NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The snow was falling steadily outside, the crowd inside the Prudential Center was small and the offensively challenged New Jersey Devils were hosting the high-flying St. Louis Blues.
The Devils rewarded the several thousand fans who braved the storm with a stunning 7-1 rout.
Mark Fayne and Ryan Carter scored 24 seconds apart early in the first period to spark the victory.
"With the atmosphere in the rink, we knew it would be tough to get a lot of momentum," Fayne said. "We tried to come out with as much as we could, and we were lucky to get three in the first."
Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe, Adam Henrique, Damien Brunner and Eric Gelinas added goals and the Devils celebrated a return to the snow-bound Prudential Center after losing three of four on the road. The seven goals were a season high for both teams — it was the biggest outburst by the Devils and the most surrendered by the Blues.
Cory Schneider, 3-0-2 in his last five appearances, made 26 saves.
Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, who sported two impressive marks coming in: they were 14-2-1 against Eastern Conference foes and 15-5-3 on the road.
None of that mattered as the Devils stunned the Blues with goals by Fayne and Carter only 2:51 in.
"We had a good start, we jumped on them right away," Jagr said. "I think they were a little bit surprised. We were lucky, no question about it. The power play helped. It was a day when everything worked for us."
And nothing clicked for the Blues.
"We were poor right across the board," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Poor with our discipline. Our top players took poor penalties. Poor in every aspect of our game. We're going to have to regroup. This is on everybody, on me, the players. A total team loss."
Fayne got it started with a high floater from the right point that eluded Brian Elliot at 2:27. It was the New Jersey defenseman's first goal in 25 games.
Carter followed 24 seconds later with a backhanded rebound.
Steen settled things momentarily for St. Louis with his career-high 25th goal to cut the Devils' lead to 2-1 at 8:47.
Jagr put New Jersey back up by two at 10:27 with his 697th career tally. The pass from Reid Boucher bounced off Jagr's left skate and was affirmed by a video review.