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Devils' playoff-point deficit now down to single digits

Single digits.

Yes, the New Jersey Devils have miraculously moved to within single digits of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

A Devils' 1-0 road victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, coupled with a New York Rangers' 4-3 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes, means New Jersey is now within nine points of the Canes with 22 games remaining. The Devils, who have won a season-high eight straight games, also have one game in hand.

Rookie right winger Nick Palmieri notched the game's only goal -- on the power play -- with 5:37 left in regulation to snap a scoreless tie. For goaltender Johan Hedberg, who stopped all 19 shots he faced, it was his second shutout in his last three games.

The Devils are now 16-1-2 in their last 19 games. Unreal, we know. And to think, they were 27 points back on Jan. 8.

Before the game, it was reported by the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger that interim coach Jacques Lemaire pulled his team off the ice during its morning skate because he was appalled with their effort.

They certainly responded.

The Devils are now 2-0 on their four-game road trip.

Can they be stopped. Who knows? But like we said before, we're not betting against them.