for this game

Devils continue offensive surge, edge Penguins

Oct 18, 2007 - 3:49 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Don't look now, but Brent Sutter apparently has turned the New Jersey Devils into an offensive juggernaut.

Arron Asham snapped a tie midway through the third period and Zach Parise collected three assists as the Devils posted their second consecutive high-scoring victory, a 5-4 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

Travis Zajac scored twice, John Madden and Jay Pandolfo each had a goal and an assist and David Clarkson set up a pair of tallies for New Jersey, which registered a 6-5 win over Atlanta on Saturday.

"Usually, they won games in the past that were low-scoring," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We have to play a better defensive game or allow less goals. It's too demanding to score five or six goals each game."

Known for their tight defensive style for the past dozen years, the Devils have scored an average of three goals over their first six games of the season.

"For some of the guys that have been here a long time, it's definitely uncharted territory for us," Madden said of the Devils' offensive style. "It's fun, you get a lot more chances, but at the same time, when you do turn the puck over, you're a long way from your own net. As long as we win hockey games, I don't care what kind of style we play."

"It's definitely different, a different look, very entertaining for the fans," New Jersey's Brian Gionta added. "But I'd like to be keeping the puck out of the net a little more and keep scoring the goals we do."

With the game tied at 4-4 halfway through the third session, New Jersey moved ahead for good with 9:22 remaining. From below the right faceoff circle, Parise made a cross-crease pass to Asham, who knocked the puck past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for his second goal of the season.

"It was a nice pass across, and it was just a tap-in," Asham said. "I was happy it went in."

The Devils got off to a great start thanks to their checking line.

A finalist for the Selke Trophy last season, Pandolfo opened the scoring at 6:46 of the first period. After Clarkson made a wraparound attempt at the left goalpost, the puck sailed into the right circle to Pandolfo, who fired it past Fleury for his second goal of the season.

New Jersey defenseman Johnny Oduya preserved the lead less than a minute later, denying Ryan Malone's attempt to shoot the puck into a vacant net with his stick. That set the stage for Madden to double the Devils' advantage.

Joining Clarkson on a 2-on-1 rush, Madden received the puck and blasted it over Fleury's left shoulder from the top of the right circle at 9:58 for his fourth of the campaign and a 2-0 bulge.

Pittsburgh refused to get down, however, rallying for two tallies late in the period to forge a tie.

From the right point, defenseman Ryan Whitney made a perfect pass to Maxime Talbot, who redirected the puck past reigning Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur from the doorstep with 4:02 remaining to get the Penguins on the board. It was the team-leading fourth goal of the season for Talbot, who netted a career-high 13 in 2006-07.

Less than two minutes later, Gary Roberts deflected defenseman Sergei Gonchar's wrist shot from the blue line past Brodeur while standing in the high slot during a power play, knotting the contest at 2-2.

The second period was even wilder, as the teams combined for four more goals and a tally that was disallowed.

"I haven't seen a second period like that in a while," Asham said. "It's been a long time. Definitely a weird, weird second period."

Gonchar gave the Penguins a 3-2 edge just 52 seconds into the session, one-timing a feed from captain Sidney Crosby past Brodeur from the right point during a man advantage. But Zajac tied it with the first of his two goals at 6:57, redirecting a pass from Parise by Fleury from below the right circle for a power-play tally.

Pittsburgh thought it surged ahead when 2007 Calder Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin converted a 2-on-none chance with 7 1/2 minutes left. But the goal was disallowed, as the Penguins were called for having too many men on the ice, resulting in the odd-man rush.

"It went from a 2-on-none to a non-goal," Brodeur said. "I'm not used to that too much. I'm happy that they called it. The referees are there to make some calls, and that was an important one when it costs a goal."

"(The penalty call) was a little delayed, but there were a lot of bodies on the ice," Sutter said. "We made a bad line change with all five guys coming to the bench when the puck was at the hash marks in their zone. That shouldn't have happened. Yet when I turned and looked, there were a lot of black jerseys on the ice, too. So all in all, the refs made the call."

Petr Sykora served the penalty and, upon exiting the box, received a pass that sent him in on a breakaway. But Brodeur was equal to the task, denying his former Devils teammate with his glove with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the period.

