NHL Game Summary - Montreal at New Jersey |
(Wednesday, December 6th)
Final Score: New Jersey 2, Montreal 1 (OT)
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Patrik Elias' power-play goal with 7.3
seconds left in overtime gave the New Jersey Devils a heart-stopping 2-1 win
over the Montreal Canadiens at Continental Airlines Arena.
After a Devils faceoff win, the puck came back to Scott Gomez at the bottom of
the left circle. He fed it to the point for defenseman Brian Rafalski, who
sent a touch pass ahead to Elias in the slot. Elias took all day to wind up
and hammered his shot to the far side, where it slipped through the arm of
goaltender David Aebischer and into the net.
"It's a good faceoff win by Scotty," Elias beamed. "We moved the puck well
there, a couple of good passes. I set myself up for a one-timer, Raffi
(Rafalski) made a good pass, and the puck found its way in."
The game-winner was set up when Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray was called
for a hooking penalty with 11.8 seconds remaining, when he held up a Devils
forward behind the net on a scoring attempt.
"If that's a penalty, I think I would take it 100 times out of 100," Souray
said. "You know, I'm just trying to catch up on a 3-on-2, get the guy's hands
so he doesn't have a free shot, because he would have had a free shot at that
point. I felt I would probably do that every single time."
Gomez and Rafalski registered two assists each, and Zach Parise netted the
only other goal for New Jersey, which has won three in a row. Martin Brodeur
made 18 saves for the win, his 461st career victory, which ties him for second
place in all-time goaltender wins with Ed Belfour.
Radek Bonk scored and Alexander Perezhogin picked up the lone assist for
Montreal, losers of two straight and three of four. Aebischer stopped 29 shots
in a rare start.
Following the successful kill of an early two-man disadvantage, Montreal took
a 1-0 lead four minutes in, thanks to an uncharacteristic lack of focus by the
Devils in their own zone.
Brodeur mishandled a simple center-ice dump in, kicking the puck out of his
skates to the right boards behind the net. Defenseman David Hale overskated
the clear, and Perezhogin sent a backhand feed out towards the slot. Bonk,
who positioned himself in front, got the heel of his stick blade on the pass,
redirecting it home.
Neither Aebischer nor Brodeur yielded in the second, stopping a combined 11
shots, but both men owed a debt to the post since both Alex Kovalev and Brian
Gionta rang shots off the iron during the period.
As the third period progressed, Montreal stepped up its effort to get an
insurance goal, while New Jersey tried to net the equalizer. Aebischer made
key saves on Jamie Langenbrunner shorthanded and Elias in close, while Brodeur
withstood challenges by Michael Ryder and Saku Koivu from the slot.
The Devils would eventually get that tying goal with 5:48 to go.
Gomez raced nearly the length of the ice, and flipped a shot in on Aebischer
from the bottom of the left circle. The rebound kicked out to Parise cruising
in the right slot, and his shot hit the net just inside the far post as Souray
checked Gionta into Aebischer.
New Jersey has won six straight games over Montreal, and the Canadiens have
not won in East Rutherford since February, 2002...The Devils have also won
their last six games on home ice, and have a 10-1-1 record at home...Coming
into the game, the Canadiens boasted the top-ranked penalty-killing percentage
in the NHL, and killed off four of five shorthanded situations...The Devils
did not yield on Montreal's two power-play chances.
12/06 23:25:48 ET