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11/23 Devils vs. Maple Leafs: 3 Things We Learned

by Julie Robenhymer /

The Devils staged a dramatic comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs after being down 3-0 after the first period to win, 5-4, in a shootout to snap their three-game losing streak and remain undefeated in regulation at Prudential Center. Here's what we learned:

1) After missing the past six games to be with his daughter, who was hospitalized for pneumonia, Michael Cammalleri went absolute beast mode in his first game back with the team. He had a goal and three assists, plus nine shots on goal to earn the first star of the game as well as the hard hat in the locker room. He was everywhere tonight and a factor beyond what the scoresheet can tell you. As excited as his teammates were to have him back on the ice, they were more excited to have his calming presence and leadership by example in the locker room and on the bench.

2) The power play unit finally broke through and ended its 0-29 goal drought when Beau Bennett notched his first goal of the season. But as Travis Zajac said after the game, "It was nice to finally get a power play goal, but there was nothing pretty about our power plays tonight. There's a lot of room for improvement there."

3) The Devils have proven many times so far this season that they are a resilient bunch and tonight we saw that pay off in a big way. After being down by three goals in the first period, they stormed out of the gates to score 32 seconds in (Zajac), then they get the PPG less than three minutes later and then shortly after that Cammalleri scored to tie the game at three less than six minutes into the period. Even when the Leafs regained the lead, the Devils kept pushing and were rewarded when Yohann Auvitu's shot from the point found a hole in Jonas Enroth to force overtime. We asked what was said in that first intermission to inspire such a response and the common theme was that you don't win or lose a hockey game in 20 minutes and that there was plenty of time to earn the victory. Even head coach John Hynes said he didn't have to say anything to the players, that they were saying enough among themselves to right the ship and get the two points.

The Devils (10-6-1) are off on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, but will return to Prudential Center on Friday night to face the Red Wings at 7:30 p.m.

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