It was a popular belief in the days before the Coyotes snapped their slump that one win could spark a streak in the other direction.

But as they learned during those four consecutive losses, it’s easier to preach change than deliver it.

That’s why Saturday’s 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils in front of 14,005 at Jobing.com Arena was important.

Instead of falling back into their funk or starting a pattern of inconsistency, the Coyotes are doing their best to chip away at the gap between them and a playoff spot. And there’s no better way to do that than package wins together, which hadn’t happened in a while.

“Usually to win consecutive games, you have to play well in consecutive games,” coach Dave Tippett said. “So that’s a positive sign for us.”

The Coyotes won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec.10 and 12. The win was also Tippett’s 450th of his NHL coaching career and his 100th at Jobing.com Arena as bench boss of the Coyotes.

A pair of fourth-liners accounted for the early burst of offense, and goalie Mike Smith was steady with 32 saves.

Winger Kyle Chipchura outhustled Devils defenseman Jon Merrill to a puck behind the net, and winger Jordan Szwarz was the beneficiary. He put Chipchura’s pass past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur at 2:35 of the first period for the 1-0 lead.

It was the Coyotes’ first even-strength goal in 184:25.

“It was one of our key points coming in, get a good start, and I thought we did a great job doing that,” Szwarz said. “We got a lot of puck behind their defense, and one of the other points was getting a lot of shots on Brodeur and we were able to do that early and it was a good start for us.”

That lead grew to two goals on a contribution from center Jeff Halpern. Not long after a Coyotes power play expired, Halpern skated into the offensive zone and used defenseman Marek Zidlicky as a screen to beat Brodeur glove-side at 13:13.

“It was kind of a lucky, coming off a change for me, and just kind of throwing it on net through him, and it found a way in,” Halpern said.

Halpern and Chipchura were healthy scratches earlier in the week, and the timeout has seemed to revitalize both of their games.

“(That line) played with real good energy and real solid structurally,” Tippett said. “It was good to see them get rewarded with some goals.”

Szwarz had a consistent effort, too. He was clipped in the chin by a skate in the second period but was back on the ice after getting stitched up. In total, he needed 11 stitches to stop the bleeding.

“Just a byproduct of being a tough hockey player,” Tippett said.

The Devils made it 2-1 after a tipped rebound landed on winger Ryan Clowe’s stick, and he sent a shot past Smith with 1:16 left in the first while on the power play. That ended Smith’s shutout streak at 104:34.

“They only had a couple chances in the first period, and they both were byproducts of what we did,” Tippett said.

The Coyotes reestablished a two-goal in the second with their own power play goal. Defenseman Keith Yandle’s point shot was redirected down by center Martin Hanzal, who whacked in his own rebound at 14:22. Hanzal and Yandle both finished with two points apiece, and Yandle has four assists in his last three games.

“We got pucks to the net, and you get a few breaks here or there,” Tippett said. “Marty in front of the net, got one that ended up being a big goal for us.”

This was the seventh straight game the team has tallied at least one power play, one game shy of tying the longest streak since the franchise relocated to Phoenix. The franchise record is 14 games set in 1987.