Lightning
Devils
1 - 2 Final - OT
  for this game

Elias vaults Devils to top of conference

Mar 8, 2008 - 4:27 AM
By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Patrik Elias is the king of overtime - almost.

Elias scored 4:02 into the extra session for his 14th career overtime winner to lift the Devils into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.

Elias grabbed the puck in the Devils' zone after it was chipped ahead by defenseman Sheldon Brookbank, starting a 2-on-1 rush with Zach Parise. Elias skated up the right wing before putting a wrist shot from the faceoff circle between goaltender Karri Ramo's left arm and body for his 18th goal of the season.

"I was trying to look for Zach," said Elias, who recorded nine shots. 'There wasn't a great pass for me to make. I had my mind to shoot the puck quite a bit tonight to get myself going. The right one went in."

"I thought I had it," Ramo said. "But it just squirted through my arm."

Elias is tied with Sergei Fedorov for third on the all-time list of overtime winners, one behind leaders Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin.

"There's a little bit more ice out there (in overtime)," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "He's a pretty creative player. That goal he scored, he made a good play to get inside the blue line, carried it up the ice and froze everybody. Then he took that extra step to get a better angle to shoot at. That's what intelligent players do."

Playing in his 735th career game, the 31-year-old Elias has compiled his impressive total in considerably fewer contests than Fedorov (1,182), Jagr (1,259) and Sundin (1,300).

"They have a (few) more goals in regular time than me," Elias said, attempting to downplay his accomplishment. "It shows that I can be relied on in that situation, and I love to be in that position. I get my mind ready to just go, go and get it done."

Parise scored the other goal and Martin Brodeur made 21 saves for the Devils (39-23-6), who - with every other contending team in the East idle - took advantage of their chance to claim the top spot. New Jersey, which moved one point ahead of both Pittsburgh (38-24-7) and Montreal (37-22-9), improved to 9-2-2 in its last 13 games.

Michel Ouellet scored for the Lightning (26-34-8), who dropped to 1-7-2 in their last 10 and are last in the East.

Parise took a cross-slot pass from Elias and batted it out of the air and past Ramo on the short side for his team-best 28th goal of the season at 12:16 of the first period.

It was the third goal in the last two games for Parise after he was held without a point in four straight. Prior to that, the Devils' leading scorer had tallied in five in a row.

Parise added another dimension to his game roughly four minutes into the third period, when he dropped the gloves for his first career fight, battling Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle.

Wearing his right glove and holding his stick, Boyle punched Parise in the face, knocking him to the ice. Parise got up, dropped his gloves and nearly ended up with his jersey and equipment off when it all was said and done.

"It was all kind of a blur when it happened," Parise said. "I don't really know what went on. The next thing I knew, I didn't have any of my upper gear on anymore. It was fun. I don't know if (my teammates) were laughing or inspired."

Making his first start since the deadline-day trade that brought in Mike Smith, Ramo stopped 31 shots. He kept the Lightning within a goal with his team shorthanded midway through the second period, denying point-blank chances by Brookbank, fellow blue-liner Karel Rachunek and Brian Gionta.

"This is the hardest time in sports, when your team is losing and you're trying to work hard," Ramo said. "We have worked so hard the past couple of games and we're not getting any results. We have to keep going and keep fighting. Today, I gave the team a chance, but I'm going to have to make winning stops, give us a chance to win in the shootout at least."

Ramo's efforts paid dividends with 2 1/2 minutes left in the second, when Ouellet cashed in on a power play, beating Brodeur with a wrist shot along the ice from the left faceoff dot to tie the contest.

While the Lightning have been in a scoring drought, Ouellet has carried them with five goals in the last seven games. Vincent Lecavalier's goalless drought reached 12 games, while fellow All-Star Martin St. Louis has not tallied in 10 contests.

"You look at the stats, they get a lot of offense out of those two guys, and John (Madden's) line did a great job of keeping them off the scoresheet tonight and getting the best of them," Parise said.

"We got a point," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "We haven't scored goals. If you look at our lineup and you see the work we're getting from our foot soldiers in defending and doing the right things there, our goaltending, and you see the goals we're scoring, that falls on our core people."








  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 0 0 1
    NEW JERSEY 1 0 0 1 2 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 28 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN GIONTA) 12:16
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 12 (DAN BOYLE, ALEXANDRE PICARD)
    17:30
    3RD PRD: NONE
    OT: NJD - PATRIK ELIAS 18 (U

    Mar 7 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    NEW JERSEY 2
    OT: NJD - PATRIK ELIAS 18 (SHELDON BROOKBANK) 4:02

    Lightning 1, Devils 2  End of OTMar 7 9:36 PM
  • 144
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 67 roots (Overtime)

    Lightning 1, Devils 1  OT - 4:55Mar 7 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 0 1
    NEW JERSEY 1 0 0 1 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 28 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN GIONTA) 12:16
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 12 (DAN BOYLE, ALEXANDRE PICARD)
    17:30
    3RD PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- ---

    Mar 7 9:28 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Lightning 1, Devils 1  3rd - 2:30Mar 7 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1
    NEW JERSEY 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 28 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN GIONTA) 12:16
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 12 (DAN BOYLE, ALEXANDRE PICARD)
    17:30
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 7

    Mar 7 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) MICHEL OUELLET 12 (DAN BOYLE, ALEXANDRE PICARD)
    17:30

    Lightning 1, Devils 1  2nd - 2:30Mar 7 8:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 28 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN GIONTA) 12:16
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 7 7
    NJD 7 7
    GOALIES: TAM - KARRI RAMO
    NJD -

    Mar 7 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    NEW JERSEY 1
    1ST PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 28 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN GIONTA) 12:16

    Lightning 0, Devils 1  1st - 7:44Mar 7 7:30 PM
  • 5
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    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Lightning vs. DevilsMar 5 8:46 AM