Devils 7, Lightning 3 (F)
Parise scored his team-leading 13th of the season Sunday in Tampa Bay.
Scoring as they are, it's no wonder that the wins are piling up for the Devils.
The Lightning were the latest to fall to the soaring Devils, who rode Dainius Zubrus
' first-career four-goal game and 26 saves from Scott Clemmensen to a 7-3 rout Sunday in Tampa Bay.
Brian Gionta had a goal and an assist, and Patrik Elias
registered four assists as the Devils extended their winning streak to a season-high fourth game with a season-best seven-goal surge.
|Elias had three assists for his second straight multi-point game.
New Jersey took a 5-0 lead in the second period before allowing three straight goals, including Ryan Malone's successful penalty shot. But Jersey's Team took a 6-3 lead on Zubrus' third of the contest and never looked back. He added his fourth with just over five minutes left in the game.
Mike Rupp and Zach Parise
also scored for the Devils, who have averaged five goals a game during the current streak, outscoring opponents 20-11. They have been led by the formidable threesome of Elias, Zubrus and Gionta, who have dominated the scoresheet in recent games.
Elias has paced all Devils with four goals and seven assists for 11 points in five games, while Gionta has a four-game goal streak that has seen him post a goal and an assist in three straight contests. Elias has taken over the club's assist lead with 12.
Zubrus snapped a 10-game goal drought with the first four-goal night by a Devil since Elias scored four times on Rick DiPietro and the Islanders on March 30, 2003.
Supporting New Jersey's efforts has been the play in net of Clemmensen and Kevin Weekes. Clemmensen has won three straight starts, and the pair has combined to allow six goals in three games. Weekes made 25 saves for his 100th career win Friday versus the Islanders.
Next, the Devils look to stay hot in Florida, where they battle the Panthers Wednesday. The five-game road trip continues Saturday in Pittsburgh, and concludes with stops in Philadelphia (Dec. 4) and Montreal (Dec. 6).
Sunday in Tampa, New Jersey took a 2-0 first-period lead for a second straight game.
Rupp's first of the season put the Devils on the board early. He redirected Anssi Salmela
's point shot at the left dot through Kolzig's pads at 1:44 of the first.
Salmela assisted on the first two Devils goals to record his first career multi-point game, while David Clarkson
stretched his point streak to four games (2g-2a) with the secondary assist on Rupp's goal.
Parise scored his team-leading 13th of the season with 2:23 left in the period. The left wing took Jay Leach's pass at the blue line and fired through Kolzig from the top of the left circle.
The club's top point-getter with 24, Parise has a goal and three assists in his last two games. For Leach, called up Sunday from Lowell (AHL), the assist was his first NHL point in seven career games. Salmela collected the secondary assist for his first career multi-point game.
The Devils outshot the Lightning, 15-6, in the opening frame, but the complexion of the contest changed in a six-goal middle period that included Malone's penalty shot.
The second opened with a video review just 42 seconds in that showed Travis Zajac
's backhander was paddled away from the line by Olie Kolzig's stick. A minute and 16 seconds later, Zubrus potted his first of two straight goals in the period.
The 6-5 centerman made it 3-0 by blasting a slapshot through Kolzig from the left circle at 1:58 of the second. He scored again two minutes later, driving to the front of the net for a scoring chance, then jamming away at Kolzig's right pad to put the puck over the line for his fourth of the season at 4:34.
The Devils' barrage continued with Gionta's sixth of the season. Zubrus carried into Tampa territory and left the puck for a shot by Parise from the right circle. Andrej Meszaros swept the puck clear of the goalmouth, but Gionta controlled and placed it past Kolzig's blocker from the bottom of the left circle at 11:39.
Gionta's goal drove Kolzig from the net in favor of backup Karri Ramo, and the Lightning began chipping away at the Devils' lead. Kolzig's night ended with five goals allowed on 30 shots in 34:57. Ramo stopped 15 of 17, and the Devils finished with a 45-29 edge in shots.
Radim Vrbata started it for Tampa, putting home Vinny Prospal's centering feed from in front of the net to make it 5-1 at 13:08. Vincent Lecavalier stripped Colin White
behind the Devils' net and found Martin St. Louis at the side of the net for his fifth at 14:40.
Malone was awarded a penalty shot after he was brought down by a backchecking duo of Jay Pandolfo and Paul Martin at 16:42. On his shot, Malone skated straight in and roofed a forehand just under the crossbar for his fourth of the year and a 5-3 score.
Zubrus gave the Devils some breathing room by sliding a backhander around Ramo's left pad at 7:21, then capped it with his fourth of the game, sixth of the season, from the slot on Gionta's feed from behind the net.
Pat Verbeek (2/28/88) was the first Devil to score four times in one game. Randy McKay and John Madden each scored four times in a 9-0 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 28, 2000... Madden missed a second straight game with a sore foot... Mike Mottau missed the first of his two-game suspension for elbowing Islanders' forward Frans Nielson Friday night... Leach was recalled Sunday from Lowell (AHL). Leach made two appearances with New Jersey this season, Nov. 9 vs. Edmonton and Nov. 12 vs. NY Rangers... The Devils last faced a penalty shot on opening night, when Martin Brodeur
stopped Kyle Okposo of the Islanders.
|Three star selections