Devils 1, Flames 0 (F/OT)
Martin Brodeur and Colin White keep an eye on Calgary's Dustin Boyd in front of the net.
newjerseydevils.com (Dec. 23) –
In this season of giving, the Devils nearly giftwrapped one for a Flames team struggling to win on home ice.
But after three periods of scoreless hockey, Patrik Elias
sent the Devils home for the holidays on a high note.
Elias' goal 25 seconds into overtime gave the Devils a 1-0 win over the Flames on Sunday night, and closed out New Jersey's western Canada road trip with back-to-back wins.
The Devils (20-13-3) picked up four of a possible six points on the trip, and extended their lead in the Atlantic Division to five points over the second-place Rangers.
New Jersey was once again anchored in net by the play of Martin Brodeur
, who made 30 saves to record his third shutout of the season, and 95th of his career.
The three-time Vezina Trophy winner moved past George Hainsworth into second place on the league's all-time shutout list, and now chases Terry Sawchuk for the league's shutout record (103).
Brodeur led the Devils to their first victory in Calgary since March 19, 2001, and tied San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov for the league lead in wins (18).
Since allowing five goals in New Jersey's 5-0 loss to Vancouver on Tuesday, Brodeur gave up just one goal in stops at Edmonton and Calgary.
The Devils survived a second period in which they were whistled for three straight minor penalties, and were outshot, 14-4. Despite recently winning six straight on the road, Calgary had just one regulation win in their previous six games at home.
With a half-dozen chances on the man advantage, it might have been only a matter of time until Calgary's top line of Jarome Iginla, Kristian Huselius and Daymond Langkow got the Flames on the board.
But between Brodeur's play and the PK effort led by John Madden, New Jersey's penalty killers finished a perfect 6-for-6 on the evening, and have gone three straight games without allowing a power-play goal (12-for-12).
In overtime, a Craig Conroy miscue on the Flames' attack sent Elias and Brian Gionta up ice on a 2-on-1 against Robyn Regehr.
Elias moved the puck across to Gionta as they entered the Calgary zone, and Gionta put a pass back on Elias' stick for his eighth of the season past Miikka Kiprusoff at 0:25.
Elias also recorded an OT winner against Boston back on Dec. 5, and now has five game-winning tallies this season.
After departing Alberta, the Devils return to the East Coast to face Buffalo on Friday, Dec. 28 at Prudential Center.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Two of Devils’ head coach Brent Sutter’s brothers work in the Calgary organization- Darryl is the general manager and Ron is the club’s western pro scout.
Sheldon Brookbank got the best of Eric Nystrom when the two dropped gloves six minutes into the contest.
|Three star selections