GONCHAR'S OVERTIME GOAL LIFTS PENGUINS PAST DEVILS, 4-3
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Sergei Gonchar scored a goal 1:01 into overtime Tuesday night to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins past the New Jersey Devils, 4-3, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Gonchar weaved through two Devils defenders and slid the puck past Devils goalie Scott Clemmensen. Steve Poapst and Mark Recchi earned assists.
The victory gave the Penguins (2-5-5) their first win on the road this year as well as their first overtime triumph in six OT games.
New Jersey (6-5-1) rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game at 3-3 at the end of regulation.. However, Gonchar responded with the highlight-reel goal.
New Jersey’s Jamie Langenbrunner opened the scoring in the second period when he took a cross-ice pass and one-timed a shot that beat Sebastien Caron to his left side 6:26 into the second period.
However, Recchi and Lasse Pirjeta scored goals 1:17 apart to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead at the second intermission.
Recchi tallied a power-play goal with 4:44 left in the second period. Sidney Crosby had an assist, while rookie Ryan Whitney, making his NHL debut, earned his first point with an assist on the goal.
Crosby flipped a rebound past New Jersey goaltender Clemmensen, which bounced off Recchi's stick before it trickled into the goal.
Pirjeta gave the Penguins a 2-1 edge with 3:27 on the clock. He wristed a hard shot that beat Clemmensen’s glove and scorched into the net.
Max Talbot scored a shorthanded goal 3:06 in the third period to boost the Penguins’ lead to 3-1. He one-timed a pass from Matt Murley into the net for Pittsburgh’s first shorthanded tally of the season.
However, Brian Gionta cut New Jersey’s deficit to 3-2 as he was credited with a power-play goal. He never got off a shot, instead the puck came off his stick, deflected off Pittsburgh defenseman Lyle Odelein’s skate and trickled past Caron with 7:53 left in the third period
Erik Rasmussen tied the game at 3-3 when he scored with 2:12 left in regulation. He was able to punch in Alexander Mogilny’s rebound past Caron.
The contest marked the start of a season-long, five-game road trip for the Penguins. They return to action Thursday as they venture to New York to meet the Islanders.
ICE CHIPS – Josef Melichar, Ryan VandenBussche and Ric Jackman were the Penguins’ healthy scratches…Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur missed the game with a knee injury.