Devils 3, Bruins 2 (F/SO)
Parise ended it in the first sudden-death round of Wednesday's shootout win over Boston.
newjerseydevils.com (April 2) –
The Devils are getting the job done in extra time.
For a third straight game the Devils went beyond regulation, and for a third straight time it resulted in victory.
was the hero for a second night in a row, potting the lone goal of the shootout to propel the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center on Wednesday.
Parise snapped a backhander over Tim Thomas' catching glove in the fourth round for his club-high third shootout winner of the season. His team-leading 32nd of the season 29 seconds into overtime secured Tuesday's playoff berth-clinching win versus the Islanders.
(43-26-6) had 25 saves in the contest, making six stops in overtime and denying all four Boston shootout tries. He improved to 537 career victories, 14 shy of Patrick Roy's all-time record of 551.
Brodeur was excellent in OT, producing his best of the extra session with a glove stop against Zdeno Chara's blast from the left circle at 1:25.
and David Clarkson
scored for New Jersey, which blew a 1-0 lead but rallied back from a late 2-1 deficit to close out the season series against the Bruins (3-1-0).
"Marty played outstanding, very, very well," head coach Brent Sutter said. "I thought Ruppy (Mike Rupp) and Zubes (Zubrus) were very good tonight and Clarkie (Clarkson) was right there with them."
The Devils (45-28-7) also had to overcome another non-goal on home ice to improve to 97 points and strengthen their hold on fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Pittsburgh's 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday clinched the Atlantic Division for the Penguins and ended New Jersey's streak of division titles at two. The Devils had taken the Atlantic in three of the previous four seasons, and seven of the previous 13.
New Jersey will play its final road game of the season this Friday at Philadelphia, then wrap up the home schedule with a meeting against the Rangers on Sunday, April 6. The Devils currently hold a four-point lead on the fifth-place Rangers.
Zubrus broke a six-game goal drought to put the Devils ahead early in the first.
Named the game's Third Star, Zubrus made it 1-0 by burying a Mike Rupp rebound from the slot for his 13th of the season at 3:14. It was his first tally since collecting three in three games from March 13-19.
Marco Sturm nearly tied things up 22 seconds later when he hit the post at 3:36, but New Jersey carried the one-goal lead into the second after being outshot 9-3 over the opening 20 minutes.
Boston cashed in on a two-man advantage to tie the contest early in the middle frame. Penalties to Vitaly Vishnevski and MIke Mottau late in the first period carried over for 55 seconds of a Bruins 5-on-3 to start the second.
David Krecji's pass out of the left corner found Dennis Wideman at the top of the right circle, and the Boston defender walked in for a blast from the hash marks just 37 seconds in.
The Devils were 18 ticks away from killing off the two-man disadvantage when Wideman netted his 13th, and third in four games against New Jersey.
Zubrus appeared to give the Devils a 2-1 lead at 12:22 with a burst down the left side for a wraparound stuff inside the right post. Thomas kicked the puck back out with his left pad, and referee Paul Devorski did not signal a goal. A lengthy review proved inconclusive.
"I guess just from video, you never could see the puck," Sutter said after the game. "In talking to the referee, he didn't see it either. In Toronto, they said that on the video, no one could ever tell and see where the puck was. They were going with what the call was on the ice."
It was the third non-goal for the Devils in their last four home contests. Both Sergei Brylin (March 21 vs. Islanders) and Sheldon Brookbank (March 25 vs. Pittsburgh) saw recent tallies disallowed in tight games.
Then, with 3:27 left in the second, Boston climbed ahead, 2-1.
A Bruins rush resulted in Milan Lucic collecting P.J. Axelsson's feed in the slot and shoveling his eighth of the season past Brodeur at 16:33.
The score remained 2-1 until late in the third, when the Devils answered with a little more than five minutes left in regulation. Rupp made a power move down the right wing, and centered for Zubrus, who had his stick tied up by Axelsson.
But Clarkson, trailing the play, jumped on the loose puck and put one through Thomas for his ninth of the season at 14:32. The rookie forward's first goal in 13 games couldn't have come at a better time.
Brian Gionta (backhand, wide), Patrik Elias
(forehand, pad stop) and Jamie Langenbrunner
(forehand, left pad stop) were the first three shooters for the Devils.
Langenbrunner began the current three-game winning streak with the deciding goal in Friday's 5-4 shootout win against Philadelphia.
Elias leads the team with four shootout tallies, and entered Wednesday's action a perfect 4-for-4. Parise's shootout winner moved him ahead of Langenbrunner for the team lead.
Rupp finished with two assists for his second multipoint game of the season, and had two good scoring chances in overtime. He made a one-handed try on Thomas at 1:56, then fired a wrister from the left circle that Thomas got with the glove at 2:23... Bryce Salvador
missed his eighth straight game with a sore foot.
|Three star selections