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(Saturday, December 28th)
Final Score: New Jersey 2, NY Islanders 1
Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Travis Zajac scored the game winner with 6:57 remaining to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 decision over the New York Islanders on Saturday at Nassau Coliseum.
Adam Henrique scored New Jersey's other goal, while Cory Schneider stopped 30 shots for the Devils, who had lost three of their last four games.
"We needed this as a group," Schneider said. "It's a big two points for us."
Frans Nielsen netted New York's lone marker and Evgeni Nabokov allowed two goals on 25 shots for the Islanders, who have lost eight straight at home (0-4-4), their longest home skid since the 1999-2000 season.
Trailing 1-0 with just under 10 minutes remaining, the Islanders found the equalizer at 10:31 of the third after Thomas Vanek knocked down a clearing attempt along the right boards in the New Jersey zone before dishing to Kyle Okposo.
Okposo made his way into the slot and was taken down, but not before sliding the disc to Nielsen, who beat Schneider high to the glove side to tie the tilt.
However, New Jersey jumped back in front under three minutes later when Marek Zidlicky's blast from the left faceoff dot caught Zajac up high and deflected into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead at 13:03.
New Jersey's Mark Fayne was whistled for tripping at 16:32 to give New York a late power play, but the Isles couldn't convert and New Jersey escaped with the victory.
"They're a very patient team, they're a good hockey team," Okposo said of the Devils. "They're very structured and they got a lucky bounce there at the end."
Henrique opened the scoring 11:37 in when he roofed a backhander from in front off a nice feed from Reid Boucher to make it 1-0.
Schneider stopped 17 shots over the first two frames to keep the Islanders off the board.
New Jersey improved to 9-0-1 when leading after two periods, while the Islanders dropped to 3-15-2 when trailing after 40 minutes ... Fayne appeared in his 200th NHL game ... New York captain John Tavares missed the game with a lower-body injury, snapping a string of 246 consecutive games played ... New York went 0-for-3 on the power play, while New Jersey finished 0-for-1.
12/28 22:55:30 ET