On the night when former defenseman Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 was forever raised to the rafters in retirement, the current crop of New Jersey Devils did their part in defeating the Dallas Stars, 6-3, at the Prudential Center in Newark on Friday.
Devils team captain Zach Parise led the way with a goal and three assists, and goaltender Johan Hedberg made 33 saves as New Jersey overcame a 2-1 deficit with three second-period goals to improve to 17-13-1 on the season. Rookie forward Adam Henrique got things going by tying the game with a shorthanded goal at 3:35 of the middle stanza.
"Our PK's been really good this year," said Parise in a postgame interview on MSG Network.
Travis Zajac, who missed the Devils' first 30 games this season after offseason surgery to his Achilles tendon, made his season debut and had three shots on goal.
Dallas, which recorded a 3-1 win over the Devils on Oct. 29 in Texas, fell to 18-12-1 on the year. Richard Bachman, who shut out the New York Rangers, 1-0, on Dec. 13, took the loss despite making 25 saves.
Niedermayer, who played for the Devils from 1991 to 2004 and served as team captain in his final season, is New Jersey's all-time scoring leader among defensemen with 467 career points. He also won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best blueliner in 2003-04, and helped the Devils to three Stanley Cup titles.
“It was an honor to be a New Jersey Devil,” said Niedermayer during the pregame ceremony where his No. 27 was retired, as reported by the Associated Press. “These memories, I will cherish the rest of my life.”