NJD TV Spotlight: Brian Gionta
newjerseydevils.com – Good things came in bunches for Brian Gionta in 2006-07.
How else to characterize a season that included a season-high six-game point-scoring streak, a five-game point-scoring streak, and a four-game goal-scoring streak that tied the team's season high?
Gionta didn't challenge his franchise-record 48 goals from the year before, but the Rochester, N.Y., native nevertheless squeezed significant offensive production into an injury-shortened season.
The right wing's '06-07 began with a hot start, as he recorded points in seven of his first nine games in October, including four goals and an assist for five points from Oct 12-16, and three goals and two assists for another five points from Oct. 19-24. He would go on to post 24 goals and 18 assists for 42 points over 57 straight appearances to open the season.
New Jersey's fourth choice, 82nd overall, in the 1998 Entry Draft, Gionta followed up his high-octane October with a December effort that included two goals and three assists over three straight games from Dec. 8-12.
But for Gionta, the high point of the regular season came just after the new year. His helper against the Rangers on Jan. 2 sparked a six-game run of five goals and three assists that included back-to-back two-goal games against Ottawa and Montreal on Jan. 6 and 7.
A week later, the 5-7, 175-lb. forward was at it again, scoring goals in four straight games, including the game-winning tally against Tampa Bay on Jan. 26.
Despite being placed on the Long Term Injury list and missing 20 of the Devils' last 25 regular season games, Gionta wound up finishing second on the team in goals (25) and power play goals (11), while recording 45 points.
In the postseason, Gionta led New Jersey with eight goals, including a team-record five-game goal streak from April 18-28 in which he netted six, including the series-clinching goal in game six of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Tampa Bay.
Newjerseydevils.com now presents some of Gionta's highlights from the past season, as the NJD TV Spotlight shines on No. 14!
Oct. 12: Devils 7, Maple Leafs 6 (SO)
Gionta recorded the first hat trick of his career (300K|700K / 300K|700K / 300K|700K ), and the seventh natural hat trick in team history, as the Devils extended their regular-season winning streak on home ice to six games. Gionta's power surge included two power play goals as New Jersey erased a three-goal deficit and snapped a five-game losing streak against Toronto.
Oct. 14: Devils 3, Flyers 2
The Devils posted consecutive victories for the first time, as Gionta's third-period marker (300K|700K ) proved the game winner in New Jersey's first meeting of the season with Philadelphia.
Dec. 1: Devils 5, Penguins 2
A power-play goal from Gionta (300K|700K ) helped secure a Devils' win in their first trip of the season to the Steel City. It was Gionta's second goal in as many games, and marked the third time he had scored goals in back-to-back contests.
Jan. 6: Devils 3, Senators 2
Gionta scored twice (300K|700K ), including the game winner (300K|700K ), to tie Zach Parise for the team lead in goals with 17. Gionta's tallies gave the Devils leads of 2-1 and 3-1, as New Jersey improved to 2-1-0 in the season series with Ottawa.
Jan. 7: Devils 3, Canadiens 0
Gionta collected two goals for the second consecutive game (300K|700K / 300K|700K ), to extend his season-high six-game point streak to four games and take over the team goal scoring lead (19). New Jersey improved to 3-0-0 in the season series against Montréal, and extended its road winning streak to a season-high three games.
Jan 20: Devils 4, Flyers 3 (SO)
New Jersey trailed in the game three times, but Gionta knotted the game at 3-3 with just 21 seconds left in regulation (300K|700K ), then recorded the game-determining goal in the shootout.
Jan. 26: Devils 2, Lightning 0
Gionta gave the Devils a 1-0 lead late in the first period with his team-leading 22nd goal of the season (300K|700K ), which held up as the game winner.
April 1: Devils 3, Bruins 1
After missing 11 games with a groin strain, Gionta returned to score his fourth game winner of the season on a second-period power play goal (300K|700K ). With the win, the Devils took over sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division, en route to their seventh Atlantic title.