NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at New Jersey
(Friday, April 3rd)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, Tampa Bay 4 (OT)
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Zach Parise's goal 1:21 into overtime lifted New Jersey over Tampa Bay, 5-4, at Prudential Center.
On the game-winner, Travis Zajac took a lead pass from Paul Martin in the neutral zone and carried down the right wing, before faking a shot and dishing across to Parise who hit a wide-open net.
"He (Zajac) yelled at me to go there, so I did," Parise said. "It was a great pass by him. It was unbelievable."
Jamie Langenbrunner added two goals and one assist for the Devils, who snapped a six-game losing skid and remained six points ahead of the Flyers in the Atlantic Division after Philly dispatched the Maple Leafs. After Washington fell to Buffalo in overtime, New Jersey also climbed to within two points of the second-seeded Capitals.
Parise picked up a goal and two assists, while Jay Pandolfo also scored and Brendan Shanahan connected on a penalty shot for New Jersey.
Kevin Weekes started the game and stopped 11-of-12 shots before leaving due to injury. Martin Brodeur picked up the win despite allowing three goals on 10 shots in relief.
Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Evgeny Artyukhin and Martins Karsums tallied once each for the Lightning, who have dropped five straight games.
Karri Ramo took the loss despite a 34-save performance.
Tampa opened the scoring 1:39 into the game, as Artyukhin's shot from the right circle found space between Weekes' arm and body.
Weekes had to be helped off the ice less than a minute into the second period, as his left leg bent awkwardly as he dropped to his knees to play a simple dump-in at the top of his crease.
Brodeur, who was given the game off and had been officially honored by the Devils and the NHL prior to the start of the game for his record-setting 552nd career win last month, entered the game, but a one-timer from Stamkos at 5:09 created a 2-0 Bolts edge via the power play.
"He was down. I didn't have my mask with me, so I told someone to go into the locker room to get my mask," Brodeur said. "It was tough. I'm not going to hide it. When I get days off, they're days off. You can't control injuries, the amount it's happened to me in my career you can count on one hand."
New Jersey had two chances to get on the board later in the second. On the first, a Shanahan shot hit the post, bounced out, caromed off Ramo's back and near the goal line before being smothered by the Lightning goaltender.
The second featured a Devils dump-in taking an odd bounce off the boards and slithering parallel to and inches from the goal line, as Ramo threw his goal stick in desperation to keep the puck from veering in.
The latter was reviewed and ruled to be an intentional stick throw, resulting in a penalty shot, taken by Shanahan. He scored through the five-hole, halving the Devils' deficit with 6:55 to play.
Pandolfo knotted the game with a high wrister under the crossbar with 5:10 remaining, then Langenbrunner slid a shot through traffic for a power-play goal and a 3-2 Devils lead at 18:29.
Malone drew Tampa even with a breakaway score at 2:41 of the third, and Langenbrunner converted a rebound for a 4-3 Jersey lead at 10:35.
Karsums beat Brodeur to a loose puck at the left side with 5:54 to play, and both teams could not decide things in regulation despite several chances.
"It was one of the better games in about a month, where we came back and battled," said Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet. "It was nice to see. I thought our forwards did a good job. It's a good case for guys coming back next year: the team wins, not individuals. We played like a team better than we have for a long time."
The Devils have won seven in a row over the Lightning and swept all four meetings this season...Parise's goal was his 43rd of the season, good enough for third in the NHL, one behind second-place Jeff Carter of Philadelphia, who recorded a hat trick on Friday against Toronto...Both teams are in action on Saturday, as New Jersey looks to take another step toward a division crown at Buffalo and Tampa Bay plays the New York Islanders in Uniondale.
04/03 23:59:08 ET