NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Detroit
(Thursday, January 29th)
Final Score: Detroit 5, New Jersey 2
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Tomas Holmstrom and Mathieu Schneider each posted a goal and an assist, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils at Joe Louis Arena.
Brett Hull, Jamie Rivers and Kris Draper also scored for Detroit, while Curtis Joseph made 31 saves. The Red Wings, coming off a 1-2-2 road trip, are just 3-3-3-1 in their last 10.
The Devils had a three-game winning streak stopped and lost for just the second time in their last eight (5-2-1). Erik Rasmussen and Turner Stevenson scored for New Jersey, while Martin Brodeur stopped 15 shots in defeat.
This was the only meeting of the season between the last two Stanley Cup champions, who have also combined for six of the last nine NHL titles.
"I thought we came out with great energy, but when you are playing Stanley Cup champions that's going to happen," said Red Wings head coach Dave Lewis.
Special teams were the key for Detroit, which scored on both of its power-play opportunities and once shorthanded while killing off all seven of New Jersey's chances with the extra skater.
"The difference in the game was the special teams," Lewis added. "Curtis and the penalty killing was very good."
Detroit snapped a 1-1 tie with 3:56 left in the opening stanza, cashing in its first power play of the game. Holmstrom carried the puck into the New Jersey zone and sent a pass to the right wing for Brendan Shanahan, who fired it back across to a trailing Schneider. The Detroit defenseman cruised down the slot and beat Brodeur with a wrister for his 10th goal.
Hull made it a 3-1 game just 46 seconds into the second period with his 18th goal. He fought off a check from Igor Larionov in the right circle, wheeled around and snapped a shot past Brodeur on the short side.
"He made a great shot," Brodeur said about Hull. "I didn't think he'd get it that high with Igor in his face."
The Devils pulled within one just under three minutes later when Stevenson scored his sixth on a shot from the slot off a feed from Jeff Friesen.
Joseph stopped the other 10 shots he faced in the second, including a blast from the right circle by Friesen on a 2-on-1 in the final minute of the stanza.
"We traded chances most of the game," said Devils head coach Pat Burns. "They capitalized and we didn't."
The Red Wings again opened a two-goal margin at 8:30 of the third, scoring again on the power play, as Holmstrom knocked in the rebound of a point shot by Schneider for his ninth goal.
"When it was 3-2 they had us on our heels a little but," said Holmstrom. "I didn't have much speed on that one, but it got over the line."
The Devils had a chance to get back in it with just over five minutes left in the third when Ray Whitney went off for hooking, but again Detroit killed off the penalty without much difficulty.
Chris Chelios was called for high-sticking with just 1:42 left and the Devils pulled Brodeur for a 6-on-4 skating advantage. Joseph made a couple of saves after the faceoff, and Draper scored into the empty cage with 1:02 remaining to seal it.
New Jersey dominated the opening stages of the contest, firing the first six shots on goal. The Devils also had three power plays, including a two-man advantage for 39 seconds, but failed to convert.
"Killing off the 5-on-3 was huge," said Joseph. "That helped take away some of their momentum. The guys let me see the puck and cleared the rebounds. It was a big kill for us."
Joseph made a great glove save on a point blank shot from the slot by New Jersey defenseman Brian Rafalski during the two-man edge. He also came up with a stop on a breakaway by Grant Marshall midway through the period.
The Red Wings scored moments later on Rivers' second goal of the season. Henrik Zetterberg won a faceoff in the New Jersey zone and drew the puck back to Rivers, who sent a high wrist shot past a screened Brodeur and under the crossbar at the 11:01 mark.
The Devils tied it just 2:47 later on an unassisted goal by Rasmussen. He picked up the puck along the left boards, skated into the Detroit zone and sent a low wrister that beat Joseph through the five-hole.
Schneider has five goals in his last five games...Draper reached 20 goals for the first time in his career. He also has four shorthanded goals this season...Steve Yzerman assisted on Holmstrom's goal and now has 1,702 points in his career, surpassing Mario Lemieux for sixth on the all-time list...Jamie Langenbrunner returned to the lineup for the Devils after missing the last 28 games with a knee injury...New Jersey lost for the first time in five road games (3-1-1)...
01/30 01:13:28 ET