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New York at New Jersey

Devils goalie Weekes stops 25 shots to earn 100th career win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEWARK, N.J. -- Kevin Weekes put a tough outing behind him with a milestone victory.

Weekes made 25 saves for his 100th NHL victory, and David Clarkson and Travis Zajac scored 10 seconds apart late in the first period in the Devils' 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday.

It was a strong bounceback effort for Weekes in his first start since giving up four goals in two periods in a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Nov. 12. Scott Clemmensen had started the last three for the Devils.

"It's always fun when you get a chance to play," said Weekes, 100-161-39 in his NHL career. "It's a privilege to play in the NHL and I've always had that attitude my entire career. This one was pretty special. Now I know what Marty feels like every day. He's always hitting some milestone."

Marty is Martin Brodeur, the Devils' four-time Vezina Trophy winner, sidelined until March following biceps surgery. His absence helped turn the game into a battle of backup goalies as Weekes outdueled Joey MacDonald, filling in for the Islanders while Rick DiPietro misses several more weeks with a knee injury.

"Weekes was solid," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "He made the saves that he had to. We got out of Weekes what we wanted."

Bryce Salvador, Brian Gionta and Paul Martin also scored, and Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise each had three assists to help the Devils win their third straight game and snap the Islanders' winning streak at three.

Andy Hilbert and Sean Bergenheim scored for the Islanders.

Clarkson got the Devils' first goal with 1:19 remaining, a power-play deflection of Johnny Oduya's hard shot from the right point.

Zajac struck moments later, deflecting Langenbrunner's shot. The changeup fooled MacDonald, and the Devils skated to the locker room with a 2-0 lead.

The Islanders never recovered.

"It's always tough when you give up a couple of quick ones," MacDonald said. "They made two great tips. They dropped the puck and they came right down again and got another one."

The Islanders got two outstanding saves earlier in the period, which prevented the game turning into a Devils' rout. MacDonald made the first stop, and defenseman Chris Campoli had the other.

MacDonald stopped Dainius Zubrus' drive from the slot with a glove save. On the second shot, MacDonald was out of position, having skated out of the crease to deny a breakaway bid Gionta. The puck wound up on Patrik Elias' stick with a wide open Islanders net. Campoli blocked the shot, maintaining the scoreless deadlock.

Both teams scored twice in the second period, giving the Devils a 4-2 advantage.

Hilbert scored for New York at 3:29, flipping a shot toward the net that appeared to hit a New Jersey defender. Salvador countered for New Jersey only 23 seconds later with his first regular season goal as a Devil. The defenseman, acquired late last season from St. Louis, scored once in the playoffs.

Bergenheim cut the Devils lead to 3-2 at 13:04, backhanding the rebound from Andy Sutton's shot that hit the post.

Gionta restored the two-goal margin for New Jersey with a short-handed goal with 15.4 seconds remaining.

In the third, Martin converted a 5-on-3 power-play advantage to put the Devils up 5-2 at 12:32.

More than losing the game, the Islanders were upset by the big hit by Devils defenseman Mike Mottau on Frans Nielsen early in the third period. Mottau came across, catching Neilsen with an elbow that laid out the forward. Nielsen had to be helped off the ice with head and leg injuries.

New York captain Bill Guerin compared it to the elbow by Islanders defenseman Thomas Pock on Ottawa's Ryan Shannon. Pock is currently serving a five-game suspension for the hit.

"I know it was to the head," Guerin said. "I know Mike Mottau. He's not a dirty player, but it was a dirty hit. Thomas Pock is not a dirty player, but he had a dirty hit against Ottawa and he paid for it."

Notes

  • Brendan Witt returned for the Islanders after missing four weeks because of a sprained knee.
  • The Devils assigned Nicklas Bergfors to Lowell (AHL). He scored one goal in eight games.
  • Barry Tallackson made his season debut for the Devils following surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat, while John Madden sat out with a foot injury.
  • The Islanders started a three-games-in-four-nights trip that takes them to Buffalo Saturday and Montreal on Monday.
  • Former Devil Guerin played his 100th game as an Islander.
  • Salvador and Jackman fought in the closing seconds of the second period. Jackman had a cut under his right eye.
Copyright 2015 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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From a backup role, Kevin Weekes reaches the 100-win plateau by beating the Islanders. (AP)
From a backup role, Kevin Weekes reaches the 100-win plateau by beating the Islanders. (AP)
Scoreboard
NY Islanders (7-10-2)0202
New Jersey  (10-7-2) «2215
Three Stars
Z. Parise
NJ


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
B. Gionta
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. Salvador
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
18:41Power Play - David Clarkson (5), Tip-In. Assist: Oduya, Gionta
18:51Travis Zajac (3), Tip-In. Assist: Langenbrunner, Parise
2ND PERIOD
03:29Andy Hilbert (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Witt
03:52Bryce Salvador (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Langenbrunner, Parise
13:04Sean Bergenheim (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Sutton, Weight
19:44Short - Brian Gionta (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Elias, Parise
3RD PERIOD
12:32Power Play - Paul Martin (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Langenbrunner, Elias
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:11Salmela, 2 min, Tripping
11:21Salmela, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
16:50Gervais, 2 min, Slashing
2ND PERIOD
04:40Bergenheim, 2 min, Slashing
17:53Pandolfo, 2 min, Interference
19:53Salvador, 5 min, Fighting
19:53Jackman, 5 min, Fighting
3RD PERIOD
03:22Mottau, 5 min, Fighting
03:22Hunter, 5 min, Fighting
03:22Mottau, 2 min, Elbowing
03:22Hunter, 2 min, Instigator
03:22Hunter, 10 min, Misconduct
10:54Campoli, 2 min, Hooking
10:54Streit, 2 min, Holding
18:14Campoli, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
 123T
New York914427
New Jersey1291233
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Joey MacDonald59:58285
Kevin Weekes59:42252
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
NY Islanders0-for-3
New Jersey2-for-5
Game Information
Attendance - 17138
Referees - Dave Jackson, Dan O'Rourke
Linesmen - Vaughan Rody, Dan Schachte
 
Other Games
Phi 3 Final
Buf 0
Nash 1 Final
TB 4
Pho 2 Final
Car 5
Ana 2 Final
OT
StL 3
Fla 2 Final
Bos 4