Final

Series (Game 2 of 4)

New Jersey leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, December 22nd
Devils4Final
Capitals1
Game 2: Friday, December 29th
Capitals3Final
Devils4
Game 3: Saturday, February 24th
Capitals4Final
Devils2
Game 4: Sunday, February 25th
Devils3Final
Capitals2

Capitals 3

(16-15-7, 39 pts)

Devils 4

(21-13-3, 45 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 29, 2006

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 3 T
WSH 1 1 13
NJ 1 2 14

S. Gomez (Devils - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

P. Elias (Devils - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

M. Brodeur (Devils - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .914

Gomez, Devils win sixth straight against Capitals

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Scott Gomez was picture perfect for the New Jersey Devils, scoring two goals with the help of video reviews.

Elias Says
Martin Brodeur
Brodeur
Martin Brodeur and the Devils beat the Capitals on Friday night, 4-3. It was Brodeur's 30th career win against Washington; he's 30-10-4 in 45 games versus the Caps, including a 10-0-1 mark in his last 11 games against them. Besides the Capitals, Brodeur has also notched 30-or-more victories against the Rangers (34), Islanders (32), Flyers (32) and Canadiens (31). He could add two more teams to that list in the next few months. Brodeur has 29 career wins against the Panthers and 28 against the Penguins.

• For more Elias Says, click here

Gomez had his first multigoal game of the season and added an assist to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

"They were both replay goals, so you never know what's going to happen," Gomez said. "You've got your bench telling you one thing, but it's all up to the people upstairs. Sometimes you get a little lucky."

Sergei Brylin also scored, Patrik Elias had a goal and two assists, and Martin Brodeur made 32 saves for New Jersey.

The Atlantic Division-leading Devils stretched their winning streak to two with their sixth straight victory over the Capitals. New Jersey is 11-1-1 in the last 13 games against Washington.

"It's one of those nights where you have to work hard to win," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "I think our team gave a good effort against a team that wasn't going to quit."

Lawrence Nycholat had a goal, his first in the NHL, and added an assist for the Capitals. Brooks Laich had a power-play goal and Alexander Semin scored with 45.6 seconds remaining for the Capitals. Washington has dropped three straight, and has one win in its last six games.

Nycholat and Gomez scored first period goals.

Nycholat, recalled from the minors four games ago, got his first NHL goal at 5:25. The defenseman took a pass from Alex Ovechkin and drilled a shot from the left faceoff dot past Brodeur.

"It's a pretty special thing," said the 27-year-old playing in only his 13th game. "I'm pretty happy about it. It would have been nicer if we won the game."

Gomez pulled New Jersey even with 1:07 remaining with a snap shot from the bottom of the right circle that went in -- and out of -- the net so fast that it had to be confirmed by a video review.

"It's got a sound when it hits the inside bar," Gomez said. "I pointed that it was in. Going back to the bench I thought to myself I hope that's in because the guys will ride me if it's not. It would be embarrassing."

In the second, Brylin and Gomez scored to give New Jersey a two-goal lead before Laich cut the Devils advantage to 3-2.

Brylin backhanded Brian Rafalski's rebound past Olie Kolzig for a power-play tally at 6:22. Gomez scored his second goal at 13:31, and it also went to a video review. Brian Gionta took a hard shot and Kolzig made a pad save. The rebound bounced in off Gomez' leg. That triggered a review that determined Gomez did not deliberately kick the puck into the net.

Gomez played coy as to how the puck went in.

"I can't really tell you," Gomez said. "I was just going to the net and it kind of bounced off me."

Laich deflected Nycholat's point shot by Brodeur at 16:50.

Elias, set up perfectly by Gomez, scored at 6:43 of the third to give the Devils a 4-2. Gomez took a booming slap shot that rebounded off Kolzig's pads back to Gomez. Instead of shooting again, Gomez spotted Elias in the left circle and fed him a pass for the insurance goal from a sharp angle.

It proved crucial as Semin scored in the closing seconds after Washington pulled Kolzig for an extra attacker. The Capitals pressed for the equalizer in the final seconds but Brodeur fended them off.

"It wasn't to be," Kolzig said. "They're an opportunistic team and they capitalized on some rebounds. We played hard and we can't hang our heads but at the same time, it's another loss."

Game notes


Devils defenseman Colin White missed a second straight game because of a groin injury. ... The Capitals, hard hit by injury and illness, got some help as defenseman Shaone Morrisonn returned after missing four games because of mononucleosis. The Capitals also called up three players Friday from Hershey (AHL): center Dave Steckel and defensemen Jamie Hunt and Timo Helbling.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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