The Devils completed their two-game Florida road trip last night with a 3-2 shootout win against the Panthers, their fourth win in five games.
New Jersey found themselves down 2-0 in the second period, courtesy of Florida’s Kris Versteeeg, but battled back to tie the game on a goal by Zach Parise in the third. The win was in contrast to the previous night, when the team engaged in a high-scoring dogfight with the Tampa Bay Lightning, coming out victorious , 5-4.
The fact that the Devils are winning a different way each night, with stars Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias, and Parise appearing to hit their stride, bodes well for the tough stretch coming up.
In the coming weeks, the Devils will face the powerful Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Washington Capitals. It’s a gauntlet of some of the NHL’s best, and New Jersey appears to be peaking at the right time.
In addition to the Devils stars, rookie Adam Henrique has become a serious contender for the Calder Trophy, and forwards David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus have been solid, timely contributors.
Henrique is tied with Parise for second on the team with 23 points, and Clarkson has already notched nine goals, after scoring just 12 during the entire 2010-11 campaign. Zubrus has scored nine times so far this season, after scoring only 13 goals last year.
The Devils have been waiting all season for the team to gel and start hitting on all cylinders offensively. Now, with the team’s stars heating up and the supporting cast sometimes outshining them, it appears that time has come.