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Panthers Wrap-Up: Devils 6, Panthers 3

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 2 0 0 3
Devils 3 1 2 0 6
FLA - SH - D. Kulikov (8), B. Boyes (20), B. Pirri (10)
NJD - T. Zajac (14), J. Jagr (24), PP - T. Zajac (15), R. Clowe (7), SH - J. Josefson (1), T. Zajac (16)

NEWARK —  ( - New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac scored his first career hat trick and Jaromir Jagr had a goal and three assists in a 6-3 victory against the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center on Monday night.

Zajac, who tied a career-high with four points, scored twice in the first period and added another goal in the third to record the first hat trick by a Devils player this season. New Jersey also received goals by Ryane Clowe and Jacob Josefson and Cory Schneider made 14 saves in relief of Martin Brodeur.

"The starts we've had are frustrating. We haven't figured them out yet. We have a lot of resiliency in this room, but we can't have those starts and hope to win games in this league."

- Panthers forward Brandon Pirri.
1. Zajac Attack: In a game that featured nine goals, it was Devils’ forward Travis Zajac who provided most of the offense. Zajac recorded his first career hat-trick and added an assist in New Jersey’s 6-3 win over the Panthers, scoring two in the first period and adding one more in the third. With the trio of goals, Zajac now has 16 on the season. It didn't hurt to have the ageless Jaromir Jagr (1-3-4) setting the center up all night long.

2. Boy Stops Puck
: He didn't get the start against the Panthers but netminder Cory Schneider came in and ended it, shutting the door on the Panthers comeback attempt. Head coach Peter DeBoer pulled starter Martin Brodeur in an attempt to stem the Cats momentum in the second period and it worked as Schneider came up with several big stops to keep the Devils ahead. No save was bigger than his stop on Scottie Upshall on a breakaway attempt with the Cats on a power play in the second period. The Devils netminder finished with 13 stops.

3. Centers Of Attention: The Panthers youth was on display Monday night and it was their young centers providing the offense. Nick Bjugstad set up Dmitry Kulikov and Brad Boyes in the first and second periods respectively while Brandon Pirri netted his 10th of the season almost five and a half minutes' after Boyes' 20th of the season. Bjugstad now has 35 points on the season, tied for the team lead and his 21 helpers are tied for sixth among all NHL rookies.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Tigger0503: Alright Boyes! Nice turnaround underway by our @FlaPanthers and they knock it down to a one goal game! #ComebackCats

@turbuLENTZ: @FlaPanthers Congrats to Brad Boyes on 20 for the season. #FlaPanthers GOAL!!!

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Dale Worsnop: Wow.....pretty good SH goal from Kulikov!

1. Dmitry Kulikov scored the Panthers first goal of the game with the first shorthanded goal of his NHL career.

8. Scoring his 10th of the season, Brandon Pirri has eight points (4-4-8) in his last 12 games.

20. Forward Brad Boyes netted his team-leading 20th of the season, the fourth 20-plus goal campaign of his career.

21. Assisting on the first two Panthers goals, rookie Nick Bjugstad now has 21 assists on the season. It's the fourth most helpers in franchise history among rookie skaters.

88. Rookie Vincent Trocheck was stellar in the face-off circle, winning 88% of his draws. He lost just once on the night (7/8).

Travis Zajac
The ageless Jaromir Jagr also had a four point night but Zajac's was a touch better with his first career NHL hat trick.

3 Goals, 1 Assist, 4 Points, +3, 6 hots, 17:46 TOI
The Panthers are right back at it Tuesday night, finishing up their road portion of the 2013-14 season on Long Island against the Islanders. They'll then return home for the final five games of the season. The Isles downed the Devils 2-1 in the shootout on Saturday and now have 68 points (29-35-10) in 74 games. They're led offensively by winger Kyle Okposo who has 69 points (27-42-69) while Evgeni Nabokov owns a 13-14-7 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.84 GAA.

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