Devils Edge Out Winnipeg Jets 3-2
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Patrik Elias scored the only goal of the shootout, and Johan Hedberg stopped all three Winnipeg attempts as the New Jersey Devils posted a 3-2 victory over the Jets on Sunday night.
Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta scored in regulation time for the Devils, who won for only the second time in nine games since top goalie Martin Brodeur was sidelined with a sore back. Hedberg, who was lifted in a 6-3 loss to Carolina on Saturday night, had 23 saves through overtime. He then turned away Blake Wheeler, Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd in the shootout.
Elias netted the winner with a backhander on the Devils’ last attempt that just got under goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who made 25 saves before the tiebreaker.
Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson were stopped by Pavelec on the Devils’ first two shootout chances, and Hedberg stopped Wheeler and Kane on the Jets’ first two tries.
After Elias scored, Hedberg stopped Ladd for the win.
Defenseman Mark Stuart and Kane had regulation goals for the Jets, who had a two-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the third time in eight games.
Both goalies had to make big saves in overtime. Pavelec stopped Peter Harrold in the opening minute and then denied Clarkson with his pad with 2:36 to go.
Hedberg had a glove save on Kane with 5.8 seconds before the shootout and a stop on Dustin Byfuglien in close a minute earlier.
Hedberg also kept the game tied with a pad save on a blast by Byfuglien with 4:50 left in the third period.
The Devils, who hadn’t scored the first goal in nine games, got the first two against the Jets. They were in total command until defenseman Andy Greene tipped Stuart’s shot from the left boards past Hedberg, who was in perfect position to stop the relatively easy shot.
Kane tied made it 2-2 with 2:41 left in the second period, ripping a shot from the left circle high into the corner of the net after being sprung by Stuart on a 2-on-1 with Antti Miettinen. Greene was the defenseman between the Jets’ forwards.
Kyle Wellwood almost gave Winnipeg the lead in the closing seconds but his drive struck the post.
New Jersey, which lost 6-3 at Carolina on Saturday night, came out flying despite the back-to-back games.
Pavelec kept the Devils off the boards until a lucky bounce set up Carter’s goal.
New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov fired the puck off the glass behind the net after crossing center ice. Instead of going around the net, the puck came right back in front, and Pavelec stopped Travis Zajac in close.
The center sent the puck across the crease, and Carter backhanded it in for his third goal of the season at 8:47.
Gionta pushed the lead to 2-0 just 1:25 later, beating Pavelec between the pads on a breakaway set up by Kovalchuk.
It marked the first time the Devils enjoyed a two-goal lead since a win over the Flyers on Feb. 15, a span of 11 games.
Stuart was shaken up midway through the third period, going face first into the boards behind the net while making a touch on an icing call.
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