NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Chicago
(Sunday, January 15th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Chicago 2 (SO)
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Viktor Kozlov had the deciding shootout goal and Martin Brodeur came up with the key saves, as the New Jersey Devils downed Chicago 3-2 in a hard-fought game at the United Center.
Brodeur finished with 29 saves and gave up just one shootout tally for New Jersey, which has won a season-high six in a row. The beginning of the streak coincided with the return of center Patrik Elias, who had missed the start of the season while recovering from a bout with Hepatitis A. Elias lit the lamp in the shootout as well.
Tyler Arnason had a goal and an assist and Radim Vrbata also scored for the Blackhawks, who have now dropped 12 of their last 14 games.
After a fruitless first round of the shootout, Elias started off the second with a backhander that trickled just inside the left post.
Mikael Holmqvist later evened the session at 1-1 after fooling Brodeur with a nice move in front, setting the stage for Kozlov. The right winger flew into the zone, moved from his backhand to his forehand, and then lifted the puck into the net.
Arnason had a chance to keep the game alive, but Brodeur snagged his offering with his glove to end it.
"Our confidence is coming back and that's a big part of our (winning streak)," Kozlov said. "The shootout is like the lottery -- you never know."
The Devils opened the scoring 4:34 into the first period with a power-play tally from Brian Gionta, but Arnason evened the game with a goal less than four minutes later,
The Blackhawks then went up 2-1 about five minutes into the second period. Kyle Calder broke into the zone on a counter rush and sent a cross-ice pass into the left slot for Arnason, who then sent the puck to Vrbata across the goal mouth. Vrbata finished off the tic-tac-toe sequence with a quick wrister into the open net.
Colin White tied it up at 2-2, however, on a light shot from just inside the blue line that deflected off a defender and past netminder Adam Munro with 12:42 left in the second.
The goaltenders took over for the remainder of the contest, as neither team was able to break the stalemate in regulation or overtime.
Munro finished with 24 saves.
"We're keeping it simple and playing smart and within the system," said Blackhawk defenseman Duncan Keith. "We got a point against a pretty good squad."
With the victory, Brodeur tied Tony Esposito for fifth place on the all-time wins list (423)...Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has missed the last nine games with a groin injury and remains on injured reserve...Chicago is winless versus New Jersey over the last 10 meetings, dating back to 1998...New Jersey's Scott Gomez, who had an assist on Gionta's goal, extended his point streak to nine games...The Devils, who are 8-11-2 on the road, will visit St. Louis on Tuesday.
01/15 22:27:29 ET