EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The NHL's new rules were supposed
to make defensive-minded teams like the New Jersey Devils obsolete
The holdovers are having the last laugh.
The Devils, playing the stifling style that carried them to
three Stanley Cup championships, blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0
on Friday night and earned their fifth straight win.
Martin Brodeur made 26 saves for his second consecutive shutout.
Brodeur, who defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 on Monday, posted
his 78th career shutout and third in five games.
"The rules are there and there is a lot more flow to the
game," Brodeur said. "If we are able to play this way and not
take a lot of penalties, you'll see this more and more from our
team. It's not just me. All the guys are excited that we are able
to shut down good teams."
Brian Gionta scored twice in the third period and Viktor Kozlov
also had a goal as the Devils got all their offense on the power
play to end the Canucks' three-game winning streak.
"We're beating good teams now and we're starting to roll,"
Gionta said. "We're playing the hockey we know how to play. We're
getting back to the Devil way."
Kozlov broke the scoreless tie at 2:31 when he took a pass from
Sergei Brylin and curled into the left circle to beat Alex Auld
with a shot that slipped inside the near post.
"Once they scored on the power play, I don't think we mounted
much after that," Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. "We were
playing a stingy road game and I thought we'd rise to the challenge
of the third period, but that first goal seemed to take all the
wind out of our sails."
The Devils' power play clicked again as Gionta scored at 6:38.
Scott Gomez, skating behind the Vancouver net, fed the onrushing
Gionta a well-timed pass. Gomez has points in eight straight games,
with eight goals and nine assists in that span.
Gionta closed out the scoring with his team-leading 25th goal,
knocked into an empty net with 1:53 remaining.
The Canucks outshot the Devils 13-11 in the first period.
Brodeur made good stops on Henrik Sedin's close-in shot and Mattias
Ohlund's power-play slap shot to set the pattern for the rest of
"When you get a chance against that team, you have to score,"
Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi said. "You're not going to get many.
They are very sound defensively."
Chances diminished in the second period as New Jersey outshot
Devils LW Patrik Elias missed the game with a cold. Elias
was one of New Jersey's best players recently with two goals and
eight points in his first four games this season. Elias missed 39
contests while recovering from hepatitis. ... With Alexander
Mogilny assigned to Albany of the AHL, the Devils recalled RW
Aleksander Suglobov from their minor league affiliate. Mogilny
scored the tiebreaking goal in his AHL debut Friday, giving Albany
a 2-1 victory over Rochester.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: IZOD Center Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Referees: Mike Leggo, Dan Marouelli Linesmen: Tim Nowak, Anthony Sericolo
Attendance: 15,061 (79.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
No scoring this period
Viktor Kozlov (10)
(Power Play) Assists: Sergei Brylin, Paul Martin
Brian Gionta (24)
(Power Play) Assists: Scott Gomez, Brian Rafalski
Brian Gionta (25)
(Power Play) (Empty Net) Assists: Zach Parise, Brian Rafalski