NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) — The New Jersey Devils’ winning
streak ended when their comeback heroics ran out.
Michael Nylander scored two goals and the Washington Capitals
cooled off the Devils by posting a 5-2 victory on Tuesday.
Defenseman Mike Green, Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich each scored a
goal and set up another while Alex Ovechkin notched two assists
for the Capitals, who improved to 6-1-1 over their last eight
“As we go on here, we seem to be getting better and finding our
game more,” said Green, who leads all NHL blue-liners with 16
“It’s great to get the victories and be rewarded for it.”
Brian Rolston and captain Jamie Langenbrunner netted a goal
apiece for the Devils, whose season-high eight-game winning
streak was halted.
“We had a bad night,” New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said. “It
was pretty well through the whole lineup. I’m still trying to
figure out why we played like this tonight, especially against a
team one point up on us in the standings.”
Scott Clemmensen turned aside 21 shots, but the Devils ran out
of their magic coming off back-to-back overtime victories. In
both games, Langenbrunner had notched the game-winner.
They had won five of the first six games in their run by at
least two goals, and trounced the Ottawa Senators and Montreal
Canadiens by three goals apiece last week.
After finishing on top in two previous close contests, New
Jersey fell into an early hole and never recovered in this one.
“That’s definitely not the way we want to play,” Langenbrunner
said. “We’re definitely a better team (playing with) a lead.
But that’s the way it works sometimes. You’d rather (the
winning streak) end playing well against a team and the team
Green and Laich each beat Clemmensen in a 2:14 span in the first
period and Nylander gave Washington a 3-0 lead two minutes into
the following period by firing a wrist shot into the vacant net
from the low slot.
“It’s something I should have been doing for many years, many
years,” Nylander said. “When you’re shooting, you see the puck
go in. We had three goals on the power play so that was a big
part of the game.”
Rolston cut the deficit 8:20 into the second with a hard slap
shot in between the faceoff circles and Langenbrunner later
converted passes from Travis Zajac and defenseman Bryce Salvador
by beating Jose Theodore with a wrister on the doorstep 41
seconds into the third.
Nylander silenced New Jersey’s comeback efforts by netting his
second goal of the night, wristing a shot past Clemmensen from
the right circle with 9:01 remaining.
“He doesn’t like to shoot,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said
of Nylander. “We have a few of those guys. And then we have
one guy (Alex Ovechkin) that shoots it every chance he gets it,
so he makes up for those guys.”
Setting up the power play for Nylander’s goal, Mike Rupp was
whistled for goaltender interference despite clearly being
tripped on his way toward the net.
“No question the video shows he was tripped on the play,” Sutter
said. “We get a call against us that should have gone the other
Fehr then secured the victory with an empty-netter with 70
seconds left in the contest, enabling the Capitals to extend
their winning streak to three games.
Theodore finished with 32 saves.