Cloquet, Minn., native RW Jamie Langenbrunner sealed his first career hat trick with an empty-net goal, LW Dean McAmmond and LW Jay Pandolfo also scored and G Martin Brodeur made 29 saves, leading the New Jersey Devils past the Minnesota Wild 5-3 in front of an overflow sellout crowd of 19,155 at Xcel Energy Center.
C Mikko Koivu
, C Eric Belanger and LW Andrew Brunette scored a goal apiece and G Niklas Backstrom
made 21 saves for Minnesota, which has lost three straight and visits Chicago in a nationally-televised game on VERSUS Tuesday before returning home to face Calgary on Wednesday.
C Mikko Koivu
scored his seventh career short-handed goal – tying Brian Rolston for second place on the Wild’s all-time list. Wes Walz leads with 14. Koivu has a six-game point streak (1-7=8) – one off his career-high of seven, set Nov. 24-Dec. 5, 2008. He has 20 points (5-15=20) in his last 19 contests, and leads the Wild with 41 (11-30=41) points. The Wild fell to 16-3-1 when Koivu scores, dating back to Dec. 19, 2008.
C Eric Belanger scored his ninth goal of the season. Belanger has six points (3-3=6) in his last six games and ranks fifth on the Wild with 22 points (9-13=22) this season.
RW Martin Havlat posted an assist and has a four-game point streak (1-3=4). Havlat has points in 10 of his last 12 games since Dec. 11, with 13 points (5-8=13) in that span.
D Marek Zidlicky recorded two assists and has six helpers in the last five games. Zidlicky leads all Wild defensemen in assists (22) and points (25).
The attendance of 19,155 is the Wild’s biggest regular-season crowd since 19,398 on Oct. 5, 2005. It marked the largest crowd overall since 19,364 on April 17, 2008, during the playoffs.
The Wild has lost back-to-back home games in regulation for the first time since Jan. 17-20, 2009.
Minnesota has allowed at least four goals in three straight games for the first time since a three-game stretch Feb. 12-17, 2008.
Minnesota fell to 1-5-4 all-time against the Devils –the only NHL opponent the Wild does not have at least two wins against.
The Wild dropped to 6-3-3 against the Eastern Conference this season.
Minnesota has given up the game’s first goal in 17 of its last 23 contests.
New Jersey went 2-for-3 on the power play. The Wild has allowed a PPG in four straight games – tying a season-high – and has allowed five goals on 10 chances (50.0%) in that stretch.
Former Wild Head Coach Jacques Lemaire, Assistant Coach Mario Tremblay and RW Brian Rolston each made their first visit to Xcel Energy Center since leaving the Wild.