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Devils hit road for Ottawa and Buffalo

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Parise leads the Devils with 51 points on 23 goals and 28 assists.
After being shut out by the New York Islanders, 4-0, on Jan. 18 for their third straight loss, the Devils (34-15-1) recovered this week to take two of three.

NJ 2, FLA 0 F
Travis Zajac’s 14th of the season – a blast from the right circle – beat Tomas Vokoun to break a scoreless tie with 1:30 to go in the second period. Dean McAmmond’s shorthanded empty-netter sealed it in the final second of regulation.

Making his NHL debut, Nick Palmieri picked up the secondary assist on Zajac’s goal for his first career point.

Martin Brodeur needed 22 saves for his League-leading 30th win and seventh shutout, giving him 108 for his career. Brodeur became the first netminder to collect five shutouts in 14 appearances since Roberto Luongo did so in his first 14 starts last season.

MTL 3, NJ 1 F
The Devils scored first for a second straight game when Zach Parise beat Jaroslav Halak on a breakaway 5:16 into the first period. Montreal netted the next three to hand New Jersey its fourth loss in five games.

Brian Gionta assisted on Mathieu Darche’s winning goal in his first return to New Jersey since signing with the Canadiens last summer. Darche finished with a goal and an assist.

Brodeur made 21 saves against his hometown team, but New Jersey fell to the Canadiens for the first time in their last seven meetings.

NJ 4, NYI 2 F
New Jersey struck first for a third straight game when Jamie Langenbrunner scored his 14th 5:52 into the first period. The captain broke a nine-game goal drought when Zajac set up his one-timer from the right circle past Rick DiPietro, who blanked the Devils only five days earlier.

The Islanders rallied with two goals during a five-minute power play in the second, after Colin White was given a boarding major and a game misconduct for his hit on Sean Bergenheim. Kyle Okposo and Jack Hillen scored to give the Isles 2-1 lead.

Parise scored his 22nd on the Devils’ only shot of the second period to tie the game, 2-2, with 32 seconds to go. The power play goal snapped New Jersey's 0-for-25 spell on the man advantage.

Bryce Salvador, who had poked Hillen’s goal over the line after it hit the post, broke the stalemate with 6:49 left in regulation. Salvador’s third goal of the season was also his second game-winner (Dec. 21 @ Pit).

Parise notched his second of the night, and team-leading 23rd of the season, into an empty net with 45.1 seconds to go in the third.

Brodeur made 20 saves for his League-leading 31st win of the season.

Who's hot
Jamie Langenbrunner - Picked up seven assists during his goalless stretch, and now has a goal and three assists in his last two games.

Zach Parise - The Devils' leading scorer with 51 points (23g-28a), he has three goals and an assist in his last three games.

Travis Zajac - Had three assists in Saturday's win on the Island.

C Ben Walter was assigned to Lowell (AHL) on Sunday. He was called up Friday, when Rod Pelley was placed on IR with a lower body injury, retroactive to Jan. 18.

The week ahead
The Devils begin the week with a four-point lead on Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division, three points behind Washington for the Eastern Conference lead.

Jersey’s Team hits the road with stops Tuesday in Ottawa and Wednesday in Buffalo. They return home to host Toronto on Friday, Los Angeles on Sunday (5pm).

The Senators have won a season-high six straight since dropping a season-worst five in a row. Brian Elliott has allowed just five goals over four straight starts for the Sens, including Saturday’s 2-1 victory in Boston. Captain Daniel Alfredsson has five goals and four assists in five games since missing nearly a month with a separated shoulder

The Northwest Division-leading Sabres conclude a seven-game road trip tonight in Vancouver, where they will try to snap a three-game winless skid (0-2-1). Ryan Miller, who's first in the League in save percentage (.934) and second in goals-against average (2.06), allowed seven goals in back-to-back losses Thursday at Los Angeles and Saturday at San Jose.

Pittsburgh’s divisional chase continues tonight at Madison Square Garden. Sergei Gonchar had a goal and an assist in their 2-1 win Sunday at Philly. The Pens open a three-game homestand Thursday, when they host Ottawa.

East-leading Washington has gone 9-1-0 since a three-game losing streak. The Caps visit Long Island on Tuesday, then open a three-game homestand that includes meetings with Anaheim on Wednesday, then Florida on Friday.

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