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Hedberg, Devils shut out Stars

Feb 23, 2011 - 6:47 AM
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Johan Hedberg stopped all 19 shots he faced for his 17th career shutout, as the streaking New Jersey Devils blanked the Dallas Stars, 1-0, at American Airlines Center.

Nick Palmieri tallied the game's lone goal with five-plus minutes to play in regulation for the Devils, who have won eight straight and 10 of their last 11 games overall.

New Jersey was left for dead after an awful start to the season but continued its climb toward what would be an incredible comeback if a playoff berth is reached. The Devils now sit nine points behind Carolina for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.

Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves for the Stars, who are going in the opposite direction. Dallas had a surprisingly strong first half of the campaign, but has fallen on hard times of late and with this setback dropped to 1-8-1 in the month of February.

This was the fifth straight loss for the Stars, who are hovering around the eighth playoff seed in the Western Conference after they'd led the Pacific Division for several months.

"We keep playing with that type of intensity and that type of commitment, and things will change for us," said Stars head coach Marc Crawford. "It's always the way it happens."

The Devils were buzzing offensively in the third period. Travis Zajac's blast from the right circle during a power play early in the stanza nearly found the back of the net, and with just over 13 minutes to go, Brian Rolston had a good look from the right circle.

At the 13:06 mark, Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking and the Devils went to work with the extra skater. Mark Fayne corralled the puck at the right point and sent a cross-ice pass toward Ilya Kovalchuk, who attempted a one-timer from above the left circle.

Kovalchuk's stick shattered on the shot attempt, which caused a severe change in speed. Palmieri redirected the disc -- which Lehtonen struggled to find -- on its way to the net and it sailed in to light the lamp with 5:37 remaining.

"I'm just trying to set a screen in front and look for tips and rebounds," Palmieri said. "Just one of those plays where Kovy broke his stick, and I'm in front of the net. I got a little tip on it, and I guess [Lehtonen] didn't see it. So, we'll take it."

The Stars put the extra attacker on the ice in the final 70 seconds, but Hedberg and the Devils held on for the one-goal victory.

Game Notes

It was Hedberg's third shutout of the season...The Devils continue their four- game road trip against Tampa Bay on Friday...NJ was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Dallas had four opportunities with the extra skater..Hedberg won a career-best seventh straight start...With the assist, Kovalchuk extended his consecutive point streak to 11 games (7 goals, 6 assists)...This marked New Jersey's first win in Dallas since March 10, 2002...Attendance was 13,652.

    DALLAS: 0

    Feb 22 11:03 PM

  • Brenden Morrow shot blocked by Anssi Salmela.

    Devils 1, Stars 0  3rd - 4:55Feb 22 10:47 PM

  • Nick Palmieri deflected shot on Kari Lehtonen.

    Devils 0, Stars 0  3rd - 5:37Feb 22 10:46 PM

  • New Jersey Power-Play Goal - Nick Palmieri (6), at 14:23.

    Devils 1, Stars 0  3rd - 5:37Feb 22 10:46 PM
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    Devils 0, Stars 0  3rd - 5:44Feb 22 10:46 PM
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    Devils 0, Stars 0  3rd - 6:54Feb 22 10:42 PM
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    Devils 0, Stars 0  3rd - 9:08Feb 22 10:39 PM
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    Devils 0, Stars 0  3rd - 11:34Feb 22 10:34 PM
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    Devils 0, Stars 0  3rd - 13:07Feb 22 10:32 PM

    DALLAS: 0
    End of 2nd

    Feb 22 10:05 PM
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    Devils 0, Stars 0  2nd - 9:41Feb 22 9:49 PM

    DALLAS: 0
    End of 1st

    Feb 22 9:14 PM

    DALLAS: 0
    1st Period - 20:00

    Feb 22 8:40 PM