The only thing that stood between Martin Brodeur
and the New Jersey Devils
’ seventh straight win was the phenomenal talent known as Ilya Kovalchuk
In the third round of the shootout, the future Hall of Fame netminder snared Kovalchuk’s wrist shot out of the air with his glove as New Jersey moved into second place in the Atlantic Division with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers
at the Prudential Center on Sunday.
''He's a good goalie, one of the best ever,'' Kovalchuk said. ''You need to be real good and real sharp to beat that guy. He moves quick from post to post, so I tried to go high.''
scored the lone goal in the shootout, sending Thrashers goalie Johan Hedberg
home with an undeserving loss. Gionta was able to beat Hedberg on a backhand shot.
''At the blue line, I saw he had come way out on me,'' Gionta said. ''Once I saw he was out, I tried picking up a little more speed to beat him back to the net.''
and John Madden
scored in regulation for the Devils, who improved to 14-10-2 with the victory. New Jersey will look to make it eight in a row on Wednesday night, when it hosts the Boston Bruins
. The Devils haven’t been on such a roll since they closed out the 2005-06 campaign with 11 straight wins.
“You always hope you get on some type of streak and run with it for a while,” Madden said.
“We’re doing a lot of good things. We needed something like this to counter the slow start.”
After Todd White
) and Brylin ( 700K
) exchanged goals in the opening period, Madden put the Devils in front at the 15:46 mark of the second ( 700K
). The solid two-way forward was the beneficiary of a pretty pass from Karel Rachunek
, as the Devils’ defenseman faked a shot just inside the Atlanta zone before sending a cross-ice feed from the right-wing boards to Madden for the tap-in. The Devils outshot the Thrashers 12-3 in the middle frame.
“I was shocked from where he passed it and how it got through and the velocity it had on it,” said Madden, who now has seven goals this season. “It was a wonderful pass by him.”
But the Thrashers fought back and tied the game 9:34 into the third period on Kovalchuk’s 22nd goal of the season ( 700K
). With Atlanta controlling the tempo in the Devils’ zone, Kovalchuk took a pass from Bryan Little
and fired a rocket from the slot past Brodeur to make it 2-2.
Atlanta continued to apply pressure and had the better scoring chances in overtime. Brodeur kept his team alive with big saves against both Kovalchuk ( 700K
) and Marian Hossa
) in the extra session.
“He’s played fantastic,” Devils forward Jamie Langenbrunner
said of Brodeur. “He’s proving why he’s one of the best ever to play the game. We’ve really leaned on him in the last little while, and he’s come up huge.”
Atlanta (12-13-1) will look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday night as it returns to Philips Arena to host the Islanders.
''Against a team like this, we have to be satisfied with coming back and getting a point,'' Hedberg said. ''We made sure we got one point in a tough building against a hot team.''
Oilers 4, Ducks 0
|Oilers' goalie Mathieu Garon stopped all 25 shots he faced as Edmonton completed a sweep of a home-and-home series against the Anaheim Ducks.
scored against his former team, and Mathieu Garon
stopped all 25 shots he faced as Edmonton completed a sweep of a home-and-home series against the defending champions at the Honda Center.
It was the 12th career shutout for Garon, who spelled Dwayne Roloson
after the latter made 21 saves in a 5-1 victory over the Ducks at Rexall Place on Friday night.
“I think it’s good for the team,” Garon said of Edmonton’s 1-2 punch between the pipes. “My job is to give Dwayne a break when he needs it. I think when I can pick up a win, it’s even better for the team. We’ve been playing a lot. It’s always good to have a fresh goalie there. I’m sure Dwayne appreciates it as much as I do.”
After Raffi Torres
opened the scoring 9:29 into the game, Penner put the Oilers up by a pair with his fifth goal of the season at the 18:25 mark of the first period. With Edmonton on its third power play, Robert Nilsson
sent a pass towards the goal mouth that deflected off the stick of Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin
and Penner’s glove before heading past Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere
as the Oilers took a 2-0 lead.
Edmonton continued to capitalize on the man advantage as Joni Pitkanen
lit the lamp at the 7:15 mark of the second period with a slap shot from the left point to make it 3-0. Tom Gilbert
helped the Oilers pour it on when he beat Giguere just 2:04 later for his fourth goal of the season.
Anaheim had a chance to get back into the game when it was awarded a two-man advantage shortly after Gilbert’s tally. But the Ducks (12-12-4) failed to get one past Garon, other than one shot that hit the goal post.
“Overall, I think we played an awesome game,” Garon said. “I didn’t have to do too much. Guys were blocking shots in front of me.”
The Ducks – who’ve lost three of their last four games – will look to right the ship on Wednesday night, when they’ll host the Buffalo Sabres
at the Honda Center.
"We’re the only guys, the guys in this room, that are going to turn this around," Ducks forward Rob Niedermayer
said."We just have to stay positive and work our room out of this. It’s not something in this league where it’s a switch that you can just turn on and off. It’s something that you have to work towards, that you have to commit to and that’s what we have to do in here."
Material from wire services and team online and broadcast media were used in this report.