The Devils celebrate Andy Greene's go-ahead goal in the third period.
newjerseydevils.com – The Devils' offense had its best game of the new season, and Martin Brodeur moved another win closer to history.
Facing the dynamic attack of the Washington Capitals, Zach Parise scored a power-play goal and an assist before adding the lone shootout goal as the Devils captured a 4-3 win Saturday at Verizon Center.
Johnny Oduya and the Devils have opened the season 4-1. VIEW GALLERY
Petr Vrana netted his first career goal in his NHL debut, and Andy Greene chipped in with his first of the year for New Jersey, which scored three times for the first time in 2008-09.
Brodeur finished with 24 saves, including two in overtime, and now sits nine shy of Patrick Roy's all-time mark of 551. Making his fifth straight start of the year, Brodeur closed out New Jersey's third win of the four-game road trip by denying Alexander Ovechkin on the final attempt of the shootout.
Parise was the Devils' first shooter of the night, and placed a perfect backhand shot over the glove hand of Washington back-up Brent Johnson. Brodeur did not allow a goal in his team's first shootout of the season, also stopping Michael Nylander and Alexander Semin.
The Devils (4-1-0) took six of eight points on the trip and get set to return home, where they will play six of their next seven beginning Wednesday against Dallas.
As much as head coach Brent Sutter had stressed special teams' play earlier in the week, it was his team's power play and penalty kill that were the difference Saturday. The Devils went 1-for-4 with the man advantage, and killed off 58 seconds of a key Washington 5-on-3 in the third period.
New Jersey also won without power-play pointman Brian Rolston, who missed his first game since sustaining an ankle sprain Thursday in Atlanta. Vrana skated in his place, joining the right side of the top line with Patrik Elias centered by Dainius Zubrus.
In the first period, after Semin's breakaway goal had given the Caps an early 1-0 lead, Vrana evened the score.
The Devils' rookie was all smiles after redirecting an Elias shot by Johnson at the 12:48 mark. Elias' assist moved him past Scott Niedermayer for sole possession of the Devils' all-time assist mark (365), while Vrana became the 13th player in club history to score in his NHL debut, a feat also achieved by Parise and Mike Rupp.
The Devils had a pair of man-advantage opportunities in the middle frame. But when Washington's Jon Erskine put the puck over the glass at 7:16 of the second, New Jersey's power play had to go on the defensive.
Jamie Langenbrunner's hard-working backcheck on Ovechkin broke up a shorthanded 3-on-1 with Mike Green and David Steckel against Paul Martin. Then at 8:39, Brodeur made a sprawling chest save on Boyd Gordon's shorthanded try from in front of the net.
Johnson answered, making one of his 34 saves against Travis Zajac's breakaway midway through the second.
After killing off Washington's first three power plays, penalties finally caught up to the Devils, and the Caps broke the 1-1 tie in the second.
John Madden was whistled for a hook at 11:29 with Greene already in the box for tripping. That set up a Caps two-man advantage for 1:27. Washington's ninth-ranked power play needed 49 seconds to convert.
Ovechkin misfired from the right point, but Brooks Laich maintained control in the slot. Laich turned to find Mike Green, who set himself and beat Brodeur from the left hash marks at 12:18. Green, who led NHL defensemen with 18 goals last season, has a league-high four power-play goals in '08-09.
Washington took the 2-1 lead into the third, when Parise tied the contest on the power play.
Parise drew a tripping call on Chris Clark, who appeared to push Parise's skates out from under him in front of Johnson's crease. On the ensuing man advantage, Parise drove a Langenbrunner pass to the net for his team-high third of the season and second on the power play at 10:34.
Just 1:08 later, Parise set up Greene's shot from the point that deflected off of Eric Fehr and into the net for New Jersey's first lead of the game at 11:42.
Semin's second of the night – a 30-foot wrister that deflected off Mike Mottau and beat Brodeur high – knotted the game for the third time with 5:11 remaining in regulation.
The teams headed to overtime tied 3-3, and the Devils, thanks to scoring chances by Madden, and Johnny Oduya, carried the play. Brodeur turned away an Ovechkin slapshot with just under two minutes remaining, and foiled a Laich wrister from the bottom of the right circle with 40.5 seconds on the clock.
Brodeur later stopped Nylander's five-hole try to open the shootout before Parise notched the winner. Elias was New Jersey's other shooter, but couldn't find an opening through Johnson's pads.
NJD NOTES Brodeur improved to 27-13 overall in shootouts... Bobby Holik, who has not missed a game in two seasons, left in the second period with a broken pinky finger... Saturday's game at Philadelphia has been changed to a 4 p.m. start.
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1 - 0 WSH
1 - 1 Tie
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