Zajac gave New Jersey a 4-3 lead with 5:12 to go, poking a loose puck in the crease into the net as Fleury was flat on his back under a crowd of players for another power-play tally.

"(Gionta) pushed me right into the back of the net, and the guy shot and scored," said Fleury, who pushed the net off its moorings in anger after the tally. "I thought that was illegal."

Fleury's counterpart understood his displeasure with the ruling.

"I don't like that, when the goalie has the puck and everybody's going and the puck squirts loose," Brodeur said. "As a goalie, you feel helpless a little bit. It's hard because sometimes there's so many guys around you and you don't even know where the puck is.

"So I can understand the reason he was mad. When it happens to you, it's not fun. But it got a goal for us, so we won't complain too much."

Malkin would not be denied, however, as the Russian blasted a slap shot from the right circle past Brodeur during a 5-on-3 advantage at 18:42, drawing Pittsburgh even at 4-4.

Brodeur made 26 saves for the Devils, who improved to 3-3-0 on their franchise-high nine-game road trip to open the season.

Crosby recorded two assists and Fleury stopped 30 shots for Pittsburgh, which fell to 1-2-0 at home.

"Giving up five goals against isn't acceptable," Malone said. "You're not going to win too many games where you give up five goals. We've got to start playing better in our own end."

Asham was involved in a scrum with Crosby during the latter half of the third period, forcing Roberts to jump in in defense of the Penguins' superstar. Both teams received a pair of minor penalties for the fracas.

"(Crosby) threw his elbow up and got me in the nose. That's when I lost it," Asham said. "I don't care who he is, if he hits me in the nose, I'm gonna do something about it. It's Gary's job to come in there, too. I would have done the same thing for Zach or anyone. It's part of the game."






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    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 19 8:22 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 2 1 5
    PITTSBURGH 2 2 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - JAY PANDOLFO 2 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN) 6:46
    NJD - JOHN MADDEN 4 (DAVID CLARKSON, JAY PANDOLFO) 9:58
    PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 4 (RYAN WHITNEY, GARY ROBERTS) 15:58
    PIT - (PP) GARY ROBERTS 1 (SERGEI GONCHAR, PETR

    Oct 17 10:12 PM
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    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 5
    PITTSBURGH 4
    3RD PRD: NJD - ARRON ASHAM 2 (ZACH PARISE, PATRIK ELIAS) 10:38

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 9:52 PM
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    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 9:35 PM
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    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 2 4
    PITTSBURGH 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - JAY PANDOLFO 2 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN) 6:46
    NJD - JOHN MADDEN 4 (DAVID CLARKSON, JAY PANDOLFO) 9:58
    PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 4 (RYAN WHITNEY, GARY ROBERTS) 15:58
    PIT - (PP) GARY ROBERTS 1 (SERGEI G

    Oct 17 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 4
    PITTSBURGH 4
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    18:42 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 4
    PITTSBURGH 3
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) TRAVIS ZAJAC 3 (BRIAN GIONTA, ZACH PARISE) 14:48

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 9:07 PM
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    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 9:04 PM
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    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 9:01 PM


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    NEW JERSEY 3
    PITTSBURGH 3
    2ND PRD: NJD - (PP) TRAVIS ZAJAC 2 (ZACH PARISE, PAUL MARTIN) 6:57

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 8:49 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    PITTSBURGH 3
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) SERGEI GONCHAR 1 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN)
    0:52

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 2
    PITTSBURGH 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - JAY PANDOLFO 2 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN) 6:46
    NJD - JOHN MADDEN 4 (DAVID CLARKSON, JAY PANDOLFO) 9:58
    PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 4 (RYAN WHITNEY, GARY ROBERTS) 15:58
    PIT - (PP) GARY ROBERTS 1 (SERGEI G

    Oct 17 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    PITTSBURGH 2
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) GARY ROBERTS 1 (SERGEI GONCHAR, PETR SYKORA) 17:48

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 4 (RYAN WHITNEY) 15:58

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    PITTSBURGH 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - JOHN MADDEN 4 (DAVID CLARKSON, JAY PANDOLFO) 9:58

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 7:57 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    PITTSBURGH 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - JAY PANDOLFO 2 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN) 6:46

    Devils vs. PenguinsOct 17 7:52 PM
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