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Ottawa at New Jersey

Gionta's heroics in OT lift Devils against first-place Senators

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur took his latest 30-victory season in perfect stride. After all, he has hit the mark an NHL-record 12 consecutive seasons.

"It's one of the things I set for myself," he said after the New Jersey Devils' 3-2 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night. "Thirty games at the end of the year is not a big number, but not that many goalies do it in consecutive years, so it's nice.

"Now I'll look forward to try to hit 35 next."

If the Devils keep going as they have lately, he might not have to wait long.

Brian Gionta snapped out of a 13-game goal drought when he swept a rebound past Martin Gerber 2:14 into overtime.

Gionta's drive was blocked in front, and Jamie Langenbrunner put a rebound off Gerber's right pad. Gionta got the puck again and scored his 14th goal for the Devils, who have won back-to-back home games after a 2-4 skid there.

"It's huge for us," said Gionta, who hadn't scored since Jan. 10. "We battled hard most of the night and made some good things happen."

New Jersey moved within one point of Atlantic Division-leading Pittsburgh and five behind the Senators, the top team in the East. The Devils will play Saturday at Ottawa.

"We're happy about the way we played," said Brodeur, who started his 16th consecutive game and made 23 saves. "It's nice to win against the best team, but it's the way we competed against them.

"They scored some momentum goals, but it didn't matter. We stuck to our game plan."

Langenbrunner and Karel Rachunek also scored for the Devils, and Patrik Elias had three assists.

The Devils were 0-for-6 on the power play and killed off Ottawa's four advantages, including a penalty against Gionta with 5:46 left in regulation.

"Over the last little while, we've played against the good teams and played well," Langenbrunner said. "We're gaining confidence."

Luke Richardson, who came in with only six points this season, tied a career high with two on a goal and assist. Randy Robitaille also scored for the Senators, who have dropped five of seven (2-4-1).

"It's good to hit a bump here and there to find out what it really takes to win," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

One night after Ottawa's potent top line of Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza went pointless in a 5-1 home loss to Buffalo, coach John Paddock shook up the trio by putting Alfredsson with Mike Fisher and newly acquired Cory Stillman, and moving up Dean McAmmond.

It paid off when Spezza and McAmmond set up Richardson's goal.

Richardson scored his first goal in 26 games, dating to Dec. 18, when his shot struck Devils forward David Clarkson, took a hop, and caromed past Brodeur 5:25 in.

It was the second this season for Richardson, a defenseman who has 35 NHL goals in 1,395 games over 20 years.

John Madden was stopped on a short-handed breakaway with 30 seconds left in the first period, and Langenbrunner topped him with a short-handed goal in the middle frame.

Langenbrunner blocked Andrej Meszaros' shot at the New Jersey blue line, and Elias raced with the puck. The New Jersey captain loaded up a slap shot at the left circle and ripped a drive past Gerber to tie it at 6:12 on Ottawa's second power play.

New Jersey netted the go-ahead goal 1:52 later, during 4-on-4 play. Just 17 seconds after a Devils power play was thwarted eight seconds in, Elias sparked another scoring chance.

"We've got to be patient and disciplined," Richardson said. "We might have taken a few penalties that tired us out. When you get to 4-on-4, even more so. They always look for that scrambley breakdown and jump on it."

New Senators defenseman Mike Commodore, playing his second game since a trade Monday with Carolina brought him and Stillman to Ottawa, was hassled by Elias behind the net and coughed up the puck. Zach Parise got it and sent a pass to the slot where a driving Rachunek one-timed a drive by Gerber.

Brodeur, who passed Ed Belfour into third place on the NHL career minutes played list among goalies, temporarily kept the Devils in front by denying Chris Kelly on back-to-back attempts with his glove.

Less than two minutes later, Robitaille put a shot in the top-right corner, making it 2-2 with 4:31 left in the second. It was Robitaille's 10th of the season and second in two nights.

Gerber got back in the net after dressing as Ray Emery's backup the previous three games. Emery had posted back-to-back victories before allowing four goals in the third period of Ottawa's 5-1 home loss to Buffalo on Tuesday.

Gerber gave up seven goals on 47 shots in his previous two starts -- both losses.

"It felt good to get some ice under my feet," he said. "It was a tough first few minutes to get things going. After awhile, I felt OK."

Notes

  • Richardson had a career-high two assists and two points against the Devils on Dec. 16, 2000.
  • Senators are 7-4-2 in second of back-to-back games.
  • Rachunek has four goals this season, two in three games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Brian Gionta delivers the game winner for the Devils as he sweeps a rebound in overtime.  (AP)
Brian Gionta delivers the game winner for the Devils as he sweeps a rebound in overtime. (AP)
Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Ottawa (34-19-5)11002
New Jersey  (32-21-4) «02013
Three Stars
B. Gionta
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
K. Rachunek
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
P. Elias
NJ


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:25Luke Richardson (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jason Spezza, Dean McAmmond
2ND PERIOD
06:12Short - Jamie Langenbrunner (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Patrik Elias
08:04Karel Rachunek (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Zach Parise, Patrik Elias
15:29Randy Robitaille (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Christoph Schubert, Luke Richardson
3RD PERIOD
None
OT
02:14Brian Gionta (14), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jamie Langenbrunner
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:29Volchenkov, 2 min, Hooking
19:01Parise, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
2ND PERIOD
04:48Martin, 2 min, Hooking
07:39Gionta, 2 min, Roughing
07:39Neil, 4 min, Roughing
07:47Martin, 2 min, Hooking
09:50Gerber, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
17:04Commodore, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
07:55Heatley, 2 min, High-Sticking
13:23Schubert, 2 min, Holding
14:14Gionta, 2 min, Hooking
OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Ottawa711624
New Jersey718429
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Martin Gerber 62:06283
Martin Brodeur 62:14232
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Senators0-for-0
Devils0-for-0
Game Information
Attendance - 12339
Referees - Tom Kowal, Kevin Pollock
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Jonny Murray
 
Other Games
Mon 2 Final
OT
Fla 1
Chi 7 Final
Colu 2
Wash 2 Final
Atl 3
Bos 2 Final
Pitt 1
Tor 0 Final
Buf 1