NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Minnesota
(Saturday, January 2nd)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, Minnesota 3
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Jamie Langenbrunner notched his first career hat trick and Jay Pandolfo wound up with the game-winning goal in the third period, as New Jersey took a 5-3 win from Minnesota at Xcel Energy Center.
Dean McAmmond also scored and Patrik Elias picked up three assists for the Devils, who have won three of their last four games. Martin Brodeur stopped 29-of-32 shots for the win.
Eric Belanger, Mikko Koivu and Andrew Brunette scored for the Wild, who have dropped three straight for the first time since mid-November. Niklas Backstrom allowed four goals on 25 shots and Marek Zidlicky recorded two assists in the setback.
"We felt like we played a pretty solid game. Obviously, the goals that we gave up were pretty bad mistakes by us," said Wild center Kyle Brodziak. "You just have to shore up some of those. That's one of the best teams in the league; if you don't make a few of those mental mistakes, you get the win."
Some good work by Rob Niedermayer helped the Devils take a 4-2 lead with 8:25 left to play in the third. Niedermayer kept control of the puck while battling a pair of Minnesota defenders and brought it into the crease, where Pandolfo batted it into the net.
Brunette kept Minnesota close by putting in his 13th of the year with 3:51 remaining, but Brodeur held firm with 11 third-period saves and Langenbrunner turned the trick with 15.6 ticks to go on an empty-net score.
"It's definitely been a good start to 2010, that's for sure," Langenbrunner said. "Getting your first career hat trick is a lot of fun. I was well aware of it (not having one). That's something you know. I've had a few opportunities to get it, but it was good to get that third one."
McAmmond broke in on net from the right wing and roofed a backhander over the shoulder of Backstrom for the game's first goal 5:13 into the second period.
Langenbrunner received a cross-ice pass from Elias low on the left side for a one-timer past Backstrom and a 2-0 lead less than two minutes later.
Belanger then scored on a one-timer off a Zidlicky pass to get the Wild within one, and Koivu picked up a short-handed tally 38 seconds before the close of the second.
New Jersey, though, ultimately made the power-play chance count with Langenbrunner's chip-in goal off a Wild defender just before period's end for a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Since a home win on March 4, 2003, Minnesota is 0-2-2 with a tie versus New Jersey...Langenbrunner has 13 goals on the season...New Jersey was 2-for-3 on the power play while Minnesota failed to convert on either of its two chances.
01/02 23:16:01 ET