The New Jersey Devils return to Prudential Center tonight riding a hot-streak, winning their last three consecutive games and earning at least a point in seven of the previous nine games played. The Devils have been a resilient group who have endured their fair-share of adversity since the start of the new year, due to Andy Greene and John Moore's injuries. Despite a constant shuffle at the blue-line, it seems the club has found consistency and elevated play from Steven Santini, Jon Merrill and Karl Stollery, who have filled voids of missing veteran defensemen. Twenty-two year-old Damon Severson (3g-19a) is playing some of the best of hockey of his NHL career and is tied for the Devils team-lead in assists (Zajac also has nineteen).
Since embarking on a four-game Western Conference road trip, the Devils have found much-needed offense from all four lines. Taylor Hall leads the team in points (11g-18a-29pts), racking up 2g-2a in his last four games. Kyle Palmieri has shown signs of heating up, scoring two goals over the last four. Let's look at some of the biggest moments during the Devils road trip that has translated to W's.
1. Hall OT winner vs. Calgary
Video: NJD@CGY: Hall unloads a laser from the circle for PPG
After a tough OT loss to Edmonton to kick-off the Devils road trip, New Jersey was in desperate need of two points in Calgary. Taylor Hall's provided the insurance goal needed en route to the Devils 2-1 victory over the Flames.
2. Zajac's game-winning backcheck and assist to Hall in Vancouver
Video: NJD@VAN: Hall snaps OT winner past Markstrom
Taylor Hall gets credit for the game-winning goal vs. Vancouver, but Travis Zajac deserves special praise for the game-winning assist. Zajac has been viewed as the Devils best two-way forward and lived up to that standard with a beautiful back-check in OT that triggered an oddman rush, giving Hall the chance to win the game for New Jersey.
3. Palmieri big response in Minnesota
Video: NJD@MIN: Palmieri beats Dubnyk on the short side
Kyle Palmieri's game-tying marker vs. the Wild won't make too many highlight reels, its timing couldn't have been more important. After erasing a two-goal Minnesota lead in the third period, the Devils had all the momentum...for about four minutes. Erik Haula beat Cory Schneider with under ten minutes to play in regulation, putting the Wild up 3-2. It may have seemed like an easy opportunity New Jersey to fold, but Palmieri evened the score just 22 seconds later.
4. Bennett completes wild comeback
Video: NJD@MIN: Coleman sets up Bennett for go-ahead goal
Blake Coleman's first career NHL point helped complete the Devils season-sweep of the Wild. Coleman caught the Minnesota defense puck-watching and delivered a perfect centering pass to Beau Bennett who beat goaltender Devan Dubnyk with under three minutes remaining. Bennett's third goal of the season sent New Jersey home happy and with seven out of eight possible points from the road trip!
Root on the Devils from Prudential Center tonight when the club looks to keep it going against the Montreal Canadiens.