The Devils improved to 8-6-2=18pts in 16 games since the returning from the Olympic break.
New Jersey is now 11-3-3=25pts in its last 17 games at Prudential Center.
Tonight’s contest opened the club’s 20th of 22 sets of back-to-back games. New Jersey is now 8-9-3 in first games and 9-6-4 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
The Devils scored six-or-more goals for the third time this season & have scored three-or-more goals in nine of their last 16 games. The Devils’ power play unit was 1/4 tonight and is eighth (tie, Colorado) in the NHL overall (45/225, 20.0%).
New Jersey’s top-ranked penalty-kill (210/241, 87.1%) was 5/5 tonight and is 32/35 (91.4%) over the last ten games. The Devils successfully killed a 0:53 5-on-3 tonight and are 5/5 in those situations this season.
The Devils outshot the Panthers 32-22, including 18-5 in the first period.
Head Coach Peter DeBoer won his 99th game as coach of the Devils tonight and now trails Doug Carpenter by just one win for second place. Jacques Lemaire is first with 276 victories.
Martin Brodeur made the start/earned the win in goal but was replaced by Cory Schneider for the second time this season (Janaury 26 vs. New York Rangers). He allowed three goals on nine shots in 26:32 of action.
Schneider stopped all 13 shots he faced in 33:21 of relief.
Travis Zajac recorded his first career hat trick, the 69th in Devils history, and first since March 8, 2012 (Ilya Kovalchuk vs. New York Islanders). He scored 0:12 into the contest, the Devils’ fastest goal to start a game this season (previously, Adam Henrique, 0:27, March 4 vs. Detroit). He added an assist for this second career four-point game (1g-3a, January 29, 2010 vs. Toronto).
Zajac’s first goal was the third-fastest to begin a home game in team history. Kirk Muller scored 0:08 into the game on December 13, 1988 in a 4-3 win vs. St. Louis. Jamie Langenbrunner scored at 0:10 on November 2, 2002 in a 5-1 victory over Chicago.
Jaromir Jagr posted a season-high with 1g-3a-4pts tonight. He scored the 705th goal of his career and is now just three behind Mike Gartner (708g) for sixth-place in NHL history. He’s also just 2a behind Gordie Howe (1,049a) for eighth-place and just 3pts behind Steve Yzerman (692g-1,063a-1,755pts) for sixth place all-time.
Ryane Clowe posted a season-high 1g-2a-3pts for his fifth multiple-point game of the season and now has 4g-9a-13pts over the last 16 games. Clowe is just six assists shy of 200 for his NHL career. He left the game in the second period and did not return.
Jacob Josefson scored his first career shorthanded goal/first NHL tally since April 23, 2013 vs. Montreal.
Ryan Carter assisted on Josefson’s goal, his first shorthanded point of the season.
Eric Gelinas picked up an assist on Zajac’s PPG and now has 5g-12a-17pts on the power play this year, and has tied Patrik Elias (4g-13a-17pts) for the team-lead.
Adam Larsson, who was recalled from Albany (AHL) this morning under emergency conditions, returned to the lineup for the first time since November 23 at San Jose. He was activated from injured reserve/assigned to Albany January 9 after missing 21 games November 25-January 7 (lower body).