New Jersey Devils Finally Show Urgency Needed To Make NHL Playoffs

By Nick Villano


Travis Zajac
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Forward Travis Zajac went into the New Jersey Devils‘ game against the Florida Panthers on Monday night with five multi-goal games. He had never known what it’s like to have a hat trick.

The first line of the Devils was nothing short of fabulous in the team’s 6-3 victory. Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe and Zajac attributed five goals for the team in the romp. Most of them were caused by turnovers by the Panthers. Jagr had an especially pretty goal, when a mishandled puck by Florida defenseman Colby Robak landed on the stick of Jagr. He then sniped the shot over Dan Ellis‘ shoulder and into the net.

Zajac’s first goal of the night came just 12 seconds into the game when he poked the puck through Ellis’ legs after a Jagr shot. The third came on the power play when he rocketed a rebound in to give the team a 3-0 lead in the first period. His third was the final goal of the night. He shot in his own rebound from almost behind the net.

One negative coming from this game was the play of Martin Brodeur. He was barely tested while he was in the game, facing nine shots in 26 minutes. In those nine shots, he allowed three goals. After that, he was pulled for Cory Schneider, who stopped all 13 remaining Panther shots. Brodeur may not deserve a start for a while after tonight’s debacle.

On a more positive note, Jacob Josefson actually scored a goal. He put a one-timer into the net while short handed. He took a pass from Ryan Carter to put the team up 5-3. Speaking of Carter, he needs to get a shout out for causing eight minutes of penalties for the Panthers. He may have just been in the right place at the right time, but he seemed to draw the most illegal contact from the opposing team.

The Devils showed their sense of urgency tonight. When they blew an early three-goal lead, they could have fallen apart. They didn’t. They kept the offensive fire power going until they left the Prudential Center with two points. If any chance of a playoff spot is going to exist, the team needs to play every night with this type of intensity. They won’t get six goals every game, but they can start every game the way they did tonight.

Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports.  He also adds to the site’s NFL, NBA and MLB content.  You can follow him on Twitter here for more sports talk and conversation.

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