The Washington Capitals wanted to extend a three-game winning streak. Now they have to erase a three-goal deficit.
Three quick strikes by the New Jersey Devils have the Caps trailing 3-0 after 20 minutes.
Zach Parise scored his 25th goal of the season at 11:29, completing a tic-tac-toe passing sequence. With Matt Hendricks in the penalty box for high-sticking, Patrik Elias started the Devils' power play by holding the puck by the point. Elias then fed a pass to David Clarkson in the slot. Clarkson sent a no-look backhanded pass to Parise on the goal line, who beat Michal Neuvirth up high.
Parise did not stop there when he poked in the rebound of an Ilya Kovalchuk shot at 17:50. Neuvirth let the initial rebound squeak behind him and Parise found it before he could.
Former Cap Dainius Zubrus added insult to injury 29 seconds later when he corralled his own rebound and tipped the puck in while in mid-air to beat Neuvirth for his 16th goal of the season. Including Tuesday's first period against the New York Islanders, the Caps have allowed four goals on 10 shots in their last two first periods.