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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 / 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

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