Devils stumble, then trip Rangers
Patrik Elias made his voice heard loudly when the New Jersey Devils let a big lead get away, and then spoke volumes by pumping in the winning goal moments later.
Elias scored with 8:31 left to rescue the Devils, who squandered a four-goal edge yet managed to finally beat the New York Rangers, 8-5, last night in Newark.
Just 11 seconds after Ryan Callahan got the Rangers even at 5, Elias put the Devils in front again. Brian Gionta built the lead up to two 1:35 later and gave New Jersey its first regular-season win over the Rangers in 12 tries.
The Devils' second onslaught culminated with Jamie Langenbrunner's goal with 4:53 remaining, capping a spurt in which they scored three times in 3:38.
"We got the momentum on our side," Elias said. "Every line right after the goal kept going. And we got another one and another one.
"It was a very awkward game."
New Jersey appeared to have things in hand with a three-goal second period that created a 5-1 lead. The Devils stormed in front by taking advantage of the Rangers' putrid power play that generated two shorthanded goals for New Jersey and nothing for New York in nine opportunities.
Travis Zajac scored twice, Gionta had a goal and three assists, Dainius Zubrus and Elias both added a goal and two assists, Langenbrunner had one of each, and Zach Parise set up four goals in the Devils' highest-scoring game this season.
Maple Leafs 2, Sabres 1 - Ian White broke a tie with 7:56 left in the third period, and Vesa Toskala made 24 saves in visiting Toronto's victory over Buffalo.
Jeremy Williams also scored to help Toronto improve to 11-12-6 with its second straight victory.
Stars 3, Red Wings 1 - Marty Turco made 37 saves, rookies Tom Wandell and Fabian Brunnstrom scored, and host Dallas won its first meeting with Detroit since last season's Western Conference finals.
Wandell, who had his first NHL goal in his second career game, and Brunnstrom scored in a 1:40 span to give the Stars the lead. Mike Ribeiro added an empty-net goal.
Capitals 5, Senators 1 - Inspired by the return of Sergei Fedorov and Mike Green, Washington maintained its home-ice dominance with a victory over Ottawa.
Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, and Green all scored for the first time this month, Alex Ovechkin got his 16th and 17th goals of the season, and Brent Johnson made 32 saves for the Capitals. Johnson won his fourth straight decision as Washington improved to an Eastern Conference-best 12-1-1 at home.
Blackhawks 4, Avalanche 3 - Dustin Byfuglien assured a happy homecoming for coach Joel Quenneville when his second goal gave visiting Chicago the victory over Colorado.
Quenneville, jettisoned in the offseason after leading the Avalanche to a .579 winning percentage over the last three seasons, is 13-4-6 since taking over as Chicago's coach in mid-October.
Panthers 3, Flames 2 - Stephen Weiss scored the lone shootout goal to help Florida win in Calgary, Alberta.
Kamil Kreps doubled his season points total with a goal and an assist, and Jay Bouwmeester also scored for Florida.