Travis Zajac scored the first of his career-best three goals just 12 seconds in, and the New Jersey Devils held on for a wild 6-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night after nearly blowing an early three-goal lead.
Zajac opened the barrage against Dan Ellis and then netted his second of the night midway through New Jersey's three-goal first period. He completed his first NHL hat trick by putting a rebound past Ellis at 9:37 of the third.
It was also a big night for Zajac's linemates. Jaromir Jagr had a goal and three assists, and Ryane Clowe added a goal and two assists. Zajac also had an assist for the Devils, who are hoping a late-season rally can get them into the playoffs. New Jersey has seven games left.