NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) — With future Hall of Fame
goaltender Martin Brodeur still sidelined, All-Star Zach Parise
and captain Jamie Langenbrunner have become the straws that stir
the drink for the New Jersey Devils.
Parise recorded two goals and two assists and Langenbrunner
scored twice as the Devils skated past the New York Islanders,
4-2, on Wednesday.
Parise, who is tied for second in the NHL with 34 goals, snapped
a 2-2 tie with 7:25 left in the third period and defenseman Paul
Martin notched three assists in support of Kevin Weekes’ 23-save
performance for New Jersey, which has won two in a row and 11 of
“I felt pretty good, but it was a tough game to play,” Weekes
said. “It was kind of a very scrappy game. They would generate
a lot of stuff around the net, through the crease. They played
well, their goalie played really well. Our guys worked hard
enough to be rewarded.”
Blue-liner Radek Martinek and rookie Kyle Okposo tallied and
Joey MacDonald turned aside 46 shots for New York, which fell
for the fourth straight contest.
“I thought I battled pretty hard,” MacDonald said. “They’ve got
some quality defensemen back there that just throw pucks through
and the guys that just bang home rebounds. They battled hard.”
Parise tallied for the second time in this one by converting a
wrist shot from the doorstep during a power play, helping the
Devils post their fifth consecutive win over the Islanders.
“I think as a line, we keep playing the way we are and we’re all
getting good scoring chances,” Parise said. “We’re playing
smart. Things are going well for us right now.”
Martinek scored his second goal of the season at 2:32 of the
first period to open the scoring for New York. Blake Comeau
centered the puck to Martinek, who fired a wrist shot past
Weekes from the slot.
Parise then netted his career-high 33rd goal of the season with
81 seconds remaining in the session to forge a 1-1 deadlock.
Martin’s right point shot was stopped, but Parise tapped the
rebound over a sprawling MacDonald from near the left goalpost.
“They’re a good hockey team, they’ve got a lot of offensive
power out there, and I think this year’s a big step for them,”
MacDonald said. “They’re scoring a lot more goals. Parise, he
had another great game for them. He just kind of finds the soft
spots, and the puck seems to come right to him.”
Parise has notched eight tallies and seven assists over his last
10 contests. The 24-year-old also recorded six shots as the
Devils outshot the Islanders, 50-25, overall.
“(Parise) is going to score goals every night,” New Jersey’s
Travis Zajac said. “He’s always hungry around the net and
motivated to score. The guy works hard, he’s hungry for the
puck. He wants to score goals.”
Okposo staked the Islanders to another one-goal advantage with a
power-play tally, skating in on Weekes and tapping in his own
rebound from the top of the crease at 6:15 of the second.
Despite the goal, Okposo admitted it was difficult for his team
to generate chances.
“They’re a pretty frustrating team to play against,” he said.
“They do a very good job with their systems. We just couldn’t
get anything going tonight. We needed to put more pucks on net
and get some more offensive-zone time.”
However, Langenbrunner knotted it at 2-2 during a man advantage
with 3:39 left in the session by beating MacDonald with a hard
slap shot from the left faceoff circle after receiving a
cross-slot pass from Martin.
“Good work by the guys down in the corner getting it off the
faceoff. Then (Martin) just slid it across to me and I just
tried to shoot it across,” Langenbrunner said. “(I’m) pretty
shocked it didn’t hit somebody and go in, but I guess it just
found its way through.”
Langenbrunner secured the victory and capped his fourth two-goal
performance in eight games with an empty-netter with 63 seconds
“It was a hard-fought game,” Devils coach Brent Sutter said.
“It was one of those games where you had to work for everything
you got. We had lots of shots on net. I thought both goalies
played well. We were able to stay with it. Give (the
Islanders) full marks, they played hard.”
MacDonald, who had allowed 15 goals over his previous five
contests, fell to 1-3-1 lifetime against New Jersey.
“(MacDonald) played well,” Langenbrunner said. “They do give up
some shots, but they do a good job of getting rid of the
rebounds. We had to battle pretty hard tonight.”