Johan Hedberg made the key saves and New Jersey finally scored some goals.
That combination brightened the mood of the struggling Devils following a 5-0 win last night in Newark, N.J., that stunned the NHL-leading Washington Capitals.
Hedberg stopped 30 shots for his 15th career shutout, Jason Arnott scored twice and rookie Mattias Tedenby and Patrik Elias each had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Hedberg, playing in his 300th game, got the start as Martin Brodeur is expected to miss one to two weeks because of a bruised elbow.
“It felt very good,’’ Hedberg said. “We needed the win badly. The way we played tonight, we deserved it. We got the crucial first goal and from there on, we played really solid.’’
Dainius Zubrus also scored for the Devils, who won for only the second time at home (2-5-2).
While relieved to see some goals finally go in, the Devils took greater satisfaction in shutting down Alex Ovechkin and the high-powered Capitals.
“The shutout was the most important thing tonight,’’ Arnott said. “We’ve been lacking that this year. Our defensive play hasn’t been very solid. We have to build on tonight. It’s a confidence booster.’’
Now it’s the Capitals who are sliding, losers of three straight while giving up 14 goals in that span.
Flyers 3, Canadiens 2 — James van Riemsdyk snapped a third-period tie with his first goal of the season as host Philadelphia rallied to victory. Claude Giroux and Ville Leino also scored for the Flyers, who trailed, 2-0, after the first period. Maxim Lapierre scored twice for Montreal, which lost for the first time this season when leading after two periods.
Rangers 2, Flames 1 — Brian Boyle and Dan Girardi scored second-period goals and backup Martin Biron made 31 saves to help host New York hand Calgary its ninth loss in 11 games. Flames captain Jarome Iginla stayed hot by scoring his sixth goal in three games — and 450th in the NHL.
Calgary outshot the Rangers, 15-8, in the third period.
“We had our chances — many chances — in the third period to tie it, and unfortunately we didn’t get it done,’’ Iginla said. “We’re a very desperate hockey club.
Blue Jackets 2, Predators 0 — Steve Mason made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th of his career, and Rick Nash had a second-period goal as host Columbus posted its fourth straight win. The Blue Jackets improved to 13-6-0, their best start in franchise history.
“Things are just going in right now,’’ Nash said. “It’s been fun.’’
Maple Leafs 4, Stars 1 — Nikolai Kulemin scored two goals and Jonas Gustavsson had 21 saves to power host Toronto.
Penguins 3, Panthers 2 — Chris Conner scored his first goal of the season with 7:04 remaining in the third period to lift Pittsburgh to victory in Sunrise, Fla. Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby had power-play goals for the Penguins, who came into the game ranked 25th in the league with the man advantage.
Senators 3, Kings 2 —Jason Spezza scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as host Ottawa handed Los Angeles its fourth loss in five games.