4. april 2010 / 3 POINTS FOR ELIAS AS DEVILS SPLIT WEEKEND
PATRIK ELIAS had a goal and two assists in two games this weekend—a 2-1 overtime loss to Chicago Friday and a 4-0 romp of the Hurricanes Saturday—as the Devils picked up three crucial points to regain the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Patrik set up the only Devil goal Friday in New Jersey against the dangerous Blackhawks. He threw a tape-to-tape pass from behind the net for Ilya Kovalchuk who buried it for his 40th of the season at 5:49 of the first period. New Jersey held onto the lead until Chicago got even with under 30 seconds left in regulation and then got the win by blanking the Devils in the shootout.
The Devils bounced back Saturday with a dominant effort on the road vs. Carolina. With the Devils up 1-0 late in the first period, Kovalchuk returned the favor from Friday’s game by setting up Patrik for his 16th of the season. Patrik corralled the newly acquired Devils’ pass in the high slot, skated towards the left circle to break free of coverage, and whipped a scorcher towards goal that sailed into the top left corner of the net. Late in the third period, with the Devils up 3-0, Carolina opted to pull Cam Ward to spoil Martin Brodeur’s shutout, but Patrik foiled the plan by launching a blueline to blueline pass down to David Clarkson who slid it into the empty cage to put the game away. Patrk now has 45 points (16g, 29a) in 54 games played and boasts a +17 rating.
New Jersey (45-26-7) heads to Atlanta Tuesday to try and break away from the Penguins in the close battle for 1st in the Atlantic.