NEW JERSEY 4, ISLANDERS 3
By Jason Lockhart
The New Jersey Devils scored two quick goals in the opening 2:12 of the first period and never relinquished the lead, topping the Islanders 4-3 at the Continental Airlines Arena Thursday night. Martin Brodeur turned aside 40 of 43 shots to earn his 23rd win of the season and Zach Parise added two goals.
Goals by Parise at 1:57 of the first period and then 15 seconds later by Sergei Brylin gave the Devils a 2-0 lead.
"The first goal was a bad bounce and went right onto Parise's stick," said Tom Poti. The second goal went off one of our guy's skates right to Brylin. Those are the things that happen when you're on a bad streak" said Tom Poti.
The Islanders quickly cut the lead to 2-1 just 45 seconds after Brylin's goal. Sean Hill's shot from the point was deflected in front by Trent Hunter for his sixth goal of the season.
Parise rounded out the first period scoring with 7:02 left in the frame. After the Islanders turned it over in the defensive zone, Jamie Langenbrunner found Parise, who had to spin before scoring his 16th goal of the season.
"When you're playing against New Jersey, three turnovers in a period are going to be costly," said Ted Nolan. "It's tough to come back when you're down early to this team."
The Devils went up 4-1 with 4:10 gone by in the second period when Patrik Elias scored his 16th of the season.
Andy Hilbert scored a beautiful goal off a perfect feed from Mike Sillinger to make it a 4-2 game. Hilbert received a pass from Sillinger, while cutting through the middle, and roofed a backhand shot past Brodeur for his fourth goal of the season with 8:51 left in the second period.
Rick DiPietro saved a potential breakaway by coming out to the blueline to chip the puck away from Parise.
"I came out because I didn't want (Parise) to get a breakaway," said DiPietro. "We were still in the game at that point and wanted to give our team a chance to tie it up."
Sillinger's late goal, while on the power play and with DiPietro pulled, made it 4-3 in the final 19.5 seconds.
"I thought the way we came back was pretty good," said Poti, "but it wasn't enough and we have to be better."
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Zach Parise: Two goals in the first period
2. Martin Brodeur: Stopped 40 of 43 shots for the win
3. Andy Hilbert: A goal, an assist and a +2
4. Trent Hunter: A goal, as assist and a +2
5. Travis Zajac: Set-up Parise twice
Stat of the Game: The Islanders out-shot the Devils 43-26.
Slapshots: Sean Hill played in his 800th NHL game...Radek Martinek (foot) and Freddy Meyer (back) were tonight's scratches.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli 38 Allan Rourke
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
25 Viktor Kozlov - 17 Shawn Bates - 81 Miroslav Satan
45 Arron Asham - 27 Randy Robitaille - 10 Richard Park
30 Martin Brodeur
40 Scott Clemmensen
28 Brian Rafalski - 29 Johnny Oduya
2 David Hale - 7 Paul Martin
21 Brad Lukowich - 8 Alex Brooks
26 Patrik Elias - 23 Scott Gomez - 14 Brian Gionta
9 Zach Parise - 19 Travis Zajac - 15 Jamie Langenbrunner
20 Jay Pandolfo - 11 John Madden - 18 Sergei Brylin
17 Michael Rupp - 12 Jim Dowd - 25 Cam Janssen