Game 5: Morning After Thoughts

For the New Jersey Devils, it didn’t get much worse than losing their first two games of the season on home ice to their most hated rivals, the Flyers and Rangers, but getting away from the Prudential Center seems to have been just what the doctor ordered. Jamie Langenbrunner’s shootout winner on Monday night helped the Devils complete their comeback from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Washington Capitals 3-2 and sweep a three-game road trip that started out with a pair of wins in Florida over the Lightning and the Panthers.

The Capitals appeared to dominate the game early on with two goals in the first, but like their previous three games, they couldn’t hold on to that lead. The Devils did a decent job quieting down the Capitals’ top line after the first two goals and Marty came up with a few clutch saves down the stretch to give NJ a chance. Brian Rolston cut the Capitals’ lead in half with a nice goal midway through the second period, setting up an exciting third period. It looked as if the Capitals were going to put the Devils away early in the third period after Bryce Salvador took a bad penalty for roughing and, Marty Brodeur took one for high sticking during the ensuing power play, giving the Capitals a 5 on 3 advantage for 53 seconds. After NJ successfully killed off those penalties, they got caught with too many men on the ice, immediately sending Washington back on the power play. Thankfully, the Devils penalty killers were able to keep the Capitals from scoring and the momentum swung back to the Devils. With a little over 7 minutes to play in the period, Niclas Bergfors fed the puck to David Clarkson in front of the net and he was able to flip it passed the Capitals goalie to tie the game at 2. The Devils kept the pressure on for the remainder of the game but were unable to score another goal in regulation which meant the game would go to overtime.

The Devils had a chance in overtime after Washington got called for tripping, sending NJ on a rare OT power play, but Jose Theordore robbed Zach Parise of a game winning power play goal. The Devils and Capitals headed to a shootout which NJ won 2-1 with goals from Parise and Langenbrunner, who are both 2 for 2 in shootout opportunities this season.

The Devils come home to face the Thrashers on Friday night at The Rock.

Three Stars:

1 – David Clarkson – 1 goal, 5 shots and 1 huge fight
2 – Marty Brodeur – Stopped 31 shots on goal
3 – Alex Ovechkin – 2 assists

Save of the Night