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NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Minnesota



(Thursday, March 13th)

Final Score: New Jersey 4, Minnesota 3 (SO)

St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Jamie Langenbrunner scored the only goal in the shootout and the New Jersey Devils moved into sole possession of the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Dainius Zubrus, Brian Gionta and Vitaly Vishnevski tallied for the Devils, who, with 88 points, now lead Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Montreal by one. Marty Brodeur allowed three goals on 37 shots for New Jersey, which has won four of its last five games. The Devils will complete their current late-season four- game road trip in Denver on Saturday afternoon.

"We control our destiny in the last 11 games," said Langenbrunner. "We need to play better coming down the stretch. We responded well tonight, and we'll take the positives and the two points out of it."

Stephane Veilleux, Brent Burns and Marian Gaborik scored for Minnesota, which is now winless in its last five games but earned at least one point for the fourth time in six March games (1-2-3). Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves in the loss.

Minnesota sits tied with Calgary in second place in the Northwest Division. Both teams, with 82 points, trail first-place Colorado (84) by two.

"We can't get frustrated," said Wild forward Mikko Koivu. "We're doing everything we can. Every guy is trying his best -- if we keep working hard, we'll change the little things that'll allow us to win some games."

The Devils notched the tying goal in the early stages of the third period, but neither side found the back of the net through the remainder of regulation and overtime before the shoo tout began.

The first four skaters all missed the net until Langenbrunner's double-deke move lit the lamp. When Brodeur turned aside Brian Rolston's slap shot from the slot, the Devils skated off with the one-goal victory.

"When we have Marty in net for the shoo tout, we usually like our chances," said Langenbrunner.

The Wild opened the scoring 3:26 into the first period. Branko Radivojevic held control of the puck along the rear boards directly behind the net and sent a blind backhand pass into the low slot that found the stick of Veilleux, whose wrister lit the lamp.

With 7:02 to play in the first, the Wild grabbed a two-goal edge. Pierre-Marc Bouchard held the puck behind Brodeur, looked for an open teammate and eventually sent a pass into the lower right circle, where a one-timer by Burns beat Brodeur. It was Burns' 13th goal of the season.

New Jersey fought back with a pair of second-period goals.

First, at the 5:43 mark, a laser one-timer by Vishnevski from the left point flew into the back of the cage with the help of a nice screen by Devils forward David Clarkson.

Gionta's 20th goal with 6:14 remaining in the second stanza knotted the contest. Veteran forward John Madden streaked down the right-wing side and stopped near the outer rim of the circle before he fired a turnaround centering pass. The puck hit traffic in front and Jay Pandolfo alertly nudged the disc over to Gionta, who punched it home from near the left post.

But with only 13.4 seconds to go before the end of the second, the Wild moved ahead 3-2. Koivu skated down the left side, maneuvered through the circle and deked past New Jersey's Mike Mottau. Still with control of the puck, Koivu, from the low right slot, slid a quick pass behind him for Gaborik's successful one-timer from in close.

At the 5:31 mark of the third, Zubrus tied the score at 3-3 with his 10th goal. He skated beneath the right circle and tucked home a stuffer inside the near post.

Game Notes

New Jersey is now 19-12-5 on the road this season...This marked the first visit to Minnesota by the Devils since March 4, 2003...Brodeur made 13 saves in the third period...Gaborik has 35 goals this season...The Wild finished 0- for-4 on the power play, while the visitors failed on their only power-play chance...Attendance was 18,568.

03/14 01:19:22 ET


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