Devils

Devils Cool Off Surging Ducks, Escape With Shootout Win

N.J. Makes It 7 Wins In Last 9; Brodeur Steups Up Huge With 36 Saves
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The Devils’ Zach Parise celebrates as a shot by Adam Henrique eludes Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller during the second period at the Prudential Center on Feb. 17, 2012. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks finally ran into something they couldn’t beat — Marty Brodeur.

Brodeur made 36 saves, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias scored shootout goals and the New Jersey Devils beat the Ducks 3-2 on Friday night after an apparent overtime goal by Ryan Getzlaf of Anaheim was overturned after a video review.

Brodeur preserved the victory with a pad save on Getzlaf on the final shootout attempt as the Devils won for the seventh time in nine games and handed the Ducks only their seventh loss (14-3-4) since the start of the year.

“He was great,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said about Brodeur. “He was our best player. Again, we were a little bit off but I give them full marks. They are playing very well and they are at the top of their game. That’s the reason they have won as many as they have. They are a difficult team to play against and they put us in trouble a couple of times, but he was our best player.

Still, Getzlaf thought the Ducks should have won on his apparent goal 1:10 into overtime. It was reviewed and the officials in Toronto ruled he used a kicking motion to put the puck in the net.

“I thought I was stopping,” Getzlaf said after Anaheim picked up a point and remained 13th in the Western Conference with 58 points, seven points out of a playoff spot. “Maybe a direction if anything, but that’s legal in this game.”

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau also didn’t like the call, saying that if it was called a goal on the ice then should have remained a goal because he felt there was not a distinctive kicking motion.

“If you look, his leg was snowplowing to stop,” Boudreau said. “If you do that to the inside of your skate it’s always a goal.

Brodeur never left his crease after the Ducks came off the bench to celebrate.

“There was no doubt in my mind he kicked it,” Brodeur said. “In the NHL, you just have to wait.”

The Devils did and the folks in Toronto told them to play on.

Kovalchuk gave the Devils the lead in the shootout with a snap shot between Jonas Hiller’s pads. Teemu Selanne tied with his a backhander on the Ducks’ first shot.

Hiller, who finished with 25 saves, stopped Zach Parise on the Devils’ second chance and Corey Perry, who tallied his sixth goal in the last four games, clanged a shot off the goalpost.

Elias then beat Hiller and the 39-year-old Brodeur ended the game by stopping Getzlaf, giving New Jersey its 10th win in 13 shootouts this season.

“Marty is a heck of a goaltender,” Gertzlaf said. “He has done it for years. It’s a different kind of style from most goaltenders but he finds a way to get it done and he did tonight.”

Anaheim’s Sheldon Brookbank forced the overtime, scoring with 2:13 to play in regulation. It was his first goal since March 31, 2009, a span of 167 games.

“That’s about as many as I scored against Marty in my time here,” said Brookbank, who spent two seasons with New Jersey before being traded to Anaheim in February 2009.

Adam Henrique and Alexei Ponikarovsky scored in regulation for the Devils, who moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Both goaltenders were outstanding in the third period.

Brodeur made a sprawling stop Perry on a 2-on-1 short-handed chance with 6:30 to play and stoned Niklas Hagman in close earlier in the period

Hiller also kept the Ducks alive in the third period, stopping Kovalchuk twice. The first came on a 2-on-1 chance and the second on a shot from between the circles with 35 seconds left in regulation.

Perry got the Ducks on the board with 3:52 left in the second period, depositing the rebound of Getzlaf’s shot past Brodeur for his 29th goal of the season.

Henrique and Ponikarovsky staked New Jersey to a 2-0 lead with goals in the first 10:56 of the period.

Henrique opened the scoring at 1:25 with his 15th goal of the season. Kovalchuk took a shot from between the circles that Hiller stopped, but the Devils rookie got to the rebound before Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and slid the puck into the net.

Ponikarovsky’s goal was a little lucky. Defenseman Matt Taormina sent the puck hard around the boards from the left point and found its way to Dainius Zubrus midway along the right boards. The center made a quick pass to an unguarded Ponikarovsky in front and he redirected it past Hiller.

NOTES: Hiller has started 17 straight games for Anaheim. … Devils rookie D Adam Larsson missed his seventh straight game with a bruised lower back. …This was the Ducks’ first game at the Prudential Center since Nov. 11, 2009. … The Ducks’ George Parros opened a gash over Eric Boulton’s left eye in a first-period fight.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)