NHL Game Summary - Chicago at New Jersey|
(Friday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Chicago 2, New Jersey 1 (SO)
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Jonathan Toews scored the lone goal of the
shootout as the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to take a 2-1 win over the New
With the win, Chicago increased its point total to 103 points, good for the
second spot in the Western Conference. The win eliminates Nashville from the
Central Division title as the Predators only have three games to play and
trail by seven points, but Detroit, which is eight points back, has five
games to play and is still in contention for the division. Also, the
Blackhawks are three points back of San Jose for the top spot in the Western
With the point, New Jersey moved to 95 points on the season and now sits in
first place in the Atlantic Division and third spot in the Eastern Conference.
New Jersey and Pittsburgh both have the same record, but New Jersey holds the
tiebreaker as it won all six games against Pittsburgh this season. Also, New
Jersey is one point behind Buffalo for the second position in the Eastern
Conference. All three teams have five games to play.
After Antti Niemi stopped Jamie Langenbrunner, Toews buried a wrister into the
right corner of the net. Niemi then made stops on Zach Parise and Ilya
Kovalchuk for the win.
Kris Versteeg scored with 26 seconds to play while Niemi stopped 32 shots for
the Blackhawks, who have won two straight.
"This was a good win and hopefully we can take the momentum from this and
follow it up the next game," said Toews. "It wasn't the most exciting game
I've ever played, but it was a big character win."
Kovalchuk scored in the first period while Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots for
the Devils, who have dropped three straight.
"We need to play better in these situations," said Brodeur. "We have to get it
done when we hold the lead late and we didn't do that tonight. You're not
gonna win playoff games if you do some of the things we did tonight."
The one thing this game did not have was a penalty call, as the teams went 65
minutes without a single infraction. It was the first time that happened in a
65-minute game since March 28, 2001, when the Bruins and Maple Leafs played a
Chicago proved unable to solve Brodeur for 59:34 of game time, but with Niemi
pulled for an extra attacker, the team tied the game as New Jersey failed to
clear the puck. Versteeg's turnaround slap shot from the right circle went
through a screen and in to tie the game.
The only goal of the first period came 5:49 in, when Patrik Elias sent a pass
from behind the net to the front, where Kovalchuk one-timed it home for his
40th goal of the season.
Brodeur stopped nine shots in the first period and seven in the second to keep
New Jersey in front heading into the final 20 minutes.
New Jersey plays its next three games on the road, starting in Carolina on
Saturday...Chicago hosts Calgary on Sunday...Kovalchuk has reached the 40-goal
mark in each of his last six seasons...The Blackhawks have won the past three
meetings with the Devils. However, it was Chicago's first win in the Garden
State since December 30, 1997, during which the team went 0-7 with a tie.
04/02 23:08:07 ET