NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at New Jersey
(Wednesday, March 1)
Final Score: New Jersey 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO)
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur stopped all three Flyers in the shootout to help the New Jersey Devils defeat Philadelphia, 2-1, at Continental Airlines Arena in the first game back from the Olympic break for both teams.
Viktor Kozlov scored the Devils' only goal in regulation and added another in the shootout, while Brodeur made 26 saves for New Jersey, which has won three of its last four games.
"That's a team we are looking up to in the standings," Brodeur said. "This definitely was a good effort. They are one of the teams on top and we need to play well against these clubs. It was a pretty good hockey game concerning that it has been a while that no one has played."
Brian Savage scored the only goal for Philadelphia, which has lost two straight and five of its last seven games. Robert Esche stopped 31 shots in the loss.
After Brodeur stopped Mike Richards with an arm save to start the shootout, Kozlov beat Esche glove-side to give the Devils the early advantage. Brodeur followed with a blocker save on Petr Nedved and Esche made a right-pad save on Zach Parise.
Peter Forsberg had a chance to tie the contest on the next attempt, but Brodeur flashed the stick and stoned Forsberg to seal the win.
"It's a tough start," Forsberg said. "We fought for 60 minutes -- I thought we played well. The fighting spirit the team showed through 60 minutes was great."
This also was the first game in which the referee's checked each player's stick prior to their shootout attempt. The referee's were checking the sticks for illegal length, width or curve to the blade and the rule was prompted because players were allegedly switching sticks before taking the ice for their shootout attempt.
"From what I'm told, there was a problem," Devils general manager and head coach Lou Lamoriello said. "It was because the rule that was implemented was there would be no checking of the stick, which is contradictory to the rule in the book prior to the shootout. Rather than having it checked after a goal was scored, which you would do normally everytime somebody scored, there's no penalty in checking. There were some sticks being changed and switched. It was a gentleman's rule."
New Jersey drew first blood with 8:01 left in the first period after Kozlov benefited from Brian Gionta's hustle behind the Flyers' net. Gionta blocked a blind backhanded clearing attempt by Esche and fed the puck into the slot to Kozlov, who batted it into the open net for a 1-0 lead.
Philadelphia netted the equalizer 8:23 into the second period after Savage slapped a rebound from just inside the right circle through Brodeur's five- hole.
Mike Rathje took a slap shot from the high slot, but Brodeur made a left-pad save. The rebound kicked out to Savage for the one-timer.
Forsberg missed the final eight games before the break with a groin injury, but played for Sweden at the Olympics and helped the club win the gold medal...The Flyers were without winger Simon Gagne, who suffered a knee injury while skating for Canada in the Olympic quarterfinals against Russia...Devils' wing Patrik Elias did not to play tonight after suffering a rib injury while playing for the Czech Republic in their Olympic opener...Brodeur needs one victory to reach 30 wins in 10 straight seasons. No other goaltender has done that more than eight seasons in a row.
03/01 23:33:24 ET