It's hardly a major slump, but it is enough to get the Hartford Whalers into the record book.
The 3-1 victory by the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night at East Rutherford, N.J., was the Whalers' fourth straight loss to open the season, the worst start in their nine years in the National Hockey League.
This time, Claude Loiselle, Pat Verbeek and Alain Chevrier were the biggest factors. Loiselle and Verbeek scored first-period goals to get the Devils started toward their second win in the first three games, and Chevrier turned away 27 shots and was particularly impressive in stopping Hartford on six of seven power plays.
The Whalers' only goal, on a rebound by John Anderson, came with 9:19 left. Before that, Hartford had gone 95 minutes 28 seconds, almost five periods, without scoring.