Langenbrunner scored with 42.7 seconds remaining in overtime Wednesday night to give the Devils a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
New Jersey pressed the attack in the final minute of overtime as Scott Niedermayer had three solid chances. The pressure paid off when John Madden spun and whipped a hard backhand pass across the slot that Langenbrunner slammed home from the bottom of the left circle.
“It felt like about an hour,” Langenbrunner said of waiting for the puck. “We were tired. It was the end of a shift.”
The game, which lacked pace through the first two periods, quickened in the third period and peaked in overtime.
“They will blame us for the way we played,” Devils coach Pat Burns said. “It wasn’t the way we played. San Jose backed up and tried to trap us all night long. They were playing in a position where they didn’t want to lose it.”
Scott Stevens set up the first two New Jersey goals, by Christian Berglund and Turner Stevenson, to reach 900 career points. Martin Brodeur made 13 saves as the Devils extended their winning streak to four games.
Scott Thornton and Alexander Korolyuk scored for the Sharks, who have won only two games yet have 10 points thanks to five ties and the overtime loss to the Devils.
“We tried to gamble and go for the two points,” Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov said. “They came with a couple of odd-man rushes and got the winner. A point is better than nothing.”
Thornton tied it midway through the third period, when San Jose pulled even for the second time. Mike Ricci threaded a backhand pass through the slot that Thornton slipped past Brodeur at 8:10.
Earlier in the period, Berglund tipped Stevens’ point shot past Nabokov at 2:34 to put New Jersey up 2-1. The goal came exactly two minutes after Korolyuk tied it at 1.
Stevenson, who missed the first eight games with a groin injury, scored his first goal at 15:28 of the second period for a 1-0 lead. As he was knocked to the ice, Stevenson managed to poke the rebound of Stevens’ shot between Nabokov’s pads.
The Devils controlled play in the second period just as they did in the first. They outshot San Jose 11-5 in the second and almost scored when Jay Pandolfo tried to slip a puck under Nabokov as he slid across the slot.
Neither team had a shot on goal in the first until Wayne Primeau of theSharks tested Brodeur five and a half minutes in.
The Devils haven’t lost to the Sharks since Nov. 14, 2000. … San Jose has two games remaining (Thursday in Boston and Saturday in Washington) on its season-high seven-game road trip. … The Devils scratched C Igor Larionov (sore ribs), D Sean Brown and D Paul Martin. The Sharks scratched RW Niko Dimitrakos and D Tom Preissing. … Devils LW Jeff Friesen played in his 700th game. A first-round draft pick by the Sharks in 1994, Friesen broke in with SanJose in the 1994-95 season.