Devils 3, Oilers 1 (Final)
newjerseydevils.com (Dec. 21) –
The Devils picked up in the third period right where they had left off in the second.
They were taking it to the home team at Rexall Place with one hard-charging shift after another when Oilers coach Craig MacTavish finally decided to call a timeout and regroup.
Unfortunately for MacTavish, it was the Devils who responded.
Immediately following the MacTavish timeout, Patrik Elias
and Brian Gionta scored 35 seconds apart to erase a 1-0 deficit and propel the Devils to a 3-1 victory over the Oilers in Edmonton on Friday night.
It was the fourth straight win for the Devils in Edmonton, where the club is unbeaten in its last six games. New Jersey last lost in Edmonton on Oct. 31, 1995.
John Madden scored an empty netter for the Devils (19-13-3), who notched a victory in the second contest of their three-game road trip through western Canada that concludes Sunday night in Calgary.
The Oilers entered Friday's action having gone to shootouts in each of their previous four contests.
Joni Pitkanen's fifth of the season from Ales Hemsky with 4:45 remaining in the first period ensured that if the Devils were to come out of Oil Country with a win, they would have to score in regulation.
New Jersey didn't manage anything through two periods, despite outshooting Edmonton 21-10, and 12-2 in the middle frame alone.
But after five periods of scoreless hockey including Tuesday's 5-0 shutout loss in Vancouver, the Devils had a couple of former 40-goal scorers answer the call.
Following an Edmonton icing and the Oilers' timeout, the draw was deep inside Oilers' territory at the right faceoff circle. Elias sent the puck behind the net and Gionta got to it first, carrying it behind the net.
Gionta then found Elias open for a one-timer through Mathieu Garon to tie the game.
Seconds later Gionta would tuck home his 11th of the season off of a Dainius Zubrus
rebound to break the 1-1 tie.
got his fifth straight start and recorded 20 saves for his 17th win of the season. Brodeur tied Tomas Vokoun for the Eastern Conference lead in victories, one behind league leader Evgeni Nabokov, who entered the weekend's action with 18.
Brodeur's night included a sterling stop on Tom GIlbert from the slot with 7:38 remaining in regulation to protect the one-goal lead.
The Devils' power play struggled (0-for-5), and has tallied just four times in the last 10 games (4-for-44, 9.1%).
The Devils improve to 6-3-1 in December and 12-3-1 in their last 16 matches... Mike Rupp and Sheldon Brookbank were healthy scratches.
|Three star selections