Devils players from left, Travis Zajac, Zach Parise, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Paul Martin celebrate a goal by Langenbrunner. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Zach Parise scored a goal and had two assists and rookie linemate Travis Zajac had a career-best three assists as New Jersey avenged an embarrassing 8-1 loss at Ottawa on Oct. 21.
Martin Brodeur, who gave up six goals in 34 minutes in that loss, came within 14-plus minutes of recording his 84th career shutout before Ottawa made the game interesting on third-period goals by Chris Neil and Daniel Alfredsson. Brodeur finished with 15 saves.
The win was the Devils' seventh in 10 games and their fourth straight at home, where they are 8-1-1 this season. Ottawa, which had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, is now 2-7-1 in its last 10 games, 7-11-1 this season and last in the Northeast Division.
The line of Zajac centring Parise and Langenbrunner was spectacular all night. Not only did they account for three goals, Senators goaltender Ray Emery had to come up with at least three other outstanding stops on a night he faced 23 shots.
Parise made a great touch pass to set up Langenbrunner's first goal just 2:29 after the opening faceoff. With his back to Emery, Parise tipped a Zajac pass right in front of the goal to a wide-open Langenbrunner for his sixth goal.
Parise also had the primary assist on the next goal. He took a pass from Zajac in the left corner on a power play and sent the puck across the crease. Emery got his stick on the puck but it rolled to Langenbrunner, who directed it into the open net with less than a minute left in the period.
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson handed the Devils their third goal 6:56 into the second period. With no one near him, he failed to get the puck out of the Ottawa zone. Langenbrunner got the puck, sent a cross-ice pass to Zajac, who found Parise cutting to the net for a backhand tally.
Neil scored for Ottawa at 5:34 of the final period, deflecting a point shot by Andrej Meszaros for his sixth goal. Alfredsson made up for his earlier blunder by ripping an Antoine Vermette pass by Brodeur with 8:31 to play in regulation.
Notes: Ottawa is now 1-8-0 when its opponent scores first. ... Senators C Jason Spezza hit two goal posts. ... Devils C Scott Gomez missed his sixth straight game and seventh in eight. ... New Jersey D David Hale made his season debut. He had been sidelined with an eye injury. ... Ottawa's Brian McGrattan got the best of Devils tough-guy Cam Janssen in a long first-period fight.