday's 3-2 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yegor Sharangovich scored on a rebound 57 seconds into overtime, for his fourth goal of the season, while goal-tender Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves as the Devils improved to 14-3-0.

The Devils' 11-game unbeaten run is tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history, with the longest being 13 from 2000-01 when that side were Stanley Cup runners-up.

"I don’t know if we're really focusing on the rest of the league," Ruff told reporters when asked if the win streak was a statement for other teams.

"You've got to have a lot of good things happen to run a streak like this. In this league, a goalie can beat you, a couple of bad bounces can beat you. We've definitely played with a lot of pace and a lot of speed and been able to take it to a lot of teams."

One player who has been central to the Devils' success is captain Nico Hischier, who put his side up with his second-period goal, before William Nylander's quick shot with 2:09 remaining in the third sent it to overtime.

Ruff suggested that Swiss 23-year-old Hischier should be a candidate for the Selke Trophy, the NHL's top defensive award, comparing him to five-time winner Patrice Bergeron.

"He's a power-play guy, he's one of our top penalty killers," Ruff said about Hischier. "You look at where he is with his play away from the puck, I actually think he should be a candidate this year.

"If he can stay healthy, his two-way game is right up there with the likes of Bergeron."

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe rued his side's 23 giveaways compared to the Devils' 14, acknowledging that is what sets them apart.

"We get the puck back and you give it right back to them," Keefe said. "Can't happen.

"We beat ourselves at times and gave them free goals. They didn't beat themselves at all. That's how you win 11 in a row — you don't beat yourself."