Devils 3, Senators 2 (F)
Arron Asham celebrates his first two-goal night as a Devil.
newjerseydevils.com (Feb. 16) –
Two goals from Arron Asham helped put the Devils two points ahead of the division and two points out of the conference top spot.
Asham's first multigoal performance of the season snapped a 22-game goal drought for the scrappy forward and propelled the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Senators at Scotiabank Place on Saturday night.
Asham rebounded from his missed attempt in the 10th round of the shootout on Friday night to play one of his best games as a Devil against the defending Eastern Conference champions.
(31-19-4) made a season-high 37 saves to join San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov atop the NHL's wins list, and helped the Devils hold on for the victory after taking a 3-0 lead. The Devils goaltender delivered some of his best saves of the game at the ends of the second and third periods.
|Brodeur survived scrums like these to collect win No. 31 on Saturday night.
Brodeur denied Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley with under a minute remaining in the second, and thwarted Wade Redden's shot from the point with seven ticks left in regulation. Thirty of Brodeur's saves came in the final 40 minutes, as New Jersey survived being outshot 32-20 over the last two periods.
's 22nd of the year turned out to be the game winner for the Devils, who closed out the season series versus the Senators with two straight victories. The club opens a three-game homestand with a Presidents' Day matinee against Carolina on Monday.
The Devils (33-21-5) moved two points ahead of idle Pittsburgh for the lead in the Atlantic Division, and closed to within two points of reeling Ottawa for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Senators, who tied an NHL record by going 15-2 to start the season, have won only two of their last eight (2-5-1).
Asham's fifth of the season drew first blood for the Devils at 9:05 of the first period.
The right winger drilled a slapshot on Ray Emery from the right faceoff circle, then passed his own rebound toward John Madden in front of the net. Asham's attempt deflected off the stick of Daniel Alfredsson and through Emery.
It was the first point in 16 games for the Portage La Prairie, Manitoba native, who signed as a free agent last July.
In the second period, Asham stepped into a blast from the top of the right circle that beat Emery to his blocker side for his first two-goal game since Jan. 27, 2007.
Parise's 22nd of the year came just after the conclusion of a New Jersey 5-on-3. A pair of holding calls against Chris Neil and Chris Phillips handed the Devils 1:08 with the two-man advantage.
Two seconds after Neil's minor had expired, Parise connected on Brian Gionta's cross-crease pass for his ninth power-play goal of the season at 7:44.
Parise had missed an empty net on a similar set up during the 5-on-3, but capitalized on his second chance by roofing a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle over Emery's catching glove.
Ottawa took advantage of a Brodeur misplay behind the net to score their first of the contest. Brodeur skated behind his net to play the puck, but lost possession to Alfredsson. The Sens' captain found Spezza in front for the easy score at the 16:37 mark of the second period.
Chris Kelly's marker in the third period has brought the Senators within a goal.
Brodeur got a paddle on Antoine Vermette's wraparound attempt, but the puck wound up on the stick of Kelly, who backhanded the puck into the net to make it 3-2 at 12:53.
That was all Ottawa would get, even after pulling Emery 90 seconds left in regulation. The Senators managed three shots in the final 1:30, and had their last opportunity after Colin White
tried to glove the puck out of the zone, but failed to get it by Redden at the blue line.
Redden's last-second shot was blocked by Brodeur, who was named the game's first star.
The Devils improved to 6-4-1 in the second game of back-to-backs... Brodeur's previous season-high save total was 36 against Philadelphia on Jan. 4... David Clarkson
and Mike Commodore exchanged pleasantries in a first-period scrap near the Ottawa bench at 6:26 of the first period, with Clarkson getting the takedown... Asham and Neil battled to a draw at 11:48 of the second.
|Three star selections