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Marshall gets goal against former team

1/28/2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The New Jersey Devils never lose track of
one important fact.

"It's not the finish that counts," coach Pat Burns said.
"It's the final score."

Grant Marshall scored in his first game against his former team
and Patrik Elias added a goal and an assist in the Devils' 4-3
victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Marshall spent almost two full years with the Blue Jackets
before being traded to the Devils late last season for a draft
pick.

"It's just clicking right now," Marshall said. "We're doing a
lot of good things. We're working hard, which is the biggest thing.
And we're getting the puck to the points and the open areas. We're
all working well together."

Sergei Brylin added a goal, and Martin Brodeur stopped 28 shots
as New Jersey won its third in a row. Brian Gionta also scored,
into an empty net.

Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 31st goal for the Blue Jackets,
who traded top defenseman Darryl Sydor to Tampa Bay earlier Tuesday
for center Alexander Svitov. Nash added an assist.

Brad Moran, called up from the minors earlier in the day, had
the first goal and first assist of his NHL career. Tyler Wright
also scored for Columbus, which fell to 3-1-1 at home under interim
coach Gerard Gallant.

The Blue Jackets preferred to discuss their comeback rather than
an early deficit.

"For two periods we competed real hard and played even up with
those guys," Gallant said. "We just let it get away in the first
period."

The Devils led 3-0 after the first 20 minutes -- the first time
they've scored three goals in a period since Dec. 19 at Buffalo.

Marshall scored his sixth power-play goal. He scooped the puck
past goaltender Marc Denis after Denis blocked Scott Gomez's hard
shot from the point and quick rebound putbacks by Brian Rafalski
and Elias.

"Finesse for me? I don't think it's in my vocabulary,"
Marshall said. "It's just about reading the plays, getting in the
right situation, working hard and getting some bounces and a little
bit of luck."

Elias then scored his 18th, faking a slap shot on a short-handed
rush and carrying the puck behind the net. He skated back, near the
left hash, and flipped a backhander that eluded Denis and
defenseman Jaroslav Spacek.

Brylin made it 3-0 by jamming in a rebound.

"We've got to put games away when we have the chance," Elias
said.

In a wide-open second period, Nash tied the franchise record
with his 15th power-play goal. Moran carried the puck behind the
net and passed to David Vyborny. Brodeur sprawled on the ice to
block Vyborny's point-blank shot but Nash was there to swat in the
rebound.

The Devils killed 21 straight penalties before Nash's goal.

Wright cut the lead to 3-2 when he slipped in a shot from a hard
angle with 2:17 remaining, only to have Gionta beat defenseman
Duvie Westcott to a loose puck off a faceoff to score into an empty
net.

Moran scored with 23 seconds left to cut the lead to one goal
again, but the Devils withstood a wild final few seconds.

"We made it difficult on ourselves by the way we played in the
last few minutes," Brodeur said. "We pulled it off -- it's nice to
start the road trip out like that. It's pretty rare that we have
the luxury of having three goals in one period. So it was
definitely a good start."

Game notes
The Devils' Midwestern swing against Columbus, Detroit and
St. Louis is the last time they change time zones this season. ...
Columbus came in riding its longest home unbeaten streak (3-0-1) of
the season. ... Geoff Sanderson set the Columbus record with 15
power-play goals last season. ... New Jersey RW Mike Rupp, a
Cleveland native, played his first NHL game in his home state. A
busload of family and friends made the 90-minute trip to the game.
... Blue Jackets, RW Nikolai Zherdev left the game after he was hit
in the groin by Gomez's slap shot in the third period.