NEWARK, N.J. -- Three weeks ago, Devante Smith-Pelly was languishing as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Now, he is flourishing with the New Jersey Devils. The 23-year-old forward, acquired at the trade deadline from Montreal, scored two goals to help the Devils overcome the Minnesota Wild, 7-4 at the Prudential Center on Thursday. Smith-Pelly has six goals and three assists in seven games with New Jersey since the Feb. 29 deal for Stefan Matteau. In 46 games for Montreal, he recorded 12 points. "I said when I first came here, I am pretty confident in my ability," said Smith-Pelly. "Obviously, I wasn't thinking a goal per game. Right now, it's going better than I thought." Adam Henrique and Mike Sislo also scored two goals each for the Devils (34-30-7) in their highest scoring output of the season. The goals were the first two of Sislo's career. Reid Boucher added a goal and Tyler Kennedy contributed three assists for the Devils, who ended a three-game home losing streak. Minnesota (32-28-11) missed a valuable chance to gain ground on idle Colorado for the second wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Wild has 75 points, one behind the Avalanche. "We can't wait for something to happen," said Wild forward Nino Niederreiter, who scored Thursday. "We have to go out there and work. "We were fighting for a playoff spot, but they were way more eager than we were." Forwards Justin Fontaine and Mikko Koivu and defenseman Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Wild. New Jersey scored three times on just eight shots in the opening period, including two goals in the first 1:34 of the game. Smith-Pelly scored just 43 seconds into the game off of a scramble in front of the Wild net. "It's a good player who has been through some tough times getting some success," said Devils coach John Hynes of Smith-Pelly's recent streak "You can't underestimate players playing through adversity. "He's a good person, a good player. He's playing to his strength. He's a talented player getting rewarded for his hard work." Sislo tapped in his own rebound at 1:34 for the first NHL goal of his career to make it 2-0. Sislo was signed by New Jersey as an un-drafted free agent in 2011. The Wild scored on the power play for the 14th time in their last 15 road games to cut the Devils lead to 2-1. Niederreiter scored off a deflection from center Mikael Granlund's blast from the right circle. Boucher pushed the Devils to 3-1 just three minutes later, prompting Wild interim coach John Torchetti to make a goalie change. With 2:45 left in the first period, Devan Dubnyk was pulled after he flubbed a rebound that Boucher was able to poke in. Dubnyk was 5-1-1 with a 2.10 goals-against average and .919 save-percentage in his seven previous starts. Smith-Pelly pushed the Devils lead to 4-1 with his second goal of the game at 2:57 of the second. He took a nice feed from Kennedy from behind the net as the Wild had difficulty clearing the puck. Minnesota sliced the New Jersey lead in half on a power-play goal from Spurgeon midway through the second period. The Devils responded with goals from Sislo -- his second of the night -- and Henrique 38 seconds apart for a 6-2 cushion. Left winger Joseph Blandisi assisted on both goals. Henrique tied his career high with his 25th goal of the season, scored in the third period, sandwiched between goals from Fontaine and Koivu. NOTES: Minnesota's Mikko Koivu recorded the 123rd multi-point game of his career and eighth this season. ... Wild D Ryan Suter registered his 38th assist of the season, setting a franchise record for most assists by a defenseman in a season. ... Devils D Andy Greene skated in his 300th straight game. The streak, which began March 6, 2012, against the New York Rangers, is the Devils' sixth-longest games-played streak, and second-longest among Devils defensemen, behind Ken Daneyko's 388 straight games. ... Wild RW Jason Pominville skated with the team in practice, but missed his fourth straight game with a lower-back injury. ... The Devils wore their retro red, green and white uniforms from the 1980's in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.
Smith-Pelly's surge continues as Devils down Wild
The Sports Xchange | Mar 17