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Devils top Kings on Jagr's record-tying game-winner

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- On a night when New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider was at his best, teammate Jaromir Jagr stole the show with some hockey history.

The Czech winger scored 2:30 into overtime as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 Thursday night.

The goal was notable on two levels. Jagr tied for ninth overall in goals scored at 690 with a former teammate, Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux. Jagr also tied for the record in career game-winning goals (121), matching the mark set by Hall of Famer Gordie Howe.

The decisive goal came on a scrambled play just after both teams had numerous chances during three-on-three play with Jagr and Kings right winger Dustin Brown in the penalty box. Jagr, 41, joined the rush after a turnover by Kings center Anze Kopitar at the New Jersey blue line and slid the puck past Kings goalie Ben Scrivens for his ninth of the season.

Cory Schneider stopped 34 shots for New Jersey (9-8-5).

"I think it's fair to call that one a goalie win," New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said about his team's second consecutive overtime victory in Southern California. "We know we have two good goaltenders, and you expect one of those every once in a while."

Kings coach Darryl Sutter liked his team's consistent effort.

"I was hoping we would score," he said. "We had a lot of chances. During three-on-three, I think your best players should be out there. It was better than a shootout."

The Devils needed every save from Schneider, as they were outplayed from the opening faceoff. The final shots-on-goal disparity of 35-15 in favor of the Kings was indicative of the play throughout.

"I think we're going to have to thank the hockey gods here on the airplane before we go to bed tonight," New Jersey center Ryan Carter said.

Los Angeles (15-6-2) had a four-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time at home since a 4-3 defeat to the Nashville Predators on Nov. 2.

The Kings knew the game was decided by their failure to cash in on numerous chances.

"We definitely got lots of shots and lots of opportunities, we didn't bear down on them," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "That was the key to their success."

Carter broke a scoreless tie with a strong backhand past Scrivens (13 saves) at 5:52 of the final period. The score came on the Devils' seventh shot on goal of the contest. Wingers Michael Ryder and Steven Gionta assisted on Carter's third goal of the campaign.

Los Angeles quickly evened the score when right winger Justin Williams scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season at 6:57. The marker came off a two-on rush started by Kopitar. Schneider made the initial save but was unable to control the rebound.

The Kings came out strong in the first period, hoping to take advantage of a Devils team on the second night of back-to-back games. Schneider was strong between the pipes, making 14 saves as the game remained scoreless through 20 minutes.

Schneider's best stop was on a breakaway by Trevor Lewis that prevented the Kings right winger from scoring his first goal of the season.

Los Angeles kept up the pressure early in the second period, but Schneider refused to yield, stopping Brown from in close three minutes in.

The Devils couldn't apply any sustained pressure on Scrivens in the game's first half, managing only five shots on goal.

The Kings continued to dominate play through the balance of the second period but couldn't dent the Devils' goal despite holding a whopping 26-5 advantage in shots on goal.

New Jersey's penalty kill was back on track after surrendering two power-play goals in Wednesday's win at Anaheim. The Devils were a perfect four-for-four while short-handed.

NOTES: Devils RW Damien Brunner, who has no points in his past 10 games, was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. He was replaced by RW Mattais Tedenby. ... New Jersey's 4-3 overtime win over the Ducks in Anaheim on Tuesday night broke a 10-game losing streak in overtime or shootouts that extended back to March 10, when they beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in a shootout. ... Kings RW Jordan Nolan missed his third consecutive game, suffering aftereffects of a hit on New Jersey D Peter Harrold during Los Angeles' 2-0 win in New Jersey on Nov. 15. ... Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi conveyed during a radio interview Wednesday that G Jonathan Quick's return from a Grade 2 groin strain won't occur until Christmas. ... For the second consecutive game, the Kings limited a team to two shots on goal in a period, a season low. They held the Tampa Bay Lightning to the same amount in a victory on Tuesday.
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