|A look at the patch worn in memory of the late Pat Burns.
Pat Burns would have been proud.
On the night they honored their late coach in a pre-game ceremony, the Devils came out and dominated the League-leading Capitals with their most decisive victory of the season.
buried two goals and Mattias Tedenby
scored on his first career penalty shot in the Devils’ 5-0 thumping of visiting Washington on Monday.
made 30 saves for his 15th career shutout and first since April 19.
Burns, who led the Devils to the 2003 Stanley Cup championship, passed away Friday at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer. The Devils wore round black patches bearing the initials “PB” in honor of Burns, the only three-time winner of the Jack Adams Award given to the most outstanding coach.
The fiery bench boss would have admired the way the Devils snapped their three-game losing skid by handing the Capitals their third straight defeat. Washington routed New Jersey, 7-2, on Oct. 9, and Monday’s victory returned the favor.
"It’s always nice," said Hedberg, who made his 300th career appearance and improved to 2-2-1 "I’ve never been a guy that’s had a lot of shutouts, so it’s always nice when you get one. I think the guys, too, showed that they really wanted to help me out , throwing themselves in front of pucks, diving and kicking pucks out of the zone, so that’s great."
To win the Cup here was a big thing for him and his career, and it was well-deserved that we did that and honored him. - John MacLean on Pat Burns
Hedberg didn’t face a shot until nearly eight minutes had elapsed in the game. When the Capitals pressured, Hedberg raised his game to answer the challenge. Despite the likes of Alexanders Ovechkin and Semin, Washington was shut down for the second time in three contests.
Ovechkin rifled one off the post after collecting his own rebound 6:10 into the third period.
"He got it right back on his stick, and he’s so quick at getting it off," Hedberg said after his first career shutout against Washington. "I was happy that I got the luck there that I needed."
At the other end, rookie Braden Holtby was burned for five goals on 16 shots through two periods. Washington, which is 10-1-1 at home, slipped to 4-5-1 on the road. The porous Capitals’ defense has given up 14 goals in the last three games.
This was a game John MacLean's squad desperately needed.
"Sure we did," MacLean said. "At home, we needed it. I was very happy with how the players picked one another up all night. If there was a mistake that was made, there was somebody there covering. The support, they were all into it the right way."
|Monday's pre-game ceremony.
Tedenby’s successful penalty shot capped a three-goal first period for the Devils. Tedenby set up Patrik Elias
for his first power-play goal of the season, and Arnott added his seventh. New Jersey swarmed the Capitals in the opening 20 minutes, denying them so much as a shot on their lone man advantage of the frame.
had two assists and Dainius Zubrus
chipped in with his third of the year. After going winless in their first seven at home, the Devils (6-13-2) have prevailed in back-to-back games at Prudential Center.
Tedenby’s star seems to brighten more every game. The Swedish rookie was dragged down by Jon Erskine on his way to the net, and cashed in on the ensuing penalty shot by putting a backhander off Holtby's catching arm with 1:46 to go in the period. That's goals in two straight for the Devils’ 2008 first-rounder, and three in his first six NHL games.
"He has great confidence with the puck," MacLean said. "You have to let his creativity come, and he skates so well that he makes something happen each time he’s out there. You just have to temper that with being responsible, and he was tonight."
Tedenby had to catch his wind at the end of the shift before heading to center ice to take the shot. He scored on a penalty shot in Albany (AHL) this season, but received some words of encouragement at the bench from linemate Elias.
"'Take it easy, breathe out,'" Tedenby said, recounting what Elias told him. "He's done that a couple of times before."
Elias got the Devils started on the power play, deflecting Tedenby’s pass from the right circle for a 1-0 lead at 5:49. Elias’ third of the season was his first in 10 games.
"I tried to get it with the stick, but I didn't see it," Elias said. "I just thought it hit me somewhere. We'll take it any way we can. Obviously a little bit of luck on our side there and it got us going."
Arnott’s wraparound caught Holtby overcommitting at the right post, allowing Arnott the space to curl the puck around the left side at 16:15. He added his second of the game and team-leading eighth of the season in the second period, reaching out in the slot to sweep home Greene’s rebound at 2:43.
"Five goals was fantastic, but if we won 1-0 and shut them out, we'll take it," Arnott said.
After a solid effort in Saturday's loss at St. Louis, maybe a bit of puck luck finally turned in the Devils' favor.
"We got some bounces tonight that went our way that hadn't been going our way," Arnott said. "We played solid defensively. The D were standing up, the forwards were coming back and that creates turnovers. It creates opportunities for us to go on the offense. When we don't do that and we sit back, teams take it to us, and then we don't get any offense. We did a better job just supporting each other all over the ice."
The Devils’ cushion ballooned to 5-0 when Zubrus potted his third. He fed cross-ice for Alexander Vasyunov at the right circle, then drove to the net to pop in his second goal in three games at 7:48 of the second.
Burns was memorialized before the game with a video that showed highlights from his illustrious NHL career.
"I thought it was tremendous," said MacLean, who served under Burns as an assistant. "Well-deserved for Pat and his family. He’s accomplished a lot in his career. To win the Cup here was a big thing for him and his career, and it was well-deserved that we did that and honored him."
Elias, a member of the 2003 Cup squad, observed that it was an emotional ceremony.
"It was, especially for the guys that knew him personally," Elias said. "I think it had to be done. It's a sad thing that transpired. You see it all around you, and when it hits people that you know personally, it hits you even more. He'll be remembered."
Pat Burns recorded 501 wins in 1,019 career games behind the bench with Montreal, Toronto, Boston and New Jersey. He posted a mark of 89-53-22 in two seasons with the Devils.
Record-setting debut for Fayne
|Fayne became club-record ninth player to make NHL debut this season.
Defenseman Mark Fayne
made his NHL debut, becoming the ninth Devil to do so this season. That's the highest total in team history, topping eight in 1985-86 and 1991-92.
"It was awesome," said the Providence College product. "It was just a great experience. The win, the great tribute to Pat Burns was awesome. It was just really exciting."
Fayne, 23, saw 13:57 of ice time in 21 shifts, and finished a plus-1. His parents travelled to Newark from Cape Cod to take in the game.
"I just tried to move the puck up to the forwards as much as I could, and just kind of take care of your own end," Fayne said. "I think for the most part, me and Greenie just worked together pretty well and I was able to accomplish that."
Hedberg is first Devils goalie other than Brodeur to post a shutout since Scott Clemmensen's back-to-back shutouts Feb. 9 & 13, 2009. … Both meetings between the Devils and Capitals have featured penalty shots. Ovechkin scored on Martin Brodeur
in the first encounter between the clubs.