Brodeur nets mark as Devils edge Rangers

By wire services
Published March 5, 2006

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Martin Brodeur made 26 saves to lead the Devils to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night, becoming the first goalie to win 30 games for 10 straight seasons.

Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta scored for the Devils, who snapped the Rangers' seven-game winning streak.

Martin Rucinsky scored the only goal for New York, which had won six straight on the road.

The Devils took a 1-0 lead on a play started and finished by Gomez. He picked up the puck in the Devils end and carried it into the Rangers zone, where he passed to Gionta. Kevin Weekes stopped Gionta's shot but Gomez put in the rebound at 17:19 of the first.

Gomez and Gionta combined again to give the Devils a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 10:27. Gomez fed a hard pass across the crease to Gionta, who slammed it into the net for his team-leading 34th goal.

In the third, Brodeur was lucky and good in preserving the victory. He made 12 saves in the period and was helped when Darius Kasparaitis hit the post, and when Petr Sykora's deflected shot struck the crossbar.

Brodeur is the only goalie to have more than eight straight 30-win seasons.

HURRICANES 7, PENGUINS 5: Erik Cole scored two goals for the second night in a row before getting hurt in the third period, and visiting Carolina chased both Pittsburgh goalies. Cole left the ice in visible pain with 141/2 minutes remaining, clutching his right arm after being driven into the boards by the Penguins' Brook Orpik. Orpik drew a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. There was no immediate word about the injury to Cole, who is tied with Cory Stillman for second on the team in scoring with 60 points. Eric Staal had a goal and three assists, giving him four goals and eight assists in four games against Pittsburgh this season. Pittsburgh's Sebastien Caron was lifted after allowing power-play goals to Staal and Ray Whitney among the first five shots he faced, but replacement Marc-Andre Fleury was even worse - pulled after allowing three goals on four shots. Caron, who started the second, finished the game, stopping 21 of 25 shots.

THRASHERS 3, CAPITALS 2 (OT): Atlanta's Marian Hossa scored 1:49 into overtime, wristing a shot past Washington's Olaf Kolzig. Ilya Kovalchuk handed the host Thrashers their first lead at 7:08 of the third period with a wrister from the left side of the slot, but Washington rookie Alex Ovechkin forced the extra period with 25.2 seconds left in regulation. Ovechkin and Kovalchuk each scored his 39th goal to remain tied for second behind the New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr.

SENATORS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2: Dany Heatley scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as host Ottawa continued its dominance over Toronto. Patrick Eaves, Brian Pothier and Zdeno Chara also scored for the Senators, who have won all seven games against Toronto this season - outscoring the Maple Leafs 40-14. Alex Steen and Alex Ponikarovsky had goals for the Maple Leafs, who have lost five straight.

SABRES 3, BRUINS 2: Jean-Pierre Dumont scored the go-ahead goal with 4:58 left in the second period and Buffalo goaltender Martin Biron made it stand up. Jochen Hecht had a goal and two assists, and Daniel Briere added a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Marco Sturm and Glen Murray scored for the host Bruins. Boston's Andrew Raycroft, starting his second straight game, made 22 saves.

KINGS 3, BLUE JACKETS 2: Sean Avery snapped a scoreless tie with two goals less than three minutes apart in the second period and Michael Cammalleri got the winner for host Los Angeles on a power play with 5:55 left in the third period. The Kings tied a season best with their fourth straight victory after losing the previous seven games. All four of the wins have been decided by one goal. Down 2-0, the Blue Jackets rallied with Nikolai Zherdev's 20th and 21st goals.

VANDERMEER SUSPENDED: Blackhawks defenseman Jim Vandermeer was suspended two games without pay for a high-sticking incident in Friday's home loss to Vancouver, the league said in a statement. Vandermeer hit Canucks forward Daniel Sedin late in the third period of Chicago's 5-4 shootout loss at the United Center. He received a minor penalty on the play.