Live Blog: Devils Cut Lead To Two, 5-3, In The Third Period; Kovalchuk OK After Hit In First

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The Devils scored two goals in 1:18 and cut the Flames lead to two, 5-3, in the third period of tonight’s game at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Kovalchuk followed with his 34th goal of the season. Elias passed the puck to Kovalchuk, who took a shot from the right circle. The puck trickled through Kiprusoff and over the goal line.

Parise’s second goal of the game at 16:08 cut the Flames lead, 5-2.

With Mark Giordano in the box for roughing, Zajac carried the puck into the zone. Two Flames pinned him on the side boards, but Zajac found a way to get the puck to Langenbrunner in the slot. Langenbrunner one-timed the shot, and Kiprusoff made the initial save. The puck trickled behind him, and Parise tapped the puck into the open net for his 30th goal of the season.

Matt Stajan and Brandon Moss scored 33 seconds apart to extend the Flames lead to  5-1.

Moss created a turnover after a hit in the Devils zone. Niklas Hagman took a shot that hit Moss in front of the net. The puck slid by Brodeur and toward the right post. Moss put the puck past Brodeur for his eighth goal of the season.

Stajan scored after Brodeur gave up another big rebound in the zone. Rene Bourque took a shot from the slot that bounced off of Brodeur’s right pad. Stajan collected the loose puck in the zone and put the puck through Brodeur’s pads for his 19th goal of the season.

That makes five straight goals for the Flames.

Clarkson and Mayers fought again at 10:34 of the third period. They both threw some big punches, but Clarkson landed more and took Mayers down again.

After the fight, Clarkson went back to the locker room.

Clarkson has been the only Devil to be physical tonight. Calgary used their physical game to set the tone, and they’ve absolutely dominated the game.

It hasn’t helped that Brodeur continues to give up rebound after rebound. After looking sharp in the first period, his play has regressed greatly.

The Flames scored three straight goals in the second period to take the lead, 3-1.

The Flames outshot the Devils, 11-8 in the period. The Devils lead in overall shots, 17-16.

Eric Nystrom’s goal at 16:04 put the Flames ahead by two.

Glencross was the key to that goal. After coming off the bench for a change, Glencross beat Andy Greene and eliminated the icing. He checked Greene into the sideboards, and the Devils defenseman turned the puck over to Nystrom. Nystrom drove to the front of the net, and Brodeur tried to poke the puck away. It snuck under Brodeur’s pads and across the crease, and Nystrom backhanded the puck past a diving Brodeur for his seventh goal of the season.

That makes three unanswered Flames goals in the period.

Curtis Gelncross’ shorthanded goal at 5:41 put the Flames ahead, 2-1.

Kovalchuk took the puck at the point after a Devils face-off win. He tried to make one too many moves, and Glencross stripped him of the puck. Glencross chased it down at center ice and broke in alone on Brodeur. He put the puck high over the glove for his third shorthanded goal of the season.

The Devils are 0-for-3 tonight on the powerplay.

Calgary has absolutely dominated the Devils this period. They’ve played a physical game, putting a hit on any Devil who touches the puck. Their forcheck has been aggressive, and the Devils can barely get anything going in the zone.

David Clarkson and Jamal Mayers fought at 9:10 of the period. None of them really threw many punches, but Clarkson body-slammed Mayers down to the ice to end the fight.

Daymond Langkow’s goal at 1:43 tied the game at one.

The Flames were able to catch the Devils top line of Parise, Travis Zajac and Langenbrunner on the ice for an extended period of time. After a faceoff win, Christopher Higgins took the puck behind the net. Higgins took a shot from the goal line hit the stick of Brodeur and went right to Langkow in the slot. Langkow backhanded the puck past Brodeur for his 12th goal of the season.

Zach Parise broke the scoreless tie 13:37 into the opening period.

Andy Greene broke up a clearing attempt on the forecheck in the Flames zone. The defenseman shot the puck, but it missed and bounced out from behind the net. Jamie Langenbrunner grabbed the puck at the goal line and sent a pass between his legs to Parise. Parise let go a shot from the right side of the net that beat Mikka Kiprusoff for the goal.

The Devils led the period in shots, 9-5.

Brian Rolston made a great defensive play with 16 seconds left in the period. With the Flames on a 3-on-2 break, Rolston skated in behind the play. As Jarome Iginla got ready to fire a one-timer, Rolston put his stick blade down and stopped Iginla from getting off the shot.

There was a scary collision between Devils left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk and Flames defenseman Steve Staois. Kovalchuk got in front of Staios on a race to the boards for a puck. As Kovalchuk went to get the puck, he lost an edge. He went down to the ice, and Staois’ knee hit Kovalchuk in the head. Staois hit his face off the top runner of the boards. Both players were able to skate back to their respective benches.

Kovalchuk went back to the locker room after the hit. He returned to the ice at 8:20 and played on the second line.

Brodeur looks sharp so far, and the defense has blocked five or six shots so far this period.

Calgary has controlled the pace of play so far. They’ve been getting quality shots on net, and the Devils haven’t been able to get anything going.

Here are the starting lineups:

DEVILS

Forwards: Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner. Defensemen: Bryce Salvador-Andy Greene. Goaltender: Martin Brodeur.

FLAMES

Forwards: Rene Bourque-Matt Stajan-Jarome Iginla. Defensemen: Ian White-Robyn Regehr. Goaltender: Miikka Kiprusoff.

Before the game, the Flames honored five members of the Canadian women’s hockey team. They also brought out other gold-medal winners.

The Devils will face former coach Brent Sutter for the first time. Sutter stepped down last year to be closer to family, but took the Flames coaching job.

New Jersey is also looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since January. The team defeated Montreal Canadians 2-1 in overtime January 9 and defeated the Rangers, 1-0, in a shootout January 12. They haven’t won two consecutive regulation games since January 2 in Minnesota and January 5 at home against Dallas.

Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils.

With Pittsburgh’s win last night, the Devils fall into second in the Atlantic Division. They are one point behind the Penguins.

Rod Pelley, Andrew Peters and Martin Skoula are the Devils healthy scratches. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond remains on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

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