NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Ottawa
(Saturday, January 6th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Ottawa 2
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Brian Gionta netted a pair of goals, including the game winner late in the third period, as the New Jersey Devils bested the Ottawa Senators, 3-2.
Zach Parise also scored for the Devils, who have won five of their last six games overall. Martin Brodeur made 33 saves in the win and Scott Gomez had a pair of assists.
"I'm happy with where I am midway through the season," said Brodeur. "We're a team that had a tough time early in the season, but we've bounced back. So we've definitely got to be excited to be leading our division at this point. We'll just try to keep it going."
Patrick Eaves and Tom Preissing both scored goals for the Senators, who lost for just the second time in seven games. Ray Emery made 26 saves in defeat.
Up 2-1, Gionta's goal late in the third provided New Jersey with some insurance. On the play, Gomez streaked down the left side, pulling the defense and allowing Gionta to sneak in front of the net. Gomez then sent a pass to Gionta, who was all alone to the right of the cage, and the forward tapped the pass into a wide open goal with 3:33 left in the game.
"It was a great play along the wall by (Patrik Elias) giving it to Gomez," Gionta said. "He held on to it allowing me time to get backdoor. If (Gomez) doesn't hold on to it, then I'm stuck at the near post and can't get there. He made a great play to give me the time to get across and as you saw it was just an empty net."
The goal turned out to be big as Preissing's fifth goal of the year pulled Ottawa within one with 1:42 to go. Chris Kelly sliced through the New Jersey defense, but lost the puck in front. The disc skipped back out to the slot and Preissing whipped it home past Brodeur.
Ottawa, though, couldn't net the equalizer before time expired.
Parise's 17th goal of the season staked New Jersey to a 1-0 lead 6:13 into the game. Travis Zajac started the scoring play as he carried into the offensive zone and around an Ottawa defender wide right. Now down low, Zajac sent the puck towards the net and Parise was there to punch it home.
A costly turnover by the Devils led to the Senators evening the game with 6:09 left in the first frame. Off a David Hale giveaway, Dean McAmmond sent the puck into the right circle to Christoph Schubert, who sent a quick touch pass to Eaves. The winger then fired the puck past Brodeur's glove side for his sixth tally of the season.
"It was just a forechecking shift and Dean McAmmond made a great play being the high guy," Eaves said. "He forced it down to (Schubert) and fortunately (Schubert) saw me coming. He one touched it to me and all I had to do was shoot it on net."
Hale made up for his miscue in the second as he whistled a shot from the left point through traffic that Gionta redirected past Emery's glove side 1:42 into the second. It was Gionta's 16th goal of the season.
Ottawa recalled center Josh Hennessy from Binghamton of the American Hockey League. He replaced center Antoine Vermette, who is day-to-day with a hip injury...New Jersey upped its road record to an even 10-10-1...Ottawa fell to 1-14-1 when trailing after two periods...Both teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play.
01/06 18:47:49 ET