NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Washington
(Monday, December 10th)
Final Score: Washington 3, New Jersey 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jeff Schultz's tally highlighted a two-goal second period and the Washington Capitals held on to defeat the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, at the Verizon Center.
John Erskine had a pair of assists and Quintin Laing scored during the second period for the Capitals, who have won two straight and three of four. Olaf Kolzig made 20 saves and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for Washington, which avenged Friday's 3-2 setback to the Devils in New Jersey.
John Madden and David Clarkson each scored for the Devils, who have dropped two in a row after winning nine straight. Kevin Weekes started in net in place of the resting Martin Brodeur and made 21 saves for New Jersey, which failed to get a point for the first time in 11 games.
The Devils had their nine-game win streak halted on Sunday in New York against the Rangers, but did earn a point in a 1-0 overtime loss.
With the game tied 1-1, Washington built itself a lead with a two-goal second.
The first goal came just 53 seconds into the stanza and was aided by the stick of New Jersey's Colin White. Schultz gathered a pass from Alexander Ovechkin and from the right point ripped a shot that deflected off White's stick and into the net.
The Capitals pressured New Jersey for nearly the entire period and finally made it a two-goal game with 1:52 left. Erskine's shot from the left circle was stopped by Weekes, but the netminder couldn't cleanly glove the tumbling puck and Laing swiped the rebound into the back of the net for his first career goal.
New Jersey rallied in the third. After having a goal called off inside the first minute of action because a kicking motion was used to put the puck in the net, the Devils got a goal to stick just 2:18 into the frame.
Clarkson gathered the puck in the right corner from a scrum, made his way behind the net and stuffed home a wrap-around to draw the Devils within 3-2.
New Jersey kept the pressure on the rest of the way, but failed to get the equalizer. Weekes was pulled for the extra skater with a minute to play, but the Devils never got a shot on net during that advantage.
"That was not why we lost tonight," said Devils head coach Brent Sutter of the reversal. "The second period was brutal. We had 18 brutal players in the second period. They left our goalie hung out."
Washington beat the Devils at home for the first time since February 19, 2004, winning for just the second time in 10 overall meetings since.
The Devils started the scoring just 5:56 into the contest. From behind the net, Brian Gionta sent a pass to Madden at the inside of the right circle and the forward one-timed the puck by Kolzig.
Washington, though, answered 2:48 later when, on the power play, Backstrom gathered a pass from Viktor Kozlov and backhanded it over the outstretched Weekes. Kozlov's pass came from behind the net and wasn't intended for the eventual target, but the pass hit off White's skate and went right to Backstrom.
"The energy and the effort was fabulous," said Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau. "I just thought they really played well with each other and we worked all four lines and everybody was talking on the bench. It was a pretty sight."
Washington ended 1-for-3 on the power play...New Jersey ended 0-for-3...The Devils had just two second-period shots on Kolzig...Weekes made his first start since November 12 at Pittsburgh.
12/10 23:31:53 ET