NHL Game Summary - San Jose at New Jersey
(Wednesday, February 20th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, San Jose 2
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Sergei Brylin's goal with 1:54 remaining in the second period proved to the game-winner, as the New Jersey Devils edged the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, at the Prudential Center.
Zach Parise and John Madden also scored for the surging Devils, who have won three straight and five of six overall. Patrik Elias collected two assists and Martin Brodeur stopped 30-of-32 shots to earn his 33rd win of the season.
The victory moved the Devils past idle Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division. With 75 points, New Jersey also tied idle Ottawa and Montreal for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
"You have a couple of good games, you're in first. You have a couple of bad ones, it seems like you're fighting for a playoff spot," said Parise, commenting on the close playoff race. "You can't get comfortable."
Jonathan Cheechoo and Kyle McLaren tallied for the Sharks, who fell to 0-3-0 on their season-high eight-game road trip that will continue in Philadelphia on Thursday. Thomas Greiss, making only the second start of his career, allowed three goals on 20 shots for San Jose, which has gone winless in five straight overall.
"I am looking forward to playing right away," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "We just got to build on a lot of the good things that we did tonight - and there's a ton of them. We just didn't score."
San Jose trimmed the deficit to 3-2, as McLaren's drive from the left point deflected off the stick of New Jersey's Brian Gionta and in behind Brodeur with 6:06 to go in the third.
In the final minute, Greiss raced to the bench in favor of an extra attacker, but the Sharks failed to net the equalizer.
The game remained scoreless after the first period, but, with 1:21 remaining in the frame, New Jersey defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski was called for interference.
The infraction carried over to the middle stanza, where Cheechoo gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Milan Michalek's shot caromed off the end boards and a driving Cheechoo beat Brodeur on the tap-in 35 seconds into the frame.
New Jersey scored three unanswered goals to pull ahead 3-1.
Parise's 24th goal of the season knotted the score at the 7:56 mark. As Greiss ventured from the safety of his own goal to play a puck in the slot, Jamie Langenbrunner was in a host of players who collided with the netminder, knocking the puck loose. Parise, who was following up the play, slipped the puck into the middle of the empty net.
Off their relentless forecheck, the Devils grabbed a 2-1 lead with 3:04 left in the frame. Madden, standing at right side of the net, finished the play by stuffing the puck behind Greiss.
New Jersey lit the lamp again 70 seconds later on Brylin's first marker since February 2. Jay Pandolfo spotted a wide-open Brylin in the slot, whose wrister squeezed through the right arm and body of Greiss. The assist was the 200th point of Pandolfo's career.
The Sharks made their first stop in New Jersey since November 5, 2003...Parise now has a four-game goal-scoring streak and a five-game point streak (four goals, one assist)...San Jose extended its road losing streak to four games...San Jose finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Devils failed to convert on their only chance with the man advantage.
02/21 01:12:19 ET