Devils 6, Lightning 1 (FINAL)
New Jersey Devils
newjerseydevils.com (Oct. 31) –
Jay Pandolfo recorded his first career hat trick as the Devils snapped a four-game winless streak with a 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Prudential Center on Wednesday.
Pandolfo's goal surge was part of a dazzling performance by his newly-formed line with John Madden and Dainius Zubrus
that combined for four goals, six assists and a plus-11 rating against the slumping Bolts.
Pandolfo, who has five career two-goal games, now leads the Devils with six goals.
Madden scored his fifth of the season, adding three assists. Zubrus chipped in with two helpers and finished a plus-3.
|Pandolfo leads the Devils with six goals.
New Jersey's six-goal output matched its season high set on Oct. 13 in Atlanta, and broke head coach Brent Sutter's group out of an offensive funk that had seen it score just four goals in its previous four games.
"Our game was good when we kept pucks going on net, with someone driving to the net," Sutter said. "We stayed with it. I thought our focus at the start of the third was very good. We were resilient in our approach today as far as how we wanted to play."
made his ninth start of the season – the 900th of his career – and racked up 21 saves to improve to 3-6.
Brodeur now has 497 career victories, and needs three more to become the second goaltender in league history to reach 500. Patrick Roy holds the all-time record for wins with 551.
Arron Asham and Zach Parise
also scored for the Devils (4-6-1), who lit the lamp four times in the third period. It was Parise's power-play goal at 13:24 of the third period that gave New Jersey a 5-1 lead and drove Johan Holmqvist from the Tampa net. Holmqvist, who faced 28 shots, was replaced by Marc Denis.
At the start of the contest, the duo of Madden and Pandolfo faced a familiar task: shut down the Lightning's top line of Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Vinny Prospal.
Following the old adage that the best defense is a good offense, the Devils' checking line burned the Tampa trio for two second-period goals to stake New Jersey to a 2-0 lead.
Lecavalier, who scored Tampa's only goal of the night, finished the game a minus-3.
Zubrus began the night with just two points in his previous five games, but helped jumpstart the Devils' offense in the middle frame. The 6-5, 225-lb. Lithuanian's backhand pass from behind the Tampa net to an open Madden gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 4:32.
Just 1:48 later, Zubrus pitchforked a clearing pass from the Devils' zone to center ice, creating a 2-on-1 with Madden and Pandolfo against Tampa defender Dan Boyle. The puck wound up on Pandolfo's stick for a tap-in past Holmqvist for a two-goal New Jersey lead.
After Lecavalier had cut the margin to a goal late in the second, Asham opened the third-period scoring when he tipped a Patrik Elias
pass through Holmqvist for his third of the season at 7:14.
Pandolfo's fifth of the season made it 4-1 in the third, and he completed the hat trick with a redirection of Vitaly Vishnevski's point shot with 1:20 left in regulation.
The win is New Jersey's first at Prudential Center... The Devils went 1-for-4 on the power play, holding the Lighting to 1-for-3... Defenseman Olli Malmivaara made his Devils debut after being called up from Lowell (AHL).
|Three star selections