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NHL Game Summary - Chicago at New Jersey



(Thursday, November 9th)

Final Score: New Jersey 2, Chicago 1 (SO)

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Zach Parise and Brian Gionta both scored in the shootout and Marty Brodeur finished with 23 saves, as the New Jersey Devils captured their third consecutive win with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at The Meadowlands.

Michael Rupp scored in regulation for New Jersey, which also won in a shootout against Carolina on Tuesday. The Devils, who have now won five of their last six games, will host the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Tuomo Ruutu scored the lone goal for Chicago, which earned its first point in its last eight games (0-7-1). Goaltender Brian Boucher stopped all but one of the 27 shots he faced in regulation for the Blackhawks, who started the 2006-07 season 4-2 but have suffered eight consecutive defeats.

"They are solid...a very good team," said Chicago forward Bryan Smolinski of the Devils. "They have good skill, very well-rounded individuals - they don't have big stars, but they have guys who play within a system and believe."

Strange bounces told the story of the regulation goals, both of which were scored in the first period.

Within the first minute of the opening stanza, New Jersey nearly scored when Jamie Langenbrunner, from inside the lower right circle, slid a pass across the crease for Parise, who failed to get his stick on the puck as it slid wide at the left post.

Moments later, the Devils cashed in courtesy of a lucky bounce. Following a faceoff in the neutral zone, Johnny Oduya fired a dump-in along the left half- wall. The puck was headed behind the net and Boucher skated toward the rear boards to stop it. However, the disc deflected off a kink in the base of the boards and caromed directly into the slot, where Rupp easily deposited his first goal of the season into an open net at 2:31.

"It's unbelievable - the ice is bad, the boards are awful - it's ridiculous," said Brodeur of the rink conditions.

With 13:30 to play in first, Gionta sent a pass from the rear boards to the low slot, where Patrik Elias momentarily had an open net. However, Elias' wrist shot was stopped by Boucher's great sliding glove save.

Shortly after, Chicago knotted the contest. The visitors held control in their offensive zone, and Ruutu corralled the puck along the left half-wall. He circled to avoid a defender and sent a wrist shot on goal. The puck deflected off the shin pad of New Jersey's Colin White and past Brodeur at the 8:55 mark.

Midway through the second period, John Madden nearly gave New Jersey a 2-1 lead. A nifty pass by Langenbrunner from the top of the left circle avoided several Chicago sticks and found Madden's. Seconds later, Madden, stationed along the goal line to the left of the net, drifted toward the goal and attempted a stuffer at the left post, but Boucher was quicker.

"We had a lot of chances to score, but we weren't able to capitalize," said Devils head coach Claude Julien.

Later in the second, the Devils wasted a 5-on-3 power play that lasted for over a minute. The best scoring chance during the two-man advantage came when Travis Zajac had a good look on a rebound following a point shot by Langenbrunner.

The remainder of regulation was fairly quiet and neither team produced many quality scoring chances until the final minute of overtime. With 25 seconds to play before the shootout, Gionta and Elias hustled in on a 2-on-1. The tiny Gionta sent a perfect cross-ice pass for Elias, who hit the outside of the net with a snap shot from the lower left circle.

New Jersey then took firm control in the shootout. Chicago's Rene Bourque was the first shooter and was stoned by Brodeur before Parise lifted a backhander over Boucher's right shoulder. Michael Holmqvist then tried to beat Brodeur down low, but the future Hall of Famer was too quick before Gionta's goal sealed the victory.

Game Notes

Chicago again played without starting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who is listed as day-to-day with a broken finger...Chicago will host St. Louis on Friday...The Devils improved to 9-0-2 in their last 11 games against Chicago, which last won at New Jersey on December 30, 1997...The Devils went scoreless on eight power-play chances and held Chicago scoreless on four opportunities with the extra skater...The Devils owned the battle in the faceoff circle, 31-21...Attendance was 10,978.

11/10 00:14:44 ET


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