NHL Game Summary - Chicago at New Jersey
(Thursday, March 11th)
Final Score: New Jersey 6, Chicago 4
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Patrik Elias scored twice and Turner Stevenson notched a goal and two assists, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Meadowlands.
Grant Marshall, Sergei Brylin and John Madden scored second-period goals to put the Devils in front for good, as New Jersey won for just the third time in eight games (3-4-0-1). The Devils pulled within six points of the first-place Flyers in the Atlantic Division with a visit to Philadelphia scheduled for Saturday.
Tuomo Ruutu posted a goal and two assists for Chicago, which has lost four in a row and is winless in its last seven (0-4-2-1). Michael Leighton made 22 saves in defeat.
"It was an important game for them and they played like that," said Blackhawks head coach Brian Sutter about the Devils. "But we never went away and just kept coming and coming."
Martin Brodeur made 31 saves in the victory and withstood a Chicago charge in the third.
The Devils carried a 4-2 lead into the final period, but Michal Barinka scored his first NHL goal to pull Chicago within one at 5:08 of the third.
Scott Nichol had a shot from the right circle blocked in the slot and the puck caromed to the top of the left circle for Barinka, who fired a shot past a screened Brodeur.
The Devils answered with 8:08 to play on Elias' first goal of the game. Stevenson did the dirty work behind the net, bumping Chicago defenseman Bryan Berard off the puck to free it up for Scott Gomez, who fed it in front. Elias had to leap over a sliding Chicago defender and backhanded a shot home for his 32nd goal of the season.
The Blackhawks, though, came right back and again pulled within one just over 2 1/2 minutes later when Tyler Arnason banged home the rebound of a shot by Berard.
Eric Daze nearly tied it for Chicago in the closing seconds, but his shot from the left circle was turned aside by Brodeur.
The Devils went the other way and Stevenson fed Elias for an empty-netter to seal it.
New Jersey gained control by scoring the first three goals of the second period.
Marshall snapped a 1-1 tie at the 3:54 mark, scoring his eighth of the season on a shot from the right circle. He took an outlet pass from Jan Hrdina and sent the puck to Jeff Friesen, who carried it into the Chicago zone and dropped a pass back to Marshall.
Brylin made it 3-1 with 6:30 left in the period. Colin White fired a pass from the New Jersey zone to a streaking Brylin, who raced into the Chicago zone and blasted a shot home just after he crossed the blue line.
New Jersey scored again just 32 seconds later when Madden knocked a puck out of the air and past Leighton for his 10th goal.
Chicago, though, crept back into it with a power-play goal in the final minute of the period. Daze had a shot from the slot deflected by a New Jersey defender and the puck went directly to Ruutu, who made a move to his left and deposited a shot home from the left side of the crease.
"I thought overall the first and third period were really solid for us, the second period we were a little sluggish," Berard said.
The Devils grabbed a 1-0 lead on a power play at 7:26 of the first period when Stevenson deflected a Scott Niedermayer shot home for his 12th goal of the season.
The Blackhawks tied it with just 1:55 to play in the opening period, as Eric Nickulas swept a shot past a fallen Brodeur during a scramble in front of the crease.
"Once again we got scored on in the last couple of minutes of periods - that's been our problem lately," said Elias. "Against the better teams it's gonna come back at us."
Hrdina and Niedermayer each had two assists for New Jersey. It marked the first two points for Hrdina since he was acquired from Phoenix in a trade last week...New Jersey played without defenseman Brian Rafalski, who injured his leg on Tuesday against Philadelphia...The Devils are 7-0-2 in the last nine meetings, including a 2-2 tie in Chicago on December 21...The Blackhawks are 0-5-1 in their last six visits to New Jersey.
03/12 00:11:04 ET