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Devils look to strengthen lead in East

New Jersey eyes chance to protect one-point edge over Habs on Tuesday

Monday, 03.10.2008 / 3:16 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Devils look to strengthen lead in East

Martin Brodeur's stellar goaltending has steered New Jersey to three straight wins.


newjerseydevils.com –
It was a big weekend for the Devils.

Three straight wins, including consecutive victories in Friday and Saturday's back-to-back, had the club on top to begin the week.

With 13 games left on the schedule, New Jersey led the East by a point over Montreal and held the same edge over Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division.

The Devils got some help from the Canadiens on Sunday, after Montreal finished up a 2-2 Western road trip with a 3-1 loss at Anaheim.

Carey Price suffered his second loss in three starts after giving up third-period goals to Chris Kunitz and Sami Pahlsson, as the Ducks outshot the Habs 37-21.

Price, the Canadiens' No. 1 goaltender following the deadline deal that shipped Cristobal Huet to the Capitals, finished 1-2 on the swing. Jaroslav Halak accounted for the other Montreal win with 21 saves in Saturday's 5-2 decision at Los Angeles.

The Devils' last loss came at the hands of those same Canadiens, and sole possession of first place in the conference will be at stake when the teams meet Tuesday night in Montreal.

Martin Brodeur, who was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week for the period ending March 9, has been outstanding during the Devils' current run.

The Montreal native has allowed just one goal in each of his last three starts while stopping 104 of 107 shots (.972). He posted a season-high 42 saves in Saturday's 2-1 win at Toronto, denying Bryan McCabe's one-timer from the slot with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation.

Parise is poised to eclipse his career highs of a season ago.
Brodeur's stingy performances have kept the Devils rolling while the offense has averaged 2.7 goals over their last three games. Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta have been red hot, accounting for nine of New Jersey's last 10 goals.

Parise struck twice on Saturday night to reach the 30-goal plateau for the second straight season. His fifth goal in three games broke a 1-1 tie with 48 seconds left in regulation, lifting the Devils to a four-game sweep of the season series against the Maple Leafs.

"We like the way we're playing," Parise said before Monday's practice. "Marty, obviously, has been unbelievable. He's one of the main reasons we are where we are. we like the way we've been playing, and the way we've been winning games lately.

The third-year forward leads the Devils in goals (30) and points (60), but hasn't lost sight of what his production brings to the team's bottom line.

"The most important thing is winning, and that's the way it's always been here," Parise said. "That's the most enjoyable part, being on top of the Eastern Conference and winning."

Elias, meanwhile, has a goal and three assists for four points in three games, and netted the winning goal against Tampa Friday night with 57.9 seconds left in overtime. He has collected a team-high 32 assists and needs just four more helpers to surpass Scott Niedermayer for the club record (364).

Their scoring contributions will be critical as the Devils try to add to their lead in the days ahead. Nipping at the Devils' heels are the Penguins who have taken three of four, including Sunday's 4-2 win at Washington.

Sidney Crosby was credited with his second goal of the game when Caps' rookie Nicklas Backstrom accidentally put the puck into his own net late in regulation for the deciding marker.

It was Pittsburgh's second win in three games since Crosby came back on March 4. The defending league MVP missed 21 games with an ankle sprain and has collected two goals and two assists in his return.

Still in the conference mix are the Senators, who trailed the Devils by three points in the conference on Monday. Ottawa had led the conference for all but one day of the regular season before yielding to New Jersey on Feb. 24.

The Devils close out their road trip with stops in Minnesota on Thursday and Colorado on Saturday. The club then plays four of six on home ice to wrap up the month of March.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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