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Senators edge Devils in Brodeur's return

Dec 11, 2010 - 5:24 AM Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Pascal Leclaire stopped 29 shots and Jarkko Ruutu notched the winning goal in the second period as Ottawa nipped New Jersey, 3-2, at Scotiabank Place.

Erik Karlsson added a goal with a helper and Milan Michalek also tallied for the Senators, who had dropped five of six coming in.

"It's really important for us to get as many wins as we can. Hopefully we can learn from this and move on," said Michalek about his club, which had wasted a third-period lead in a loss to the Rangers on Thursday.

Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus lit the lamp for the Devils, losers in four straight.

Martin Brodeur returned to the crease after an eight-game absence due to a bruised right elbow, but suffered the loss after allowing all three goals on 29 shots.

New Jersey was denied a chance to tie the game on a man advantage with just under four minutes left in regulation, when replay confirmed that Devils forward David Clarkson redirected the puck home from the crease with the tip of his skate blade.

"We didn't get the break, but it's not like anyone owes us any favors," Clarkson mused. "I dunno...I shot the puck and it went off my skate. I have to watch it again, and I can't comment about the call. I just felt that I shot it first and it went off my skate."

The visitors left the net empty for an extra skater inside the final minute of play but the Senators expertly checked away the remaining time.

The Senators dented Brodeur at the 15:30 mark of the first period when Karlsson's right-point shot slid through traffic in front and past the unaware veteran netminder.

Elias knotted the score less than five minutes into the second on a power play, but Ottawa restored its one-goal edge at 9:39 when Michalek swept in a backhander from the slot.

It was 3-1 just over two minutes later as Ruutu managed to bank a shot off Brodeur's shoulder from behind the goal line, but the Devils crept within a goal with 5:50 remaining on a one-timer from Zubrus on the power play.

Game Notes

Ottawa has won two in a row over New Jersey, after the Devils had taken nine in a row from February, 2008 until December, 2009...Brodeur fell to 4-11-1 in 18 games this season, but picked up a secondary assist, his 35th career helper, on Elias' tally...Michalek snapped a nine-game goal drought.