NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Chicago
(Sunday, December 21st)
Final Score: New Jersey 2, Chicago 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Ville Nieminen scored the tying goal late in the third period to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-2 draw with the New Jersey Devils at the United Center.
Burke Henry also scored in the third period and added an assist for Chicago, which is 0-3-2 in its last five and has only one victory in its last 20 games (1-12-4-3). Michael Leighton made 27 saves.
Scott Gomez and Scott Stevens each notched a goal and an assist for the Devils, who had a two-game win streak stopped. New Jersey wrapped up a five- game road swing at 3-1-1 and is 6-1-2 in its last nine overall.
Martin Brodeur made 32 saves for New Jersey.
The Devils carried a 1-0 lead into the third, but Chicago tied it just 3:34 into the period.
Stephane Robidas kept the puck in the New Jersey zone at the right point and fed a pass across the blue line to Henry, who ripped a shot past Brodeur for his second goal.
The Devils withstood a couple of Chicago chances, including one on a power play with 8:37 left as Steve Sullivan snapped a shot from the left circle off the near post.
New Jersey then went back in front when Stevens scored his third goal with 5:43 left in the third. He led a rush into the Chicago zone and took a shot from the left boards. The rebound went behind the net for Gomez, who fed a pass into the left circle for an unchecked Stevens, who beat Leighton through the five-hole.
Chicago, though, tied it just 1:54 later. Scott Nichol carried the puck into the New Jersey zone along the left wing and fired a pass across to the right circle for Nieminen, who cut into the slot and wristed a shot over Brodeur's right shoulder for his second goal.
Each team had a good scoring chance in the first minute of overtime. Sullivan's shot from the left circle hit the post and Brian Gionta was stopped on a partial breakaway.
Gomez had a shot from the slot during a 3-on-2 stopped by Leighton with just over 1:30 left. New Jersey outshot Chicago 3-1 in the extra period.
The Devils appeared sluggish in the first period and were outshot 10-5. Only the stellar play of Brodeur kept Chicago off the scoreboard, as his best save of the period came with just over five minutes left when he stacked the pads to deny Nathan Dempsey's chance from the low right circle.
The only goal of the second period came after end-to-end action.
The Blackhawks raced into the New Jersey zone 4-on-2, but a shot was blocked and the Devils went 2-on-1 the other way.
Gomez had a shot stopped during the odd-man break and the Blackhawks had a chance to clear the puck, but Stevens intercepted at the left point. Stevens skated in a few strides and rifled a shot on net. Leighton made the save, but Gomez was in front and flipped the rebound home for his fourth goal of the season at the 9:15 mark.
The Blackhawks paid tribute to former player and coach Keith Magnuson with a pre-game ceremony that included a video package and a standing ovation for Magnuson's widow, Cindy, and two children. Magnuson was killed in a three-car accident Monday in Toronto...New Jersey is 6-0-2 in its last eight meetings with Chicago.
12/21 21:52:28 ET