Devils 3, Flames 2
Langenbrunner's shorthanded goal in the second period was the first of three straight Devils tallies.
Just as they've done for the last two months, the Devils bounced back from defeat with a convincing victory.
Led by Jamie Langenbrunner
's two-point night, including his 22nd goal, New Jersey got 35 saves from Martin Brodeur
to extinguish the Calgary Flames, 3-2, Tuesday at Prudential Center.
Langenbrunner's shorthanded tally was the first of three straight goals for the Devils, who shrugged off Saturday's setback at Long Island with their eighth straight triumph on home ice.
chipped in with a power-play strike for his 299th career goal, and Zach Parise
's team-leading 39th held up as the game-winner.
Brodeur (11-3-2) won for the fifth time in six starts since returning from elbow surgery, and recorded career win No. 549 to move within two of Patrick Roy's all-time mark (551).
Brodeur also denied NHL wins leader Miikka Kiprusoff his 40th of the season. Kiprusoff was pulled after allowing New Jersey's third goal 1:15 into the final frame and finished with 25 saves. Curtis McElhinney stopped all three shots in relief for the Flames, who dropped their third in a row.
New Jersey (43-20-3) has gone two months without back-to-back losses and maintained a seven-point lead over Philadelphia for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Flyers beat the Sabres Tuesday at Wachovia Center.
"There's been a strong focus on not letting that happen; of not letting one bad game snowball," said Langenbrunner, who leads the Devils with three shorthanded goals. "We've done a good job of responding, and that's a good sign. You want to be able to respond when things go bad, and we've done a very good job of doing that."
The Devils couldn't have asked for more from their special teams, which went 1-for-4 with the man advantage and killed six of seven Flames power plays. Curtis Glencross scored Calgary's only power-play goal with 0.9 seconds left in regulation. Olli Jokinen also scored for the Flames.
Fourteen of Calgary's 37 shots came on the man advantage. It added up to the biggest workload Brodeur has shouldered since his return.
"The type of game it was as far as the quantity of shots, and killing six penalties, that's where it was a little different than the other ones," Brodeur said.
New Jersey hosts Phoenix on Thursday before heading to Montreal on Saturday. Should he beat the Coyotes, Brodeur would have a shot at matching Roy's mark in his hometown.
"It's still alive, we still have that chance," Brodeur said. "We have one more game to go, and it'll be a tough one. You'll have a lot of young players coming in with Phoenix, and so if we thought we didn't know our opponents too much today, it would be even worse on Thursday because they made a lot of changes at the trade deadline, a lot of young guys, and we definitely don't see them often."
The Devils improved to 19-5 in their last 24 games with their third straight win over a division leader. They beat Boston and San Jose during their February homestand, and added Northwest-leading Calgary to the list on Tuesday.
"That's one of the best teams in the West and in the NHL," Parise said. "They're tough to play against. They don't give you a lot of scoring chances. It's a great measuring stick for us."
Jokinen's 24th of the season had Calgary ahead 1-0 after 20 minutes.
David Moss spun a cross-slot pass to Jokinen, who was alone at the right of the net for the tap-in at 10:22. It was Jokinen's third goal in four games since he was acquired from Phoenix at the trading deadline.
Three minutes later, Calgary defenseman Cory Sarich drove Brian Gionta face-first into the boards near the Flames' bench. Gionta thought Sarich would be penalized.
"I would've thought so, but I guess it's the ref's discretion on that one," Gionta said. "The puck was behind me, and I was reaching back for it. That's when he hit me."
Langenbrunner brought the Devils even five minutes into the second period. With the Flames on a power play, Calgary leading scorer Jarome Iginla misfired on a pass to Adrian Aucoin at the right point. Colin White
turned the puck up ice and fed Langenbrunner, who beat Kiprusoff from the slot at 5:10.
White extended his points streak to three games (3a).
"It was kind of a weird play," Langenbrunner said. "I waited to let (White) get it, and I'm not really sure where (the defenders) went, but it was a big play by Whitey to freeze the 'D.' I was able to get off a quick shot that found its way."
Rolston's 13th of the season, seventh on power play, came with two minutes left in the period to give the Devils their first lead of the night.
Brendan Shanahan shot from the left circle, and Rolston tucked the rebound behind Kiprusoff's left pad at 18:01. Shanahan's 52 career points versus the Flames leads all Devils (28g-24a).
"A really smart play," head coach Brent Sutter said of Shanahan's shot. "He found the seam, and put the puck towards the net. He was patient. That's why he's effective there. Rollie made a smart play by creeping in on the backside."
Parise delivered the decisive blow in the third period, after the Devils had killed off 38 seconds of carryover time on Gionta's interference minor.
Intense goalmouth pressure by the Devils resulted in Parise jamming the puck under Kiprusoff and driving the Calgary netminder out of the game.
Parise had no idea that Kiprusoff ever left.
"I didn't even know, they looked the same out there," Parise said. "I'm surprised. I would've shot a little bit more if I'd have known he was out of the game."
White took a minor for putting the puck over the glass with 1:53 left in regulation. Calgary pulled McElhinney for a 6-on-4 advantage, and Glencross shoveled his 11th of the season with 0.9 seconds remaining.
"You don't like to get scored on when it doesn't matter," Brodeur said. "But we're here to win, and we won the game."
Shanahan appeared Tuesday in his 300th game as a Devil, while Bobby Holik made his 1,300th NHL appearance.... Havelid's assist on Rolston's goal was his first point in a Devils uniform... With 11 shorthanded goals, the Devils tied the Islanders for second-most in the League... The Devils have taken back-to-back meetings with the Flames. New Jersey registered a 1-0 OT win at the Saddledome on Dec. 23, 2007.
|Three star selections