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Magnificent seven provided second-half boost

Road winning streak helped spark surge in standings

Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 4:43 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Magnificent seven provided second-half boost
The Devils' road run came to an end with Monday's setback at the Garden, but the historic streak helped kick the club's second half into overdrive.

Before coming up short against the Rangers, New Jersey's last road loss had been Jan. 10 in Calgary. The defeat dropped their overall record to six games over .500 at 23-17-2.

They rebounded the next night with a 2-1 overtime win in Edmonton and rolled off victories in Winnipeg, Philadelphia, Madison Square Garden, Buffalo and Montreal.

They made it seven straight on the road with a 4-3 overtime triumph in Toronto on Feb. 21. The streak matched Minnesota (Nov. 13-Dec. 10) for longest in the League this season, and tied for third-longest in franchise history (Jan. 13-Feb. 6, 2009).

Beating the Maple Leafs improved the Devils' mark to 15 games over .500 at 35-20-4.

They outscored road opponents 22-11 over that span, limiting them to one goal or less five times. The power play connected seven times in 25 chances (28%), while the penalty kill went a stingy 21 for 24 (87.5%).

Ilya Kovalchuk had five goals and six assists in the seven games, including two shorthanded tallies, a power-play goal and his first hat trick as a Devil (Feb. 14 @ Buf).

Martin Brodeur was superb in yielding just six goals in five starts. He made 30 saves at MSG on Feb. 7 to blank the Rangers, 1-0, and secure his 117th career shutout.

Johan Hedberg had 22 saves against the Oilers, then delivered a 37-save effort in Philadelphia on Feb. 4.

Zach Parise posted three goals and two assists, including the power-play game-winner in Edmonton. Overall, the captain struck twice on the man advantage.

Patrik Elias showcased his playmaking talents during the surge, recording a goal and five assists, and netting the winner in Winnipeg on Jan. 14.

The winning goals reflect the balanced offense that has the Devils in the Eastern Conference playoff mix. Six different players tallied game-winners, led by David Clarkson's pair (Feb. 7 @ NYR, Feb. 19 @ Mtl).

Alexei Ponikarovsky potted the GWG in the Devils' 6-4 rout of the Flyers, and collected two goals and an assist during the streak.

Petr Sykora had five points (2g-3a) in the seven wins, including the winning strike in Buffalo.

Mark Fayne's fourth of the year – tops among Devils' defensemen – lifted them to victory over the Leafs.

The Devils will be looking to start a new winning streak on the road when their four-game trip continues Thursday in Boston. They head to Washington Friday for a meeting with the Capitals, then close out the swing Sunday on Long Island.

They return home to host the Rangers on March 6.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 55 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 53 18 18 14 36
K. Palmieri 55 20 15 3 35
T. Zajac 47 8 18 7 26
D. Schlemko 47 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 55 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 51 1 12 -1 13
A. Greene 55 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 44 3 7 -14 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 24 16 6 .930 2.01
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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