- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 30, 2006

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Scott Gomez was picture perfect for the New Jersey Devils, scoring two goals with the help of video reviews.

Gomez had his first multigoal game of the season and added an assist to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals last night.

“They were both replay goals, so you never know what’s going to happen,” Gomez said. “You’ve got your bench telling you one thing, but it’s all up to the people upstairs. Sometimes you get a little lucky.”

Sergei Brylin also scored, Patrik Elias had a goal and two assists, and Martin Brodeur made 32 saves for New Jersey.

The Atlantic Division-leading Devils stretched their winning streak to two with their sixth straight victory over the Capitals. New Jersey is 11-1-1 in the last 13 games against Washington.

“It’s one of those nights where you have to work hard to win,” Devils coach Claude Julien said. “I think our team gave a good effort against a team that wasn’t going to quit.”

Lawrence Nycholat had a goal, his first in the NHL, and added an assist for the Capitals. Brooks Laich had a power-play goal and Alexander Semin scored with 45.6 seconds left for the Capitals. Washington has dropped three straight, and has one win in its last six games.

Nycholat and Gomez scored first period goals.

Nycholat, recalled from the minors four games ago, got his first NHL goal at 5:25. The defenseman took a pass from Alex Ovechkin and drilled a shot from the left faceoff dot past Brodeur.

“It’s a pretty special thing,” said the 27-year-old playing in only his 13th game. “I’m pretty happy about it. It would have been nicer if we won the game.”

Gomez pulled New Jersey even with 1:07 left with a snap shot from the bottom of the right circle that went in — and out of — the net so fast that it had to be confirmed by a video review.

“It’s got a sound when it hits the inside bar,” Gomez said. “I pointed that it was in. Going back to the bench I thought to myself I hope that’s in because the guys will ride me if it’s not. It would be embarrassing.”

In the second, Brylin and Gomez scored to give New Jersey a two-goal lead before Laich cut the Devils advantage to 3-2.

Brylin backhanded Brian Rafalski’s rebound past Olie Kolzig for a power-play tally at 6:22. Gomez scored his second goal at 13:31, and it also went to a video review. Brian Gionta took a hard shot and Kolzig made a pad save. The rebound bounced in off Gomez’s leg. That triggered a review that determined Gomez did not deliberately kick the puck into the net.

Gomez played coy as to how the puck went in.

“I can’t really tell you,” Gomez said. “I was just going to the net and it kind of bounced off me.”



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