for this game

Parise's hat trick carries Devils over Caps

Mar 3, 2012 - 3:55 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Zach Parise recorded his second career hat trick and Johan Hedberg earned his third shutout of the season, as the New Jersey Devils blanked the Washington Capitals, 5-0, at Verizon Center.

Patrik Elias matched Dainius Zubrus with a goal and an assist for the Devils, who snapped a four-game winless streak.

"Despite the fact the wins hadn't been coming, I think we all realized that we were real close and we just had to stick with it and that's what we did tonight," said New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer.

Hedberg finished with 23 saves.

"He made the big saves early and it changed the tide of the whole game," Washington head coach Dale Hunter said. "We had our chances, we didn't bury and they had their chances and they went in."

The win gives the Devils 77 points, tying them with idle Philadelphia for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Michal Neuvirth stopped 15 shots for Washington, which was looking to extend its winning streak to four games. The Capitals remain one point behind eighth- place Winnipeg and three back of the first-place Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division.

Neuvirth entered the game with a career 1.46 goals-against average and .950 save percentage against New Jersey, but the Czech netminder surrendered three first-period goals on only seven shots.

Parise opened the scoring on the power play, one-timing David Clarkson's quick backhand pass behind Neuvirth from along the goal line at 11:29.

The New Jersey captain and Zubrus scored 29 seconds apart later in the frame.

Parise completed the hat trick by gathering Adam Henrique's return feed and beating Neuvirth with a wrister from the slot 3:08 into the second period.

With 4:58 left in the second, Elias converted a 2-on-0 rush by tapping in a pass from Zubrus for the Devils' NHL-leading 14th short-handed goal of the season.

Game Notes

Parise leads the club with 27 goals this season. His previous hat trick came against Montreal on November 30, 2007...Hedberg made his first start since February 9 and registered his 20th career shutout...New Jersey forward Petr Sykora played in his 999th career NHL game...Henrique and Clarkson both had two assists.