Devils 5, Capitals 2 FINAL
|Parise scored for a fourth straight game and leads the Devils with 10 goals.
Right now, the Devils are riding the kind of momentum that can propel them past hot teams even after they fall behind early.
On Saturday, the visiting Washington Capitals took a 2-0 lead on the first two shots of the game. Unfazed, the Devils scored the next five goals to take their eighth straight win with an impressive 5-2 victory at Prudential Center.
It was the club's 1,000th win since relocating to New Jersey in 1982.
's team-leading 10th of the season broke a 2-2 tie late in the second, as the Devils (14-4-0, 28pts) tied Washington in points atop the Eastern Conference.
and Cory Murphy
each had a goal and an assist, while Travis Zajac
and Niclas Bergfors each had two helpers. Colin White
scored for the first time in 80 games, and Matt Halischuk netted the first goal of his young NHL career.
The Devils notched five goals for the first time this season, and will try to make history on Monday. That's when they take their 9-0 road mark into Philadelphia, where a win would tie them with the 2006-07 Sabres for the longest road winning streak to start a season.
"They come to play," head coach Jacques Lemaire said of his group. "They're having fun now and they play hard. We have our ups and downs in games, but they keep playing, they feel they can come back, and we're doing it."
Saturday's triumph was another confidence boost for a team that already believes in itself. They have gone 14-2 since an 0-2 start, and snapped Washington's four-game winning streak.
"A key for us is there hasn't been any panic in any situation in the games," Langenbrunner said. "Start behind the bench and right out through the lineup. When there's no panic, you feed off that. We have confidence in here that, we're down 2-0, but there's still a lot of game left."
made 27 saves and has posted a 6-0 record while not allowing more than two goals in any game during the current streak. His best stop of the night might have been his left skate denial of Chris Clark with the Devils ahead, 3-2, with 1:41 left in the second period.
"I just gave up a rebound after (Mathieu Perreault) came in on a backhand, which is harder to control," Brodeur said. "I made a good save there and turned around and (Clark) was walking right in. Desperately, I extended my leg. It hit my skate, hit off the post, stayed there and I was able to freeze it."
The memorable win was highlighted by an unforgettable moment for Halischuk. He took a pass from Bergfors on a 3-on-2 rush, and ripped the puck past Jose Theodore from the right circle with 55.3 seconds left in the second. His first NHL goal put the Devils on top, 4-2.
"It was pretty special," Halischuk, a rookie, said. "Everybody was congratulating me. It's just a really special night here. I kind of just took a step back there and got ready for the third period."
He planned on calling his mother and father back in his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario. His first goal came in his 14th NHL game.
"I'm sure I'll get on the phone here and talk to my parents," Halischuk said. "I may have a message or two waiting for me."
The night got off to shaky start for Jersey's Team after Washington took a 2-0 lead on the first two shots.
"Our biggest problem was turning the puck over in the first," said Lemaire. "I think we had 10 turnovers in the first. You do turn it over, and as I mentioned, Washington is so good; such a good offensive team. That's why they looked good in the first."
With Halischuk in the box for tripping, Tomas Fleischmann struck on the power play. Former Devil Brendan Morrison intercepted Langenbrunner's clearing attempt at the blue line, and set up Fleischmann at the right circle for his seventh of the season at 4:14.
That snapped a run of 20 consecutive power plays over seven games in which Devils penalty killers had not allowed a goal.
Just 47 seconds later, Perreault lifted Washington to a two-goal cushion, redirecting a Mike Green pass through Brodeur from between the hash marks at 5:02.
It was all Devils the rest of the night.
White's first goal since Oct. 29, 2008 cut the deficit in half.
gained the blueline and dished to Langenbrunner, who found White trailing. White stepped into a shot from the top of the circles that redirected off Caps defenseman Brian Pothier in front and through Theodore at 9:47.
"You've seen games like that where it's 2-0, and all of a sudden it's 3-0," Parise said. "For us to be able to respond like that and get a big goal from Whitey, that lifts the bench a lot. I think, then, that we started to play better after that."
Langenbrunner tied it at 2-2 with his fourth goal of the year, and second in the last three games. Murphy went point-to-point on the power play to set up Langenbrunner's one-timer blast from the top of the left circle 5:44 into the second.
The Devils' power play has gone 8-for-26 (30.8%) over the past six games.
"We expect to be successful," Langenbrunner said. "We play the full game, doesn't matter what happens the first 10 minutes or the middle 10 minutes. We play the whole game and give ourselves a chance every night. To be doing the things we've been doing lately, you have to have some confidence, and I think there's a lot of confidence in this locker room. We're not letting anything rattle us."
Parise beat Theodore on a breakaway with 5:20 left in the second to extend his goals streak to four games. Zajac intercepted Alexander Semin's pass in Caps territory to spring Parise up the middle. Parise snapped the puck low, glove side, to put the Devils ahead, 3-2.
Halischuk's tally in the final minute of the second period gave the Devils a two-goal lead.
"It's nice to get a little breathing room and score more than two or three goals," Parise said. "It's great. We're shooting the puck, we're crashing the net more. You're going to see us start scoring some more goals."
In the third period, Zajac won a draw to Murphy, who fired his second of the season past Theodore from the top of the right circle at 3:15.
|A replica of a NJ Devil made from cans of food is displayed on the concourse during Jersey Hockey Fights Hunger night at the Prudential Center prior to the game between the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils
The Devils came back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to beat Washington, 3-2, in a shootout on Oct. 12. They rallied again from a 2-0 hole with three PPGs to win 3-2 at Ottawa on Nov. 7.
• The Capitals are 4-2-0 in their last six games, with both losses to the Devils. New Jersey has gone 3-0 against Washington, one of the East's elite squads.
"You always know Washington's a good team," Parise said. "They're a tough team to play against. But we've matched up well against them the last few games. We've been able to come out on top. After we were down, 2-0, from then on, it was one of the better games we've played. Just from top to bottom, we were a good team tonight."
• The Capitals didn't have Ovechkin in the lineup, but the Devils have played without four regulars: forwards Rob Niedermayer (upper body) and Jay Pandolfo (shoulder), and defensemen Paul Martin (arm) and Johnny Oduya (lower body).
"Everyone forgets that we're playing with some guys injured, too," Parise said. "Everyone's saying we're going into Pittsburgh, and they're missing everybody. We're missing some core players, too. It's only Patty's (Elias) fourth game. We've been hit by the injury bug, too. At the same time, they're a good team. Ovechkin's the best player in the League and he adds another dimension to their power play. I don't have to explain how good he is – everyone knows that."
• Asked if White's goal was big, Lemaire said every goal's big against the Caps.
"They're all big goals, especially when you're trailing by two," said the coach. "They're all big goals when they go in, and then when you get a lead, even the fourth goal is a big goal. (Washington) is one team that has the biggest average for goals for. They are dangerous, they are. They're so good with the puck, soon as you slow down just a bit, it's totally a different game. They take charge, then you're in trouble."
• Lemaire started the game with Elias on the left side of Tim Sestito
and David Clarkson
, but later tried him at right wing with Parise and Zajac.
"I think they don't like my lines in the first, so I changed them," Lemaire said, adding that Elias looked better after the switch.
• Tim Sestito
got his first NHL point with an assist on Halischuk's tally.
|Three star selections