Shootouts have been a problem for the Devils for far too long.

It’s not just this season, in which they have lost each of their four shootouts without scoring on all 14 attempts. Going back to last season they’ve now lost eight straight shootouts since Patrik Elias gave them a victory over the Winnipeg Jets on March 10.

That’s one short of the NHL record of nine in a row, done three times, including a current nine shootout losing streak by the Calgary Flames.

The Devils’ 20 consecutive shootout attempts without scoring has tied the record set by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The issue has reached the point where Devils goalies cringe when games reach a shootout.

“Right now I think that’s obvious,” said Martin Brodeur, who will be in goal Sunday night when the Devils face the Nashville Predators at Prudential Center. “It’s one of those things. You try to keep your team in it and give them a chance. (Cory Schneider) did and on other nights I did, but it hasn’t worked out.

“I don’t know how many in a row we’ve lost going back to last year, but these are valuable points. You’re going to scratch your head if these are the points that don’t get you into the playoffs.”

The Devils were 2-7 in shootouts last season, picking up 11 of a possible 18 points. With maximum points they still would have missed the playoffs, but they cannot afford to play with fire this season.