Sports

Travis Zajac’s hat trick gets Devils past Panthers

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Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils took a lot of grief considering his scored the first of his career-best three goals just 12 seconds into a crucial game against the Florida Panthers.

‘‘He could have had a hat trick in the first 10 minutes, if he paid attention to the puck,’’ quipped linemate Jaromir Jagr, who added a goal and three assists in a wild 6-3 victory over the Panthers on Monday night in Newark, N.J. ‘‘He missed the net twice.’’

Zajac opened the barrage against Dan Ellis, then netted his second of the night midway through New Jersey’s three-goal first period. He completed his first NHL hat trick by putting a rebound past Ellis at 9:37 of the third.

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