DETROIT (AP) — The New Jersey Devils were hardly at their best Tuesday night. Thanks to a 132-second stretch of the first period, they got away with it.
The Devils scored on three straight shots midway through the period, ending Jimmy Howard’s night, and held on for a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Kyle Palmieri had a goal and an assist for New Jersey. Jordin Tootoo, David Schlemko and Sergey Kalinin also scored for the Devils.
Dylan Larkin, Mike Green and Riley Sheahan scored for Detroit.
New Jersey took the game’s first penalty when it was called for delay of game exactly midway through the first. Henrik Zetterberg took a holding penalty 37 seconds later, ending Detroit’s power-play chance.
The Devils scored on their power play, though. Palmieri fired the puck off the end boards, and the rebound bounced back at Howard. He was only able to knock it out in front of the net, and Palmieri snapped the rebound past him for his 14th goal at 12:05.
"I know how the boards are here, and I thought their guys were flat-footed and I could beat them to the net," Palmieri said. "I got a lucky bounce, and I was able to put it in."
Just 42 seconds later, the Red Wings turned the puck over in their own zone. Andy Green slapped the loose puck toward the net and Tootoo, an ex-Red Wing, tipped it for his third goal.
Schlemko made it 3-0 at 14:17, beating Howard on a pass from Palmieri and giving the Devils goals on three consecutive shots.
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill didn’t hesitate, yanking Howard in favor of Petr Mrazek.
"That wasn’t all about goaltending, but we’ve got to do something to flip the momentum there," Blashill said. "Jimmy has been really good for us all season, but this was a night where we had to make a change."
The game was the second-shortest of Howard’s career not involving an injury.
"We got off to a good start and took advantage of some opportunities," Devils coach John Hynes said. "After that, we knew we were going to have to hold off Detroit’s storm."
The Red Wings got on the board late in the period when Larkin ripped a power-play shot over Schneider’s shoulder. Larkin leads all rookies with 13 goals, but this was his first career power-play goal.
Detroit got a second power-play goal at 12:31 of the second, with Green one-timing a slap shot past Schneider for his second of the season.
"We did a lot of good things tonight, especially getting the two goals on the power play," Zetterberg said. "There’s a lot here we can take into the (Christmas) break. We just needed to get two points out of this."
The Devils regained a two-goal advantage early in the third when Kalinin beat Mrazek for his fifth of the season after Jakub Kindl’s turnover.
Sheahan made it 4-3 at 14:23, scoring his fourth of the season.
The Red Wings pulled Mrazek late, but Niklas Kronwall was called for interference at 19:02 when Stephen Gionta threatened a breakaway on the open net.
NOTES: Kronwall played his 708th game for the Red Wings, moving him into a tie for fourth place on the career list for Detroit defensemen. He is still 856 games — almost 11 full seasons — behind leader Nicklas Lidstrom. … Howard was pulled at 14:15 on Jan. 10, 2011, after allowing four goals to the Avalanche. … Palmieri has four points — two goals and two assists — in two games against Detroit this season. … The Red Wings are on the road for nine of their first 10 games after Christmas.