The New Jersey Devils came up triumphant on their return home, as they defeated the Red Wings 4-1 in the second game of their home and home series.
Detroit opened the scoring midway through the first period. Boyd Devereaux carried the puck into New Jersey’s zone and passed back to Steve Duchesne, who fired on net. Martin Brodeur blocked the shot and the rebound got caught between the skates of two Devils. Pavel Datsyuk reached in to steal the puck and flipped it up into the net for his second goal of the season.
The Devils tied the game with just under five minutes left in the period. New Jersey sent its “A-line” of Jason Arnott, Petr Sykora, and Patrik Elias into Detroit’s zone to create havoc, and Arnott was able put the puck into the net while Dominek Hasek was flopped down to block Sykora’s shot.
The second and third periods really belonged to New Jersey. They created their offensive chances and managed to shut down the Red Wings’ attempts to score. Andreas Salomonsson scored the eventual game-winning goal 5:42 into the second period. Scott Gomez took the puck behind the net, and managed to get it out front to Salomonsson, who tipped it in past Hasek.
A bad pass from Tomas Holmstrom to Jiri Fischer gave the Devils another chance midway through the second. Arnott was able to snatch up the puck and carry it up ice to fire hard against Hasek. The rebound came right to the stick of Jay Pandolfo, who was easily able to left the puck into the net.
Arnott proved dangerous again with just over seven minutes left in the period, only sixteen seconds into a holding penalty to Igor Larionov. Some quick passing work from Elias and Bobby Holik got the puck to Arnott in front of the net, and he was able to score before Hasek could see what was going on.
The Red Wings had a five minute power play split over the end of the second and the beginning of the third periods, when Turner Stevenson was given a checking-from-behind penalty and a game misconduct for a hard cross-check against Kirk Maltby. Even so, Detroit didn’t get any scoring chances until the power play was nearly at its end.
Detroit got one more power play opportunity with eight minutes left to play, when Sergei Brylin high-sticked Chris Chelios, but the Devils’ penalty killing unit shut them down once again.
Hasek stopped twenty-five of the twenty-nine shots he faced. The Red Wings put only seventeen shots on Brodeur, their lowest total of the season. Duchesne’s assist on Datsyuk’s goal put the Red Wings into the league lead for points scored by defensemen.
The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday night, when they will host the Colorado Avalanche.