NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at New Jersey
(Tuesday, November 1st)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, New Jersey 3 (OT)
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Sergei Gonchar's goal 1:01 into overtime lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Meadowlands.
Mark Recchi, Maxime Talbot and Lasse Pirjeta also scored for Pittsburgh, which won for only the second time this season. Sebastien Caron allowed three goals on 29 shots for the Penguins, who halted a four-game losing streak against New Jersey.
Erik Rasmussen tied the contest with a late goal for the Devils, who watched their two-game winning streak come to a halt. Both of those victories came without starting goaltender Marty Brodeur, who missed his third straight contest due to a right knee sprain. Scott Clemmensen made the start once again and stopped 33 shots in the losing effort.
Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Gionta also scored for the Devils, who have competed in six one-goal games this season (4-1-1).
New Jersey carried the momentum into the extra session after tying the contest late in the third, but it was Gonchar who notched the game-winner. He skated through the neutral zone and waited for the Pittsburgh forwards to get ready for a rush.
When nobody seemed ready to skate with him, Gonchar decided to take it in alone. He maneuvered around Sean Brown, hustled in through the right circle, and beat Clemmensen from the top of the crease for the 4-3 Pens victory.
"It was a long shift for them and I was trying to create something," said Gonchar. "I caught them flat-footed."
The Penguins won for the first time on the road this season (1-2-3).
New Jersey entered the third period trailing 2-1, but gained a power play under three minutes in. However, it was Pittsburgh who used special teams to light the lamp, as Talbot's shorthanded marker at 3:06 gave the visitors a two-goal edge.
"We should never give up a shorthanded goal, but those things happen," said Devils coach Larry Robinson.
Throughout the remainder of the third period, both teams had several quality scoring chances, but the goaltenders stole the show. With 8:07 remaining in regulation, Gonchar was whistled for hooking and a fluke goal allowed the Devils to cut their deficit to 3-2.
Gionta held control below the left circle and skated toward the net. Before he could release a shot, Pittsburgh's Rob Scuderi poked the puck off of Gionta's stick. The puck then deflected off of Penguins' defenseman Lyle Odelein's skate and into the net at 12:07.
With less than three minutes to play in the third period, Rasmussen's second marker of the season created a 3-3 tie. Alexander Mogilny held control down the right-wing side and sent a lead pass for Rasmussen, whose quick, redirected shot was saved. However, Rasmussen followed up and pushed the rebound home at the 17:48 mark.
A scoreless first period included two power-play opportunities for the Penguins and one for the Devils, but neither team produced many scoring chances. Late in the period, Mogilny hustled in on a partial breakaway, but Pittsburgh's Rob Scuderi swiped the puck away before Mogilny could get a shot on goal.
In the second, the Devils were pressing and the hustle of Jay Pandolfo paved the way for the first goal of the game. The puck was dumped deep into the zone and Pandolfo beat Steve Poapst for control of the disc behind the net along the right back boards.
Pandolfo then raced around behind the net and attempted a pass out to the slot. However, the puck deflected off of Ryan Whitney's skate and came directly to Langenbrunner, who easily punched home his second goal of the season from near the right post at 6:26.
The remainder of the period saw Pittsburgh score twice -- once on the power play -- to gain a 2-1 advantage.
After Sergei Brylin was whistled for hooking with 6:50 to play in the second, the Penguins then gained a two-man advantage at 13:46 when referee Brad Watson raised his arm and slapped New Jersey with a bench minor for too many men on the ice.
The 5-on-3 advantage for Pittsburgh created several one-timers, one in particular that was thought to be a goal by the Penguins. Mario Lemieux fed a crossing pass from inside the left circle to Whitney, whose one-timer from the opposite side seemed to be a sure goal. The Penguins all raised their sticks to celebrate, but Clemmensen had other ideas.
His glove was a bit quicker, and the play was reviewed to see if his hand had been pushed back over the goal line by the force of the shot. Following a lengthy review, it was ruled no goal.
"Clemmensen made some big stops," Robinson added.
Then, moments later, Pittsburgh did in fact get the equalizer. Just six seconds after the first minor to Brylin ended, a slapshot form the right circle by Whitney bounced back off the rear wall and right to Sidney Crosby, who got his stick on it. The disc bounced up in the air, and Clemmensen lost sight of it before Recchi also tipped it and the puck trickled over the goal line at 15:16.
Pirjeta's unassisted marker with 3:27 remaining in the second stanza put the Penguins ahead 2-1. He broke in on a 2-on-1 and released a wrist shot from the low right circle that beat Clemmensen to the near side. It was his second goal of the season.
Brodeur is considered day-to-day...New Jersey is 2-1 against the Pens this season...The Devils finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Penguins were 1-for-6 with the extra skater.
11/02 01:25:19 ET