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NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Washington
(Thursday, February 21st)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Washington 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk and Andrei Loktionov scored less than 2 1/2 minutes apart in the third period to rally the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.
Patrik Elias added a shorthanded goal while assisting on Kovalchuk's game- winner to help the Devils halt a two-game skid. Martin Brodeur made 17 saves in the victory.
The Capitals were dealt a second straight defeat following a season-high three-game win streak despite a 34-save effort from Braden Holtby. Mathieu Perreault and Mike Ribeiro potted power-play goals in the setback, with Troy Brouwer assisting on both markers.
Washington took a 2-1 lead into the third period, but was whistled for six minor penalties during the final frame that aided to New Jersey's comeback.
The tying tally did come at even strength, when Loktionov put the rebound of Adam Larsson's blast from the right point past Holtby at the 9:19 mark.
Shortly afterward, Caps defensemen John Erskine and Tom Poti were sent off for hooking and interference infractions, respectively, that occurred just two seconds apart.
The Devils cashed in on the 5-on-3 situation, with Kovalchuk rocketing a one- timer off Elias' pass from behind that beat Holtby stick-side with 8:20 remaining.
"We have to be more disciplined," said Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom. "It's not good enough. The first 5-on-3 [in the third period] we did a good job, but we got another one right after."
Washington would manage just one shot on goal the rest of the way, and recorded only three total for the third period.
"It wasn't our best game tonight, but in the third period I think we found our legs and Marty made some big saves in the second to give us a lot of energy," said Kovalchuk. "I think in the third period we dominated, and that's why they took a couple penalties and we scored."
Holtby was sharp in keeping the first period scoreless despite New Jersey owning a 13-4 shot advantage for the session, and Washington finally broke the stalemate near the midway mark of the second when Perreault knocked home an uncontested carom after Brodeur initially stopped Brouwer's rush up the right side.
The score started a barrage of three goals within a span of just over three minutes, two of which occurred during a Washington power play.
New Jersey drew even with a shorthanded score created by Adam Henrique, who forced a turnover behind the Washington net and delivered a shot that was blocked in front. Elias raced in to put the loose puck through an open right side with 8:44 left in the second stanza.
The Capitals went back in front just 1:24 later while still holding the man advantage, with Ribeiro's wrister trickling through the legs of a slowly reacting Brodeur to make it a 2-1 game.
The teams will square off again at the Verizon Center on Saturday ... Capitals defenseman Mike Green sat out a second straight game with a lower-body injury, while the Devils scratched forward Ryan Carter after he sustained a possible concussion in Monday's loss to Ottawa ... Loktionov was playing in just his second game as a Devil, having been acquired in a trade with Los Angeles on Feb. 6 ... New Jersey now has registered a league-best four shorthanded goals on the season ... Washington went 2-for-4 on the power play and is 10-for-23 (43.5 pct.) with the man advantage over its last eight games ... The Devils have prevailed in five straight matchups in the series, including a 3-2 overtime decision in Newark on Jan. 25.
02/21 23:01:23 ET