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1/23-- Devils Game Recap

By: Brian Deakyne

Final Score: New Jersey Devils (34-15-1) 4, New York Islanders (23-21-8) 2

1st Period Analysis: Early on Saturday night, it was up to Devils captain Jamie Langebrunner to turn the tide from a night before, when New Jersey could not finish their chances in a 3-1 loss against Montreal. Langenbrunner did just that, scoring his 14th goal of the season early in the period on a slap shot, giving the Devils an early lead. The Devils would continue to out work the Islanders in the first, ending the period with a 1-0 lead, and out shooting New York, 13-5.

2nd Period Analysis: After exciting back-and-forth action to start the second bout between the Devils and Islanders, New York connected on two power play goals midway through the period. First, Kyle Okposo nailed his 11th of the season to tie the game at one, then less than two minutes later, Jack Hillen added a tip-in goal to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead and momentum. It appeared as though New York would enter the intermission with a lead until Zach Parise finally ended New Jersey's power play slump (previously 0-23 over the last eight games) when he scored his 22nd of the season with 32 seconds remaining in the period, on the Devils only shot, to tie the game.

3rd Period Analysis: In the third, it was New Jersey who came out on the attack, and dominated early. After out shooting the Islanders 9-1, Bryce Salvador drilled home his 3rd goal of the season at 13:11, giving the Devils a late lead. New Jersey would keep the pressure up for the remainder of the game, and Parise would score on the empty net, his second of the game and 23rd of the season to solidify the Devils 4-2 win.

The Final Tally: For New Jersey, this win had a lot of positive sides. For the first time in nine games, they scored a power play goal, something that had been bothering head coach Jacques Lemaire. The Devils followed up a tough loss last night with a solid win, against a team that is fighting for playoff position. On the Islanders side, this loss hurts. Every game down the stretch is going to have meaning, as they battle for the highly coveted eight spot in the Eastern Conference. Still, their power play was impressive, and they skated alongside arguably the best team in the conference all night.

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