John Madden and the Devils' penalty killers turned the momentum by holding Calgary without a shot during the long second-period power play, and Patrik Elias scored the winning goal less than two minutes later in a 3-1 win Sunday.
``You figure they will outchance you and the worst case scenario is they may get a goal,'' Madden said. ``The way we killed that penalty, we really took the puck to them. We had odd-man rushes and close calls by their net. We took the wind out of their sails.''
Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff had to make two good stops on forward Brian Gionta and another on defenseman Paul Martin during the major. The Devils held a 3-0 shot advantage during the five minutes.
``When they got the puck in the corner we were able to get on them early and they were just panicking,'' said Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who only had to make 18 saves. ``The first couple of times they dumped the puck I was able to handle it so they didn't want to do that anymore. Then the crowd got into it, and it got harder for them.''
Jarome Iginla, the Flames' leading scorer, said failing to convert on the long power play was like missing on a 5-on-3 chance, which is a momentum changer.
``On the other side of it, it's only a one-goal game and we still have to find ways to win,'' Iginla said. ``We found ways to win our share of those this year, and now we are not.''
The loss was the Flames' third straight, tying their longest losing streak of the season.
Scott Gomez assisted on both goals by Elias and has 10 assists in six games. Elias has five goals in three games. Turner Stevenson added an empty-net goal with 13.7 seconds to play.
Chuck Kobasew scored a power-play goal for the Flames, who had nine minutes of power-play time in the second period.
The majority came when White was ejected for cross-checking defenseman Denis Gauthier in the neck. White seemed to be retaliating after Gauthier checked Jay Pandolfo headfirst into the side boards.
``What `Whitey' did was totally acceptable as far as we are concerned,'' Madden said. ``He was sticking up for his teammate. The hit on Pando was dirty.''
Kiprusoff never had a chance on Elias' second goal, scored on a play in which all five Devils skaters touched the puck. Defenseman David Hale sent a pass to Scott Niedermayer, who poked it ahead to Jamie Langenbrunner. His cross-ice pass went to Gomez, who sent a pass across the crease to a wide-open Elias for a tap-in at 16:06.
Kobasew tied it 1-1 at 5:09 of the second period with a rebound of Steve Reinprecht's shot. Toni Lydman set up the play with a nifty move at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone and then get a shot on goal.
Elias disputed the call and got a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Flames did not take advantage of that penalty, either.
Brodeur had to make about three good saves in the third period, his best being a glove stop on Oleg Saprykin and another on a shot by Chris Clark.
The line of Elias, Gomez and Brian Gionta has been outstanding since being reunited recently by coach Pat Burns. It has combined for 12 goals and 16 assists in six games.
Kiprusoff also didn't have a chance on Elias' goal 4:48 in as Elias took a pass from Niedermayer and rifled a shot from the right circle into the upper left corner of the net.
|Patrik Elias (24) ASST: Scott Niedermayer (27), Scott Gomez (33)|
1 - 0 NJD
|PPG - Chuck Kobasew (4) ASST: Steve Reinprecht (19), Toni Lydman (13)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Patrik Elias (25) ASST: Scott Gomez (34), Jamie Langenbrunner (9)|
2 - 1 NJD
|EN - Turner Stevenson (9) ASST: Jay Pandolfo (10), Scott Niedermayer (28)|
3 - 1 NJD
|Krzysztof Oliwa Fighting against Grant Marshall|
|Grant Marshall Fighting against Krzysztof Oliwa|
|Chris Clark Tripping against Jamie Langenbrunner|
|David Hale Tripping against Chuck Kobasew|
|Patrik Elias Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Colin White Cross checking against Denis Gauthier|
|Colin White Game misconduct against Denis Gauthier|
|Andrew Ference Roughing against Scott Gomez|
|Scott Gomez Roughing against Andrew Ference|