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Third periods proving pivotal for Devils

Friday, 10.30.2009 / 12:53 PM ET / Features
By Eric Marin
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Third periods proving pivotal for Devils
Zubrus' second goal of the season was also his second game-winner. Watch now
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It's Halloween, but this is no trick: the Devils are getting their wins by producing clutch goals in the third period.

With Thursday’s 2-1 triumph in Boston, they improved to 6-0 on the road and crept to within six points of first-place Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division.

It was Dainius Zubrus’ tally with 1:26 left in regulation that broke a 1-1 tie to lead the Devils (7-4-0) past the slumping Bruins. Yann Danis made 31 saves in his Devils debut to record his 14th career victory.

The Devils matched Colorado for the most road victories and, with a win in Tampa on Saturday, would tie Toronto (1940-41), Philadelphia (1985-86) and Detroit (2005-06) for the second longest road winning streak ever to open a season (7). Buffalo’s 10-0 start in 2006-07 stands as the all-time record.

By now, it's a safe bet that a Devils win will feature a pivotal play in the third. The Zubrus tie-breaker was New Jersey’s sixth third-period goal this season that either tied a game or gave the Devils a lead. Of those six, four turned out to be game-winners.

In the Devils’ seven wins, they have dominated the third-period scoring by a count of 10-4. It helps that they keep nearly every game close: New Jersey has been tied or separated by one goal after two periods in all but two of their games, so far.

Though they have only outscored opponents, 13-11, in the third, overall, seven of those goals against were grouped into three losses (Phi., Oct. 3; Atl., Oct. 16; Buf., Oct. 28).

Oct. 8 @ TB: Travis Zajac’s goal with one second left in regulation ties the contest at 3-3. The Devils get it to a shootout, before Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner score and Martin Brodeur denies Steve Stamkos and Alex Tanguay. Devils beat the Lightning, 4-3.

Oct. 10 @ FLA: David Clarkson’s power-play goal snaps a 2-2 tie with 3:35 left in regulation. Devils protect the one-goal lead and hold on for a 3-2 victory over the Panthers.

Oct. 12 @ WSH: The Devils fall behind, 2-0, in the first period before Brian Rolston answers in the second. Clarkson notches his second big goal in as many games when he ties it at 2 with 6:26 left in regulation. Parise and Langenbrunner score in the shootout and Brodeur stops Alex Semin and Alex Ovechkin. Devils beat the Caps, 3-2.

Oct. 17 vs. CAR: Langenbrunner breaks a scoreless tie 26 seconds into the third period and Parise adds an empty-netter. Brodeur makes 26 saves for career shutout No. 102 to move within one of tying Terry Sawchuk’s all-time record. Devils edge the Hurricanes, 2-0, for their first home win of the season.

Oct. 22 @ NYR: After the Devils blow a 2-0 lead, Zubrus breaks a 2-2 tie 7:51 into the third period. Parise adds an empty-netter with 41 seconds left to seal it. Brodeur needs 29 saves to beat Henrik Lundqvist in regulation for the first time in a regular-season game at Madison Square Garden. Devils defeat the Rangers, 4-2. 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59