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Devils hold off Islanders 4-3

by Brian Compton
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils' top offensive guns appear to be in midseason form.

Zach Parise and Jason Arnott each had a goal and an assist and Travis Zajac had a pair of assists as the New Jersey Devils earned a 4-3 victory against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on Friday night.

It was the second straight win for the Devils, who staved off a late surge by the Isles and improved to 2-0-3 on the preseason.

"We've got to be a lot better," Parise said. "I think we tried to get a little too fancy. We tried to make nice plays rather than getting it deep and making turnovers. We've only got one more game until the preseason starts, so we should be playing right now like we will in October or November."

New York fell to 0-3-0 despite a two-goal night by Matt Moulson. The teams will face each other again on Saturday night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. New York will also send a squad to Quebec City to face the Montreal Canadiens.

"It'd be nice to get two wins tomorrow to get the team confidence up," said Moulson, who scored 30 goals in his first full NHL season. "But anytime you can help this team and produce, it's a good confidence-builder going into the season. Hopefully I can carry it into the season."

The Isles needed just 98 seconds to get on the scoreboard, as Jesse Joensuu took a pass from Doug Weight and backhanded a shot past Martin Brodeur (23 saves) for his first goal of the preseason. Weight, who had two assists, looked more confident with the puck than he has in quite some time. New York's captain was limited to just 36 games last season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.

"I felt like I was in control of my game," said Weight, who has 1,024 NHL points on his resume. "I felt really, really good with the puck, and that excites me. We had a lot of opportunities. We came up a little short, but I felt good."

Arnott tied the game less than four minutes later when he redirected Andy Greene's feed past a fooled Dwayne Roloson (24 saves) at 5:05 to make it 1-1. Parise gave the Devils the lead at 14:14 when he took a pass from Zajac and ripped a wrist shot from the slot past Roloson for his second goal of the preseason. The Devils outshot the Isles 12-6 in the opening period.

New Jersey busted the game open with a pair of goals less than five minutes apart in the second period. Just eight seconds after the Isles were whistled for having too many men on the ice, Brian Rolston fired a laser from the right point past Roloson at 7:44. Patrik Elias then made it 4-1 at 12:14 when he one-timed Arnott's feed into the net after Bruno Gervais coughed up the puck in his own end.

"We have a couple of first lines," Devils coach John MacLean said. "They played well. (Elias and Arnott) have some chemistry … there's no denying it. They know each other. They're on the same page with their little plays."

Moulson cut the deficit in half when he scored a power-play goal at 14:28 of the second. After Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner was whistled for roughing, Moulson drove to the net and tipped a nice feed from the left corner by Doug Weight past Brodeur to make it 4-2. Moulson made it a one-goal game at 11:18 of the third on a one-timer from his knees after a faceoff win by Dean McAmmond.

New York went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Devils went 1-for-2.

"We made some mistakes, but we got the win," MacLean said. "That's all that matters. We turned the puck over a little bit too much for my liking, but it's still preseason. We are going to make mistakes. We have different guys in the lineup doing different things. It's a learning process. All things are correctable. The effort's there."

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

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