Minnesota at New Jersey

Kozlov steps up to lead Devils over Wild in shootout

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Viktor Kozlov fought to keep his mind clear while waiting his turn as the first player to test Minnesota goalie Manny Fernandez in the shootout.

"Every shootout is a stressful situation," Kozlov said. "It's a lottery, especially against the good goalies in this league. I just try to not think too much and just go by what's happening."

Kozlov, who also tied the game late in the third, hit the target with a high backhand shot for the only goal in the shootout to lead New Jersey to a 3-2 victory over the Wild on Saturday.

Alexander Mogilny missed on the Devils' other shootout attempt.

Martin Brodeur had a strong game for the Devils, making 37 saves in regulation and overtime. He sparkled in the shootout, stopping Todd White, Brian Rolston and Marian Gaborik.

"I think he's the best goalie in the NHL," Gaborik said. "He made a lot of terrific saves and he was the key to the win."

The loss was a bitter one for the Wild who dropped a third straight game.

"That's what a shootout does to you," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "They didn't play their best game and they come out with the win. That's why I don't like shootouts."

It came down to a shootout when Kozlov scored with 3:23 remaining in regulation to make it 2-2. He was in the slot and backhanded a rebound past Fernandez.

Jay Pandolfo also scored for the Devils. Rolston and Andrei Zyuzin scored in the first 2:23 of the third period.

Trailing 1-0, Rolston tied the score 36 seconds into the period with a power-play goal. Gaborik's slap shot from the blue line appeared to hit Rolston in the skate as he screened Brodeur.

Zyuzin gave Minnesota the lead on a shot from the left point. The play developed with Marc Chouinard winning a faceoff from John Madden in the Devils' zone. Rolston passed the puck back to Zyuzin, who scored on a slap shot.

Pandolfo opened the scoring at 10:24 of the second period. The goal came five seconds after the Devils killed off the last of a Wild 5-on-3 power play. Sergei Brylin deflected and then collected a pass by Minnesota defenseman Kurtis Foster. Pandolfo joined the play on a 2-on-1 break, and Brylin passed across the slot for the score.

Minnesota had a 15-10 shot advantage in the second period.

Alexander Daigle took a hard shot that Brodeur blocked, and Pascal Dupuis nearly scored on the rebound.

Late in the period, White picked off Richard Matvichuk's pass and set up Gaborik. He went to the backhand while cutting to the net and Brodeur made a diving glove save.

Both teams had eight shots in the scoreless first period. Brodeur kicked out Kurtis Foster's slap shot on a power play, and Fernandez stopped Mogilny from close range.

Devils coach Larry Robinson missed the game because of illness, and assistant John MacLean was behind the bench.

"You deal with it the same way you did as a player," MacLean said. "You're nervous but once you get your adrenaline going and get into the game, it goes away."


  • The game was the second of a five-game road trip for the Wild.
  • Minnesota rotates captains each month, and former Devils player Wlllie Mitchell made his debut wearing the C.
  • Vladimir Malakhov and Erik Rasmussen were back in the Devils' lineup after missing two games. Malakhov had flulike symptoms while Rasmussen was out with a sprained ankle.
  • The Devils improved their overall record against the Wild to 4-1-2.
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Devils' Viktor Kozlov ties the game late in the third and scores the only goal of the shootout.  (AP)
Devils' Viktor Kozlov ties the game late in the third and scores the only goal of the shootout. (AP)
Minnesota (10-11-4)00200 (0)2
New Jersey  (13-10-2) «01101 (1)3
Three Stars
V. Kozlov

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
B. Rolston

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Brodeur

Saves: 37
Save Pct.: .949

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Scoring Summary
10:24Jay Pandolfo (5), Wrist Shot - Assist: Sergei Brylin
00:36Power Play - Brian Rolston (10), Tip-In - Assists: Marian Gaborik and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
02:23Andrei Zyuzin (3), Slap Shot - Assists: Brian Rolston and Marc Chouinard
16:37Viktor Kozlov (7), Backhand Shot - Assists: Brian Rafalski and Brian Gionta
Penalty Summary
03:38Foster: Hooking - 2 min.
10:53Madden: Slashing - 2 min.
15:07Pihlman: Roughing - 2 min.
19:51Fernandez: Roughing - 2 min.
03:33Chouinard: Tripping - 2 min.
07:27Martin: Hooking - 2 min.
08:19Brown: Holding the stick - 2 min.
15:05Rafalski: High sticking - 2 min.
16:23White: Interference - 2 min.
19:00Matvichuk: Hooking - 2 min.
05:16Gionta: Interference - 2 min.
08:21Mitchell: Interference - 2 min.
New Jersey81011433
Attendance - 14103
Game Time - 65:00
Referees - Stephane Auger, Dan O'Halloran
Line Judges - Derek Amell, Jean Morin
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