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Devils beat Panthers 5-2 for fourth win in a row, Sabres best Islanders 5-3

Jan 23, 2011, 6:58 PM EDT

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Martin Brodeur, Ilya Kovalchuk AP

All of a sudden, the New Jersey Devils are showing serious signs of life. They’re that much closer to shedding the title of worst team in the NHL after they beat the Florida Panthers while the Buffalo Sabres defeated the New York Islanders.

New Jersey 5, Florida 2

The Devils earned their fourth win in a row and are an impressive 6-0-1 in their last seven games. They still own a league-low 35 points and trail eight ranked Atlanta by 20 points, but the NHL’s most disappointing team is showing signs of life.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal and two assists, Jason Arnott notched two tallies and Brian Rolston scored a goal and an assist for New Jersey. Martin Brodeur stopped 24 out of 26 shots for his 10th win of the season. Both Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom appeared for the Panthers in this loss.

While New Jersey is on a four game winning streak, Florida lost four in a row.

Buffalo 5, NY Islanders 3

Ryan Miller made 31 saves while Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Myers helped the Sabres split a home-and-home series with the Islanders this weekend. Matt Moulson scored two goals in a losing cause for the Isles, as Rick DiPietro stayed healthy long enough to lose.

Buffalo is now in 10th place in the East. They’re three points behind the ninth-ranked Carolina Hurricanes and six behind the eighth-ranked Atlanta Thrashers, so the playoffs aren’t an impossible dream despite the team’s considerable struggles.

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