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Devils Alley: Devils Will Celebrate Thanksgiving With a Victory, Beat Columbus 2-1

1123mb_nashPete DeBoer couldn't afford another late game collapse.

New Jersey was coming off one of their worst losses in recent memory on Monday, blowing a three goal lead in the third period to lose 4-3 to the Florida Panthers. The Devils have made a pattern of giving up leads late in games, including at least five games this month.

That same pattern continued again last night, as New Jersey lost a 1-0 lead 6:01 into the third period against Columbus. The Devils were out shot 17-3 in the final twenty minutes, and the Blue Jackets forced the game into overtime after trailing most of the game.

However, New Jersey was able to savor a victory in sudden death behind great goaltending by Martin Brodeur, who made 35 saves and stopped all the shots he faced in the shootout. The Devils are now 5-1 in shootouts and were able to go into Thanksgiving with a victory.

"I think the third period is a result of some fatigue and us running out of some gas. I don't chalk this third period up to anything other than that, and you have to give them some credit," DeBoer told "We had a desperate team that's pouring it on, and we found a way to get two points. That's a good thing."

Dainius Zubrus was the only Devils forward to find the net last night, marking his third straight game with a goal. He has now recorded at least one point in eight of this last nine games (4 G, 5 A) and his line with Elias and Sykora has been the most consistent all season.

The penalty kill continued to be the Devils strong point last night, as the PK unit went 6-6 in a close game. New Jersey is now ranked 1st in the NHL with a 93.8 percent kill rate.

"I think we got a little bit on our heels when we got into penalty trouble, but we were able to kill those off," Zubrus said.

It also seems as though Brodeur has returned to his old form, as he was once again the Devils best player on the ice last night. He is now 3-1 in his last four starts and has made at least 20 saves in all those games.

"He was our best player. We needed him to be," DeBoer said. "You are coming off a long road trip, traveling, getting in very late from Florida. Everybody knows that you are going to have some energy issues tonight. We needed our goaltender to be our best player and he was."

The Devils will enjoy a day off for Thanksgiving before playing a home-and-home with the New York Islanders this weekend. New Jersey will travel to Nassau Coliseum on Friday for a 3:30 start, and then the two teams will travel back to Prudential Center on Saturday for a special 1:00 puck drop.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Follow Joe on Twitter: @juchie





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