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
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
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.
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