Devils 3, Panthers 2 FINAL
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:47 AM
|Travis Zajac and the Devils have notched two straight victories.
A visit to the Sunshine State has the Devils riding their first winning streak of the season.
On Saturday, David Clarkson
broke a 2-2 tie with 3:35 left in regulation and the Devils held on for a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Travis Zajac
continued his hot start with a goal and an assist, and Martin Brodeur
made 19 saves.
Following Thursday's 4-3 shootout win in Tampa Bay, New Jersey (2-2-0) swept its two-game visit to the Sunshine State. After dropping two games on home ice to start the year, Jersey's Team has taken two straight on the road.
The Devils dominated long stretches of Saturday's contest, outshooting the Panthers, 41-21. Michael Frolik took three straight minor penalties for Florida, and the Devils capitalized with power-play goals from Zajac and Clarkson.
Rob Niedermayer also scored for New Jersey, which received two assists from Brian Rolston
. The Devils now hope to sweep the three-game road trip, which concludes Monday at Washington.
"It'd be huge for the team's confidence," David Clarkson
told MSG's Steve Cangialosi. "We needed to get away on the road as a team. We needed a little trip away; we got it, and we've done well so far. Now we have to go out there and play our game in Washington because they have (Alex) Ovechkin and all those guys. He's one of the best players in the League, and one of my favorites because not just, 'Is he going to score,' but if he gets the chance to lay you out, he's going to lay you out.
"So you play against teams like that, and they're a great team, but at the same time, we know what we have to do. We have to play hard, smart in our zone, do the little things right, and play 60 minutes and we'll be ok."
After the scoreless first period, the Devils held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the second.
Niedermayer opened the scoring with his second of the season. Paul Martin skated deep into Florida territory and hit Niedermayer with a pass from behind the net. Niedermayer batted the puck past Tomas Vokoun at 11:14 for his third point in as many games (2g-1a).
Later, the Devils got caught in a line change and Rostislav Olesz put the Panthers on the board. Johnny Oduya was the lone defender on the Florida 2-on-1 when Radek Dvorak passed cross-slot for Olesz's first of the year at 13:57.
With Frolik in the box for the first of three straight minors, Zajac ended the stalemate with his team-leading third goal of the season. He put the Devils back on top by taking an Andy Greene
feed and snapping it inside the right post at 17:47.
New Jersey carried that 2-1 lead into the third period, when Florida once again drew even.
Stephen Weiss knotted the contest with his first of the season, picking up a Dmitry Kulikov pass at the Panthers' blueline and weaving his way into the Devils' zone. He beat Brodeur's catching glove from the bottom of the left circle with a top-shelf wrister at 14:37.
But the Devils weren't done and soon cashed in on the Panthers' undisciplined play.
Frolik was back in the box a third time when Zajac coralled the puck at the left side of the net and found Clarkson on the doorstep for a redirection through Vokoun at 16:25.
Zajac tied a career high with goals in three straight games, and has five points over that stretch (3g-2a)… Zach Parise
had an assist to stretch his points streak to three games (1g-3a)…Clarkson's first goal gives him points in three straight games (1g-3a)…Since being added to the lineup in Tampa Bay, Greene has recorded assists in two straight games (2a).