NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Washington
(Sunday, February 25th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Washington 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jamie Langenbrunner scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and the New Jersey Devils hung on to defeat the Washington Capitals 3-2 at Verizon Center.
Langenbrunner also added an assist in the contest as the Devils won the back end of the home-and-home set versus the Caps.
Travis Zajac and Zach Parise each had a goal and an assist for New Jersey, which has won four of its last five contests and will travel to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins on Tuesday night.
Scott Clemmensen, making his first start since December. 14, stopped 23-of-25 shots to earn the win.
Brooks Laich and Alexander Ovechkin tallied goals for the Capitals, who have lost six of their last seven games and will host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Brent Johnson made 26 saves in defeat for Washington.
New Jersey scored 10:04 into the third period with Caps defenseman Brian Pothier in the penalty box serving a tripping minor. Rafalski, quarterbacking the power play, ripped a shot from the middle of the point, but his shot hit a broken stick in the high slot. Langenbrunner picked up the loose puck and took a wrister that hand cuffed Johnson to put the Devils ahead for good at 3-2.
Washington pulled Johnson in favor of the extra attacker in the last minute of play and despite controlling the puck in the Devils' defensive zone, the Capitals weren't able to score the equalizer.
After a slow start to the contest, the Capitals finally got on the scoreboard with just under four minutes remaining in the opening stanza. Following some good puck possession in the Devils' defensive zone, John Erskine took a shot from the left point that deflected off the skate of Rafalski right to Laich, who was standing in the low right circle and beat Clemmensen with a quick wrist shot to give Washington a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.
New Jersey began the second period playing spirited hockey and managed to tie the game 5:34 into the frame. Zajac standing in the left corner of the Caps' defensive zone, found Parise in the high slot and he got a slow wrist shot through the pads of Johnson to knot the game at 1-1.
Both teams played tight defensively throughout the remainder of the period and the game stayed tied after two periods of play.
The Devils went ahead for the first time in the contest when they got an even strength tally 1:37 into the third period. After Rafalski received a pass at the right point, the veteran defenseman's initial shot was knocked down in front of the Oilers' net by Parise. The rebound bounced to Zajac, who was standing just to the left of Johnson, and from one knee, he backhanded the rebound into the wide open net to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead.
However, Washington came back midway through the frame when Ovechkin's quick snap shot from the left circle got by Clemmensen to even the game at two apiece with 10:47 left in the third.
The Devils finished 1-for-3 on the powerplay, while the Capitals were 0-for-1 with the man advantage...Rafalski had two assists in the contest.
02/25 16:04:25 ET