Kovalchuk, Parise lift Devs over Avs in shootout

The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored in the shootout to give the New Jersey Devils a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

After the first two shooters for the Devils connected, Martin Brodeur sealed the win with stops on Milan Hejduk and Peter Mueller.

New Jersey picked up its league-leading 11th shootout win, ending Colorado's three-game winning streak. The Avalanche are 9-2 in shootouts.

Brodeur made 28 stops through overtime, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere had 33 saves for Colorado.

The Devils, 5-1 in their last six games, bounced back from a 3-0 loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The Avalanche picked up a valuable point in their battle to hold a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They started the night in eighth place, only two points ahead of San Jose, Calgary and Los Angeles. Colorado has won five of its last seven.

Colorado outshot New Jersey 8-5 in the scoreless first period as the Avalanche showed good zip despite needing a shootout to pull out a 5-4 win in Buffalo the night before.

Jay McClement had Colorado's best chance about 5 minutes in, only to be denied by Brodeur's sharp glove save.

The opportunities were even in the second period as the scoreless deadlock continued. The Devils held a 12-11 edge in shots and both teams missed out on close-in opportunities. Brodeur made a pad stop on Hejduk, and at the other end, Jacob Josefson could not steer a wraparound try past Giguere.

New Jersey had the better pressure early in the third as Giguere made big stops on backhand bids from Alexei Ponikarovsky and Adam Henrique.

Jamie McGinn had a late chance for the Avalanche that Brodeur swatted aside with the blocker. David Clarkson tried to jam one in for the Devils in a goal-mouth scramble.

The Devils wound up with a 15-7 edge in third-period shots.

Each team had a golden chance in overtime. Brodeur made a chest stop on Matt Hunwick's drive from the left circle and Giguere kicked out a dead-on try by Kovalchuk.

NOTES: This was the fourth straight game for Colorado that went to overtime. ... The Devils had two healthy scratches: RW Cam Janssen and D Matt Taormina. ... The Avalanche scratched RW Chuck Kobasew (back injury), LW Mike Connolly, C Kevin Porter, and Ds Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott. ... C Matt Duchene returned for the Avalanche after missing four games with an ankle injury. ... Devils D Anton Volchenkov bodychecked Ryan Wilson into the Devils bench midway through the third period.

What to Read Next