Kovalchuk and Parise both used backhand dekes to beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who made 36 saves. The Devils outshot Los Angeles, 37-27.
Martin Brodeur made his second start of the season, but left the game after the first period. He suffered an upper body injury with just over eight minutes left in the opening frame and finished with 10 saves on 11 shots.
During a Kings flurry, Brodeur scrambled then dove to his right on a shot from the point by Alec Martinez. At the next stoppage, with 7:57 left, he skated to the bench where he was attended to by a team trainer.
“I tweaked my shoulder when I dove for that shot and kind of lost a little strength in it,” Brodeur said. “I just didn’t feel comfortable continuing.”
It should be fine. I think it’s a matter of a couple days just to rest it and try to get the swelling down. I’ve tweaked it before, just a little tougher, this one. But it should be OK.- Martin Brodeur
At first, Brodeur didn’t think he’d have to leave the game.
“It didn’t go through my mind until I came in the room and I tried to take my equipment off and that was a little tricky,” he said. “New shoulder pads are a little tougher to get off and after that I went to see the doctors and I’m like, ‘There’s something wrong.’ They tried to test it a little bit and just with the weight of the stick it was a little tough to move around at this point right now, but it’ll be fine.”
Brodeur said team doctors don't believe the injury to be serious. He expects to travel with the team to Nashville for Saturday’s meeting with the Predators.
“I’m planning on going unless tomorrow morning I get up and I really can’t move my arm,” he said. “I think I’ve done it in the past and it should be fine.”
Hedberg was terrific in relief, stopping all 16 shots he faced over the final 45 minutes, including five in overtime. His best came against Drew Doughty’s rebound slapshot with 2:41 to go in the extra session. He improved to 2-0-0.
Brodeur watches from the bench. (Getty/NHL Images)
“Right away for me what happens is, it feels like an adrenaline kick, pretty much,” said Hedberg of entering in relief. “Sometimes I never know if I’m going to be playing the next minute or not. It’s a little nervous then the adrenaline starts creeping as I feel like I’m getting more focused.”
Hedberg learned he'd be playing shortly after the start of the first intermission. Because he started Monday’s win over Carolina, he had an easier time finding his rhythm.
“The closer I am to a game, the more game feeling I have in my body and in my mind, so that helps,” he said.
Hedberg was 2-1 in shootouts last season.
“It’s a fun challenge,” he said. “In a way it’s a toss up but it’s an exciting one. I try to keep a little mental book on the guys. Gagne I’ve seen before, he’s very skilled so you have to be prepared for anything. Kopitar beat me a few years ago. I try to be patient and out-wait them and make them make the first move.”
The Devils took two of three on the season-opening homestand.
"The wins are nice," coach Peter DeBoer said. "For me, even more important is how we're playing. I thought tonight was even better than our game against Carolina. Other than the first 10 minutes, I thought we really started to play like we need to play. We're creating offense, we're creating offensive zone time. We're pinning the other team in, and at the same time, we're not giving up much defensively. Our team game is really starting to come around, which is a good sign for me."
DeBoer's squad fell behind early after getting caught in a line change. That freed up Justin Williams for a pass through Adam Larsson’s skates and right to Gagne, who opened the scoring just 1:47 into the game.
“It was a bad change by our line,” Parise said. “All three of us changed, and you can’t do that. That was our fault. That’s something that we can’t allow to happen.”
The Devils caught a breather while Brodeur received attention from the trainer and were able to finish the period on a high note.
“We needed that, and coach said a couple of things,” Parise said. “It was kind of like a free timeout there and we kind of settled down and regrouped a little bit. From then on, we were a lot better.”
Elias tied it with his first of the season at 13:03. Parise wrapped a centering feed to the front of the net, where Petr Sykora got a shot off on Quick. Elias cruised through the slot, and shoveled in the rebound to make it 1-1.
Elias had a game-high seven shots, and his PEZ line with Parise and Sykora combined for 13. He also had a quality chance on Quick from the right circle with nine seconds left in overtime.
“As long as we create, that’s fine,” Elias said. “Not every night they’re going to go in. Every one of us had good opportunities. Me at the end [of regulation], I thought I had about six rebounds there. In overtime again, too, I had good chances.”
Elias applauded Hedberg’s work in the win.
“We know that when Heddy steps in, he does a good job,” Elias said. “It’s nice to have both goalies that we can count on. We know what Marty’s capable of and we know what Heddy has done for us. No one doubts that he will do his job.”
The Devils visit Nashvile on Saturday. They return to host San Jose next Friday, when ex-Devil Colin White will make his first return to the Rock.
Notes and quotes Parise on his impressive shootout goal:
“You have a few different moves that you like to go to, I just felt like that was the best for [Quick], that type of goalie. I felt that would be my best option and it worked."
DeBoer on the 2-1 start:
"I know the results are important, absolutely I'm happy with a 2-1 start. More happy with how we're starting to grasp how we want to play, and the identity of the team. I think you saw more of that tonight than in any of the game we played yet. That's a good thing."
Brodeur on facing the Kings:
"They came out strong. These guys came back from Europe and you could tell that they had jump. We were able to weather the storm there. We scored a big goal, Patty’s goal, and after that we really took over the game. I thought we had a lot of great chances to win it, but we had to go all the way to a shootout and Heddy played well."
1 - 0 LAK