Devils 6, Capitals 5 (F/SO)
Parise scores the lone goal of the shootout Saturday against Jose Theodore.
– The win finally came, but it didn't come easily.
recorded his first two-goal game of the season, and Zach Parise
notched the lone goal of the shootout as the Devils held on Saturday for a 6-5 victory over the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center.
New Jersey was one second away from securing its first regulation win in seven tries, when Alexander Ovechkin scored his second of the game to tie the contest at 5-5 with just a tick left in the third period.
|Clemmensen celebrates his first win of the season.
Parise took New Jersey's first attempt in the shootout and beat Jose Theodore with a nifty backhand-forehand deke, tucking it around Theodore's right pad.
Scott Clemmensen, making his second start in as many nights, denied all three Washington shooters, including Ovechkin, the reigning league MVP.
Clemmensen poked the puck away from Boyd Gordon to clinch a nail biter. He finished with 25 saves to pick up his first win as a Devil since Feb. 25, 2007.
Brian Gionta broke a 4-4 stalemate with 8:20 remaining in the third period, and the Devils were moments from snapping Washington's five-game win streak in regulation when Ovechkin struck to tie it.
and Jamie Langenbrunner
also scored for New Jersey, which blew four one-goal leads against the Southeast Division leaders.
The Devils (8-7-2) ended their four-game losing skid and picked up their second win without Martin Brodeur
. Their other triumph since losing the four-time Vezina Trophy winner to a torn bicep was a 4-3 shootout decision over Tampa Bay on Nov. 5.
After three games in four nights, the Devils will not play again until Thursday, when Florida visits Newark. The Islanders come to Prudential Center on Friday.
"Coming off a win like tonight, you want to play again tomorrow night," head coach Brent Sutter said. "We'll use [the time] usefully and make sure we get ourselves ready to play next Thursday. It's nice to get the break in one sense – to get the guys healthy, getting them to feel better. At the same time, it's tough when you have five to six days off too. Personally, I don't like it but it is your schedule."
New Jersey had been struggling to score entering the second game of the home-and-home set with Washington, but came to life offensively with its fourth five-goal game of the season. The Devils had just five goals in their previous four games.
The power play also produced, going 1-for-4 with the club's first tally on the man advantage in five games. The Devils snapped an 0-for-13 power-play drought.
Elias' sixth and seventh goals of the year represented New Jersey's third two-goal game by a player this season. John Madden had a pair against Dallas on Oct. 22, and Parise scored twice against Atlanta on Nov. 1. Both times the Devils wound up scoring five or more goals and going on to a victory.
"Patty played well tonight," Sutter said. "For the most part, it was kind of a reflection of our whole team. Everyone played good. Patty created scoring chances, which we obviously needed to do. He played well. I was proud of his effort tonight. He worked hard."
The Devils were buzzing to start the contest, and took a 1-0 lead on Clarkson's fourth of the season
Madden's pass from behind the net hit an open Clarkson in the slot for a one-timer through Theodore at 1:09. The Devils registered 13 shots in the period, and outshot their opponent in the opening frame for a third straight contest.
Washington used the power play to draw even, when Tomas Fleischmann potted his second goal in as many games.
Fleischmann collected a feed from Nicklas Backstrom in the neutral zone and carried down the right side. He cut toward the middle to evade Colin White
and fired a snapshot from the right dot, beating Clemmensen inside the left post at 6:59.
Fleischmann's sixth was the fifth goal allowed by Devils' penalty killers in the last four games. Backstrom had a game-high five points, with a goal and four helpers.
The Caps pulled ahead in the final minute of the first.
Ovechkin was stationed at the right hash marks to tip Tyler Sloan's blueline blast off the crossbar and in for a 2-1 Washington lead with 50.7 seconds remaining in the period.
Langenbrunner answered quickly in the second, tying the contest with his third just 41 seconds into the middle frame.
picked off a Caps pass along the right boards in Washington territory, and shuttled the puck to Parise in the right corner. Parise hit Langenbrunner in the high slot for a slapper through Theodore for a 2-2 score.
Zajac matched a career-high with three assists, while leading-scorer Parise collected two helpers of his own and now has six points in his last five games (3g-3a).
The Devils ended their power outage on the man advantage to take a 3-2 lead in the second.
With Mike Green in the box for hooking, Elias put a shot on goal from the right circle. Parise got a whack at the puck by the right post, but was stopped by Theodore. Elias crashed the net and managed to swat the puck over the line for his sixth as he was dragged down by Gordon at 3:27.
Late in the second, the Caps rallied again.
Off an offensive zone draw, Viktor Kozlov stepped behind Madden and flipped a shot that got by Clemmensen at 16:43. Kozlov's second of the season made it 3-3 heading into the third.
The teams twice traded goals in the final frame.
First, Elias scored his second of the contest with a slapshot off Theodore's shoulder from the left circle to restore the New Jersey lead at 6:06 of the third. Two minutes later, Backstrom answered from the doorstep two minutes later to bring the Caps back, 4-4.
|Clemmensen pokes the puck from Gordon to seal the win.
The Devils regained the lead on a nice pass from Johnny Oduya at the top of the left circle to a breaking Gionta in the slot. Gionta tapped in his third of the year at 11:40, and New Jersey held the one-goal edge until the last second of regulation.
With Theodore off for an extra skater and the Caps scrambling to tie, the puck squirted out of a scrum in front of Clemmensen to an uncovered Ovechkin at the left side of the net.
The NHL's leading scorer last season didn't miss, banging home his seventh to tie the game at 5-5 with one second left. Ovechkin also had an assist and was credited with a game-high 12 shots on goal.
Kozlov took the first attempt in the shootout, missing wide right. Parise then scored on the forehand around Theodore.
Ovechkin tried five-hole, but was thwarted by Clemmensen. Elias missed on the backhand, and Clemmensen never allowed a final shot, poking the puck away from Gordon as he skated in on goal.
Parise has two of the Devils' three shootout winners this season. Langenbrunner has the other... Signed as a free agent in July, Clemmensen had not started back-to-back games as a Devil since appearing in six straight in 2005. The former Devils' draft pick went 2-2-2 from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8, 2005, when Brodeur was sidelined by a knee injury... The Caps were without leading scorer Alexander Semin, who was out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury.
|Three star selections