Valtteri Filppula scored 5:32 into the third period, putting the Detroit Red Wings ahead to stay in a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.
Jimmy Howard made 23 saves, and Darren Helm and Johan Franzen added goals for Detroit. The Red Wings snapped New Jersey’s four-game winning streak and dealt the Devils their first loss in regulation in eight games.
Brian Rolston scored for New Jersey and Martin Brodeur made 26 saves.
Filppula’s goal snapped a 1-1 tie. New Jersey had a goal disallowed with 2:28 remaining when officials ruled Howard was pushed into the net by an attacking player.
Franzen scored with 43.6 seconds to play after the Devils were unable to pull Brodeur for an extra skater.
With the game tied after two periods, Detroit began putting more pressure on and eventually broke through. The puck came to Ruslan Salei at the point. He sent it to Jiri Hudler on the right side, who then found Filppula with a nice cross-ice pass. Filppula beat Brodeur with a wrist shot for his 12th goal of the season.
Later in the period, Howard stopped Dainius Zubrus on a 3-on-1 that began when Detroit’s Patrick Eaves went down injured at center ice. Officials let play continue at first but then gave Rolston a double-minor for high-sticking.
The Red Wings wasted a two-man advantage after a delay-of-game call, but the penalties cost New Jersey valuable time.
Detroit enters the All-Star break in second place in the Western Conference. The Red Wings were again without Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Modano and Tomas Holmstrom, to name a few of their injured scoring threats.
The Devils are in last place in the East, only now beginning to recover from their terrible start, which included a right knee injury to Zach Parise that has kept the left wing out since Oct. 30.
New Jersey fired coach John MacLean in late December and brought back Jacques Lemaire to try to salvage the season.
Helm opened the scoring 1:43 into the game, stealing the puck from New Jersey’s Mark Fraser and skating in alone on Brodeur before beating the goaltender high to the glove side.
The Devils tied it later in the first period when Howard was handcuffed by a shot from the left side. He stopped it but left a rebound, and Rolston poked at the puck for a bit before it finally went in.
Neither team managed many scoring opportunities in the second. Howard made a nice save on Ilya Kovalchuk early in the period, and Helm nearly scored again when he led a 2-on-1, short-handed break. He shot wide but drew a cheer from the home crowd when he helped Detroit waste precious seconds in New Jersey’s zone while killing the penalty.
Helm and Rolston each scored their sixth goals of the season. Franzen scored his 21st. … The Red Wings won 4-1 at New Jersey on Dec. 11. … New Jersey wasn’t called for a penalty in the first two periods. … Helm has four goals and eight assists in his last 13 games.
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