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Devils down Isles
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Patrik Elias had a goal and an assist as the New Jersey Devils topped the New York Islanders, 3-1, at Prudential Center.
Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for the Devils, who earned their fourth straight win. Johan Hedberg made 19 saves in the victory for New Jersey, which is currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Devils currently have 98 points and sit three back of Philadelphia for the fifth spot and six ahead of Ottawa for the seventh after both the Flyers and Senators lost on Tuesday.
"We know we are going to be there," Kovalchuk said about the playoffs. "So we just have to prepare ourselves as best as we can and fight for what we really want to get."
Matt Moulson supplied the offense for the Islanders while Al Montoya stopped 17-of-19 shots in New York's third straight loss.
The Devils jumped on top just 1:18 into the contest after Mark Fayne threw a shot on net from the top of the right circle that was stopped by Montoya. Petr Sykora was there to grab the rebound and fed a pass to Elias in the slot, where he fired the puck into the open net.
New York, though, knotted the game less than three minutes later when Moulson grabbed a rebound in front off a Mark Streit slap shot from the left point and slipped a backhander under Hedberg's left pad.
New Jersey then started the second period on the power play after the Islanders' Marty Reasoner was called for hooking with six seconds left in the first. The Devils used the man advantage to take a 2-1 lead just 22 seconds into the middle stanza on Zajac's one-timer from the slot past Montoya's stick side.
That goal would prove to be the game-winner as Hedberg stopped all eight shots he faced in the second period and was challenged just four times in the third before Kovalchuk's empty-netter with 55 seconds left sealed the outcome.
"We're playing for a lot of pride here. We want to win the games we have remaining and work on things that we have to work on," Moulson said about his team, which sits in 14th place in the Eastern Conference with 77 points.
Devils forward Jacob Josefson suffered a fractured left wrist in the game and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks...The Devils improved to 23-13-4 at home this season, while New York fell to 17-18-5 on the road...The Devils went 1-for-4 on the power play...The Islanders were not awarded a power play in the game.
04/03 22:57:09 ET