While Devils goalie Johan Hedberg sparkled and Steve Bernier won the spotlight, there was another bright spot for the Devils. Their penalty kill seems to have righted itself after a poor night when they lost to these same Islanders last Thursday.
The Devils killed all seven Islander power plays Sunday, after allowing three goals in four chances Thursday. They have killed 10 straight penalties, after going 3-for-3 in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"The penalties we took weren't lazy penalties, they were 'compete' penalties," coach Pete DeBoer said. "You can kill those off and I thought our guys responded."
The Devils began the game ranked 12th in the NHL on the penalty kill and moved up to fourth by the time they finished.
• Stephen Gionta took a hard hit in the third period and took a while to get back up when Brian Strait ran into into him while the Devils' forward standing near the boards. Gionta said he took a shoulder to the chest that left him winded.
The hit earned Strait a charging penalty, on which Bernier ultimately scored the game's first and decisive goal.
Gionta said that he felt fine after the game.
• The victory and Bernier's outburst overshadowed a quiet day from the Devils' top two lines.
They combined for two points — an Ilya Kovalchuk assist and David Clarkson's empty-netter.
However, a few of the Devils' top forwards did get chippy. Travis Zajac was involved in a scrum in front of the net, as was Adam Henrique.
Henrique got into it with Travis Hamonic in the third period and both received roughing penalties.
DeBoer was encouraged to see that the Devils were able to win despite the light production.
Devils' penalty kill sharp in 3-0 victory over Islanders
Newark Star-Ledger | Feb 4