Three Stars: 1. Taylor Hall 2. Cory Schneider 3. Travis Zajac **See newjerseydevils.com for post-game pressers and sound**
The Devils defeated Los Angeles, 5-1, to snap their season-long, two-game, losing-skid as well as end the Kings’ eight-game, winning-streak.
The team improved to 7-5-2 at Prudential Center and, at 17-9-4 (39PTS), trail Columbus for the Metropolitan Division lead by one point.
The club is 4-3-2 (3-1-1 home) vs. the Pacific Division and is 9-5-2 (4-2-1 home) against all Western Clubs.
NJD was 1-2 on the power play tonight. They were 0-11. in their previous four games from Dec. 2-9.
Conversely they held the Kings scoreless, 0-3, and have been perfect on the penalty kill for two-straight games.
Taylor Hall led the way with two goals (EV, PP) for his second multi-goal game of the season. He now has 31PTS (11G-20A) and has surpassed the 30-point mark in each of his eight NHL seasons. His PP-marker in the first period was the eventual game-winner.
Travis Zajac scored his second goal of the season to open the scoring at 13:44 of the first period. It was his second goal in the last four games and the 157th of his Devils’ career.
Zajac needs just nine more goals to tie Petr Sykora (166G) for the seventh in franchise history.
Brian Gibbons had the primary assist, his sixth, with his behind-the-net pass on Zajac’s tally. The assist was his 17th point of 2017-18 which tied his previous career high, 5G-12A-17PTS, which he set in 2013-14 with Pittsburgh. He set a new career-high after scoring on a breakaway late in the third period.
Blake Coleman also collected an assist on Zajac’s tally. He has points in three-straight (1G-2A) for the first time in his NHL career.
Brian Boyle notched his sixth goal of the campaign against his former club
Will Butcher notched his 18th assist and his 11 power play assist on Hall’s goal. Butcher leads all NHL rookies with 11 power play assists.
Jesper Bratt also had a helper tonight on Hall’s goal. He is tied with Nico Hischier with 20 points on the season for third on the club.
Cory Schneider’s shutout bid was ended at 12:04 of the first period. He made 25 saves on 26 shots for his 12th win of the season.