Devils turn aside Islanders
David Clarkson and Travis Zajac scored 10 seconds apart late in the first period, and Kevin Weekes made 25 saves for his 100th career victory in the New Jersey Devils' 5-2 victory over the visiting New York Islanders on Friday night.
Bryce Salvador, Brian Gionta and Paul Martin also scored, and Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise each had three assists to help the Devils win their third straight game and snap the Islanders' winning streak at three.
Andy Hilbert and Sean Bergenheim scored for the Islanders.
Weekes outduelled Joey MacDonald in a battle of backup goalies. Martin Brodeur, the Devils' four-time Vezina Trophy winner, will be sidelined until March while the Islanders' Rick DiPietro will miss several more weeks with a knee injury.
Weekes got his first start since giving up four goals in two periods in a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Nov. 12. Scott Clemmensen had started the last three for the Devils.
Clarkson got the Devils' first goal with 1:19 remaining in the first period, a power-play deflection of Johnny Oduya's hard shot from the right point.
Devils took lead
Zajac struck moments later, deflecting Langenbrunner's shot. The changeup fooled MacDonald, and the Devils skated to the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
The Islanders got two outstanding saves earlier in the period, which prevented the game turning into a Devils' rout. MacDonald made the first stop and defenceman Chris Campoli had the other.
MacDonald stopped Dainius Zubrus's drive from the slot with a glove save. On the second shot, MacDonald was out of position, having skated out of the crease to deny a breakaway bid by Gionta.
The puck wound up on Patrik Elias's stick with a wide-open Islanders net. Campoli blocked the shot, maintaining the scoreless deadlock.
Both teams scored twice in the second period, giving the Devils a 4-2 advantage.
Hilbert scored for New York at 3:29, flipping a shot toward the net that appeared to hit a New Jersey defender.
Salvador countered for New Jersey only 23 seconds later with his first regular-season goal as a Devil. The defenceman, acquired late last season from St. Louis, scored once in the playoffs.
Bergenheim cut the Devils' lead to 3-2 at 13:04, backhanding the rebound from Andy Sutton's shot, which hit the post.
Gionta restored the two-goal margin for New Jersey with a short-handed goal with 15.4 seconds remaining.
In the third, Martin converted a 5-on-3 power-play advantage to put the Devils up 5-2 at 12:32.