New Jersey Devils

It wasn’t pretty, but the New Jersey Devils weathered the Panthers storm to win 4-2, in a game they were outplayed by Florida in two of the three periods.

New Jersey Devils– 4 (14-10-3, 31 pts)
Florida Panthers– 2 (13-10-4, 30 pts)
Metropolitan Division, Final, Game Box Score
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

By Patrick Comia

It only took :26 for the Devils to score their first of four on their way to New Jersey’s 14th win of the season, and a one-point advantage over the Panthers for ninth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Lee Stempniak was setup beautifully in front, after some give-and-go puck handling from linemates Adam Henrique and Mike Cammalleri.

For Cammalleri, it added to his lead in assists (19) and points (29) on the team. Also, he extended his point-per game streak to three, dating back to the Devils game against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 3rd.

The day off between games looked to be paying off for the team, who was sluggish at the beginning of their matchup with the Flyers.

Tonight was not the case.

They looked well-rested and hungry to score. And score they did!

With 7:05 in the first, Kyle Palmieri scored his 11th goal of the season on a skilled shot that few could pull off.

Taking the puck off the side boards, Palmieri took it into the offensive zone, and wristed a shot that went over the shoulder of Roberto Luongo, who tried to protect the short-side of the net.

New Jersey got their third goal of the game in the second off a strong individual effort from Adam Henrique. After a Adam Larsson shot was saved by Luongo, he gave up a rebound in front that found the skates of Henrique. He took the puck and skated behind the net for the wrap-around goal, his team leading 13th goal of the season.

It was Henrique’s second point of the game, and second multi-point game in his past five. However, the story of the second period was Cory Schneider for the Devils. He had to be, with the Panthers making their push to only be down by one goal. Florida put 12 shots on goal, with two of them finding their in the Devils net. Two key saves were seen with one being on Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov: Sometimes, you need a little puck luck on the defensive side to keep the lead alive. The second big save was on a penalty shot awarded to Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau, after being tripped up by Larsson in front on his way to a shot attempt. If it weren’t for a whiff from Barkov and a toe pick by Schnieder, the Devils could have easily found themselves two goals down in what was a sloppy period of hockey from New Jersey. Defensive breakdowns and a discombobulated power play plagued the team’s effort almost costing them the lead heading into the third. New Jersey wasn’t able to sustain any momentum, as they were outshot 7-0 at one point in the third period. However, the Devils were able to overcome their flaws and scored an insurance goal by Cammalleri, off a nice cross feed from defenseman Damon Severson. Despite being outshot in the second and third periods by a margin of 29 to 9 and losing in the faceoff circle 41 to 18, the Devils clung on to a 4-2 victory to snap the Panthers five-game win streak, and to leapfrog them in the standings.

Now in ninth position in the Conference, the Devils will look to build off this when they travel to Toronto to battle the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

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I'm a blogger trying to make it in this world. Have been, and always will be, a fan of the NYR and NYG. Writing for the New Jersey Devils cause, well, someone has to do it!