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Carter makes Niedermayer's homecoming a success

Feb 9, 2008 - 4:10 AM By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- In Scott Niedermayer's return to New Jersey, Ryan Carter stole the show.

Carter scored the first two goals of his NHL career in the first period and backup Jonas Hiller made 34 saves Friday as the Anaheim Ducks completed a sweep of the three New York-area teams with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Niedermayer had an assist for the Ducks, who had not played in New Jersey since losing Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003, when the defenseman was a member of the champion Devils. Anaheim had lost 10 straight games in New Jersey, including all four in those Finals, since February 11, 1996.

After spending the first 13 seasons of his career with the Devils, Niedermayer signed with the Ducks as a free agent prior to the 2005-06 season. The former Norris Trophy winner helped New Jersey to three Stanley Cup titles before leading Anaheim to the championship last season.

"It was a little different than when we played (the Devils) back in Anaheim (last season)," Niedermayer said. "Here, there were people in the stands that I knew. Being here in New Jersey, it was different. It's great to see this (new) building.

"I was here a pretty long time - a lot of great memories. It wasn't just another game. I didn't sleep that well. Usually, I'm able to nap pretty easily, and I didn't."

Jay Pandolfo scored for the Devils, who fell to 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

"We have to start playing some desperate hockey at this time of they year because you can't be giving away points," Pandolfo said.

The Ducks are 3-3-1 during their franchise-record nine-game road trip, beating the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Devils consecutively with high-scoring right wing Teemu Selanne back in the lineup. They travel to Detroit for a game Sunday afternoon and finish the trek Tuesday in Colorado.

"We need all the pieces to be put together," said Selanne, who, like Niedermayer, contemplated retirement before re-signing with Anaheim. "Getting one player back, it gives confidence to the team. That's what happened when Scotty came back, too. We have to keep pushing forward and try to push it to another level."

The Ducks improved to 11-11-2 in games played on back-to-back nights, including their 4-1 win over the Rangers on Thursday.

Carter, a 24-year-old center, was goalless in his first 27 games this season as well as four playoff games in 2007. He netted his first goal midway through the first period, when his wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle immediately changed direction after hitting the leg of a defender and went between goaltender Martin Brodeur's pads.

Carter's second tally was worthy of the highlight reel and doubled the lead at 17:53.

Chris Kunitz chipped ahead the puck in the neutral zone and it hit the stick of teammate Corey Perry before Carter scooped it up along the right wing boards. Carter skated around defenseman Johnny Oduya, cut left at the bottom of the circle and dipped inside blue-liner Paul Martin before depositing a wrist shot between Brodeur's pads from in front.

"I looked up and I saw the (defenseman) and he was looking right at my chest," Carter said. "I know he probably wanted to put me into the fifth row. So I just put the puck at my feet and made sure he didn't hit me. That left me alone in the slot."

Pandolfo scored his ninth goal of the season to halve the deficit with 4:24 left in the second period. Pandolfo was in front of the net when he deflected a shot from above the left circle by former Ducks defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski past Hiller.

Pandolfo had not scored since November 23, but it was a span of just four games as he missed 28 contests with a groin injury.

Brodeur made 22 saves, including a glove stop on former Devils defenseman Sean O'Donnell's long breakaway slap shot with 7:44 remaining in the third period to keep New Jersey within a goal. But Hiller matched it 67 seconds later, denying Patrik Elias from close range after he got behind the defense.

"We had the lead the last period and we played solid defensively, even though we were probably a little tired from last night," Hiller said.

Niedermayer was whistled for hooking just over a minute thereafter, but New Jersey could not convert on its fourth power-play chance. The Devils also had a two-man advantage in the final minute, as Brodeur was pulled for an extra attacker and Carter was whistled for delay of game, but failed to get the equalizer.

"That was a bit nerve-wracking," said Carter, who fired the puck over the glass from his own zone on a clearing attempt. "It's one of those plays where you're trying hard. You shoot the puck and it's a foot too high, and it's a rule. It's something you have to deal with. That's the position you want to be in out there, entrusted by your coaches to play in a situation like that."

New Jersey played the first end of back-to-back contests and hosts Carolina on Saturday.

"This is where the fine line is of being consistent," Brodeur said. "We played very well in the third and decent in the second, but it wasn't enough to beat a team with confidence. In the first period, it always seems that we need a wake-up call and get down a few goals to get our game going. We've got to find better ways to start our games."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 2 0 0 2
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN CARTER 1 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    10:12
    ANA - RYAN CARTER 2 (COREY PERRY, CHRIS KUNITZ) 17:53
    2ND PRD: NJD - JAY PANDOLFO 9 (VITALY VISHNEVSKI, DAVID CLARKSON)
    15:36
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLA

    Feb 8 9:23 PM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Ducks vs. DevilsFeb 8 9:21 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Ducks vs. DevilsFeb 8 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 2 0 2
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN CARTER 1 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    10:12
    ANA - RYAN CARTER 2 (COREY PERRY, CHRIS KUNITZ) 17:53
    2ND PRD: NJD - VITALY VISHNEVSKI 2 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN)
    15:36
    SHOTS ON GO

    Feb 8 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 2
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - VITALY VISHNEVSKI 2 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN) 15:36

    Ducks vs. DevilsFeb 8 8:27 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 2 2
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN CARTER 1 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    10:12
    ANA - RYAN CARTER 2 (CHRIS KUNITZ) 17:53
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 9 9
    NJD

    Feb 8 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 2
    NEW JERSEY 0
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN CARTER 2 (CHRIS KUNITZ) 17:53

    Ducks vs. DevilsFeb 8 7:40 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 1
    NEW JERSEY 0
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN CARTER 1 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    10:12

    Ducks vs. DevilsFeb 8 7:27 PM