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Third periods proving pivotal for Devils

Friday, 10.30.2009 / 12:53 PM / 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 - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51