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game recap

Devils hang on, defeat Islanders

New Jersey withstands New York's surge in third period

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Cory Schneider made 40 saves to help the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 win against the New York islanders at Prudential Center on Saturday.

Travis Zajac had a goal and an assist, and Devante Smith-Pelly and Pavel Zacha also scored for New Jersey (25-23-10). Schneider's biggest save came against Islanders captain John Tavares on a penalty shot 8:10 into the first period with the Devils holding a 1-0 lead.

"He likes to come in slow and pick up little speed, play in tight, so I had to be patient and hold my ground," Schneider said. "He has great hands, great patience. I just didn't want to make the first move, and I stuck with him and was able to get enough of it."


WATCH: All Islanders vs. Devils highlights


Andrew Ladd and Anthony Beauvillier scored and Thomas Greiss made 18 saves for New York (26-21-10), which will play 17 of its remaining 24 games on the road. The Islanders are 7-13-4 on the road this season.

The Devils took a 3-0 lead before goals by Ladd at 8:58 and Beauvillier at 13:48 pulled the Islanders within 3-2 in the third period. The Islanders came close to tying the game when defenseman Nick Leddy hit the left post with a wide open net on a power play with 1:27 remaining. The Islanders finished 0-for-3 with the man-advantage.

Video: NYI@NJD: Schneider gloves Nelson's tip-in opportunity

"We did a better job in the third," Islanders coach Doug Weight said. "We got to the net and got great results. It's frustrating when you don't come out of the gates hard. We had some good opportunities."

Zacha scored his fifth power-play goal of the season off a wrist shot from the left circle 6:21 into the third period to give the Devils a 3-0 lead. Zajac scored a shorthanded goal off a 2-on-1 with Adam Henrique 8:49 into the second to make it 2-0.

"I felt good, had some jump, but I think a lot of guys did and we knew it was going to be a battle," Zajac said. "We needed everyone to contribute and be their best."

Video: NYI@NJD: Zacha buries Parenteau's feed for PPG

Smith-Pelly, who returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for six straight games, gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 7:10 into the first period. It was his first goal in 30 games.

"I was super relieved to contribute like that," Smith-Pelly said. "That goal kind of got us started in a huge game, so it feels good to come in and contribute."

Video: NYI@NJD: Beauvillier slams home his own rebound

Goal of the game

Zajac scored his first goal in five games off a shot from the left circle when he beat Greiss inside the far post in the second period.

Video: NYI@NJD: Zajac beats Greiss for shorthanded tally

Save of the game

One minute after the Devils took a 1-0 lead, Schneider made a right pad save against Tavares on a penalty shot.

Video: NYI@NJD: Schneider denies Tavares' penalty shot

Highlight of the game

Smith-Pelly collected a bank-pass from Zajac in stride at the Islanders blue line and beat Greiss between the pads for his first goal since Nov. 17, 2016. "[Zajac] read it well; he was at the end of his shift and had the poise to make the play," Smith-Pelly said. "I was fresh, so I just kind of blew the zone and it was the perfect bounce pass right onto my stick."

Video: NYI@NJD: Smith-Pelly beats Greiss on early breakaway

Unsung performance of the game

The Devils combined for 18 blocked shots, including three by Damon Severson. Kyle Palmieri also made a key block with 36 seconds left on defenseman Johnny Boychuk's slap shot from the right point.


They said it

"You don't want to be giving up a shorthanded goal. Their guy made a good shot. Their power-play goal got deflected off [Dennis] Seidenberg. Sometimes you need a little bit of puck luck here and there, and bounces to go in." -- Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan


"[Schneider] has given us a shot to win every night. Scoring that shorthanded goal I think took some wind out of their sails. We knew they would push in the third. They were able to get a couple, but we stuck with it and found a win." -- Devils center Travis Zajac

Need to know

The assist by Zajac on Smith-Pelly's goal moved him into ninth place on the Devils' all-time list with 271. Aaron Broten is eighth with 307 assists. ... Devils forward Michael Cammalleri was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. ... New Jersey traded forward Sergey Kalinin to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Viktor Loov prior to the game. Loov, 24, was assigned to Albany of the American Hockey League. ... Schneider has stopped 14 of 16 penalty shots in his NHL career. He has stopped the two penalty shots faced this season; he also denied Anaheim Ducks forward Chris Wagner in a 2-1 win on Oct. 18.

What's next

Islanders: Host the New Jersey Devils on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Devils: At the New York Islanders on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)


Video: Schneider, Devils hold off Islanders for 3-2 win

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