White's offensive contributions on Saturday night did nothing to take away from his physical presence, as the Kings' Anze Kopitar would find out.
newjerseydevils.com (Feb. 2) – When a team is struggling to score goals, sometimes help comes from the unlikeliest sources.
Entering Saturday's matchup with the Los Angeles Kings at Prudential Center, the Devils sorely needed two points and an end to the offensive funk that had contributed to three straight losses on home ice.
A goal and an assist from Colin White sparked the Devils to a 6-3 win over the Kings, and their first victory of the five-game homestand.
White's first goal since Feb. 7, 2006 turned out to be the deciding tally of the contest, and allowed the Devils to keep pace with Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division.
Travis Zajac chipped in with a goal and an assist as six different Devils scored to help the club avoid dropping a fourth straight game in regulation for the first time this season.
Elias celebrates his fifth goal in five games.
New Jersey averaged two goals per game over the first three contests of the homestand, but had been limited to a goal three times in its previous six games in Newark.
Martin Brodeur nailed down his 27th win of the season with 23 saves, and moved within 30 victories of Patrick Roy's all-time mark of 551.
New Jersey (29-20-3) tries to beat Pittsburgh for the first time on home ice this Monday before heading to Buffalo for a Wednesday meeting with the Sabres. The Devils then open a four-game homestand next Friday against Anaheim.
Los Angeles had collected points in three straight games (2-0-1) heading into Saturday's meeting, but David Clarkson struck to put the Devils ahead first.
Clarkson used a toe-drag move on Brad Stuart to get the Kings' defenseman turning toward the boards while Clarkson cut toward the middle of the ice. He buried his sixth of the season with a snapshot through Los Angeles starter Jason LaBarbera at 4:43.
New Jersey maintained a that 1-0 lead heading into the second period, when the two teams combined for five goals in a span of 11 minutes.
But for every Kings tally, the Devils had an answer.
Patrik Elias made it a two-goal Devils' lead at 2:30, and Karel Rachunek scored for the first time in 19 games to put New Jersey on top, 3-1.
Brian Gionta set up Elias following a solid shift of sustained offensive zone pressure from their line with Zach Parise.
Gionta went behind the Kings' net to retrieve a Johnny Oduya rebound, and found Elias in front for his 15th. Oduya's helper gave him two assists in as many games, and seven points (1g-6a) in his last six.
The Kings' Brian Boyle followed Elias with his first NHL goal at 8:38, but it took Jamie Langenbrunner just 1:15 to connect with Rachunek.
The Devils' captain controlled in the left corner, and waited for Rachunek to break for the net from the right point. Langenbrunner snapped a pass that the Devils' defenseman tapped through LaBarbera for his second of the season.
Los Angeles climbed back within a goal at 3-2 on Jack Johnson's third of the year, only to have White make it 4-2 Devils on a slapshot from the top of the left circle 33 seconds later.
Zajac buried his 12th through a goal mouth scrum with 4.4 seconds remaining in what was a six-goal middle frame.
"The goals we got, obviously were very timely goals," head coach Brent Sutter said. "We were able to capitalize and get back a two-goal lead, 2-0, they score to make it 2-1. We scored to make it 3-1, They score to make it 3-2... The goal was to get those goals back. I thought the goals were pretty good, pretty significant."
Lubomir Visnovsky and Sergei Brylin traded goals in the third period to round out the scoring.
Brylin jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone, and raced up ice to beat Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who relieved LaBarbera to start the third period.
Brylin's fifth of the season ended an eight-game drought, as the Devils matched a season-high goal output on home ice.
Despite the nine goals in the game, not one came on special teams.
Saturday's game was the 87th meeting between the Devils and Kings, and Los Angeles' first visit to the Garden State since Feb. 15, 2004... New Jersey took a 24-23-4 lead in the all-time series... Saturday night's scratches were Sheldon Brookbank and Andy Greene... Jay Pandolfo (groin) remained sidelined.
ETC... Clarkson attempted one of his wraparounds with 4:12 left in the second, but was denied by LaBarbera.
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