The New Jersey Devils snapped a four game losing streak on Friday evening by defeating the Washington Capitals, 5-0. Zach Parise scored a hat trick in just over nine minutes of ice time; Johan Hedberg collected his third shutout of the season in the win. The Devils picked up two more points tonight, bringing their season total to 77.
The Devils defense played extremely well throughout the game, although most noticeable in the first period. Johan Hedberg denied Washington on several scoring opportunities. Zach Parise scored his 25th goal of the season 11:29 into the first period on assists from David Clarkson and Patrik Elias. At 17:50 into the first, Parise notched his second goal of the evening on assists from IlyaKovalchuk and Adam Henrique. Just 29 seconds later, DainusZubrus netted his 16th goal of the season on an assist from David Clarkson. The Devils took a 3-0 lead into the intermission.
Johan Hedberg continued his stellar play in the second period, stopping all 11 Washington shots. New Jersey also continued to dominate the game offensively. Zach Parise scored his third goal of the game 3:08 into the period on assists from Adam Henrique and Bryce Salvador. Patrilk Elias added a shorthanded goal 15:02 into the period; Elias’ shorthanded goal was New Jersey’s 14th of the season, which leads the NHL. At the end of the second period, the Devils lead 5-0 over the Capitals.
The third period contained no real excitement on either side. New Jersey had a few scoring opportunities and Washington lacked energy. It seemed as though the Capitals had given up (rightfully so) and the crowd was not at all into the game. Johan Hedberg stopped all five Washington shots in the third period to seal his third shutout of the season.
Three Stars: 3) Dainus Zubrus … 2) Johan Hedberg … 1) Zach Parise
Key Notes: Zach Parise was sent to the locker room in the second period after taking a bone-crushing hit. Parise returned to the bench and played one shift in the third period. It does not appear that Parise suffered a serious injury and should be good to go on Sunday against the New York Islanders. New Jersey currently sits at 6th place in the Eastern Conference, although tied in the points column with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Next Game: Sunday, March 4 … 3 PM … @ New York Islanders
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