Better known for their checking than scoring, the duo combined
for a pair of goals by Laperriere, including the game-winner with
2:05 remaining, to lead the Kings to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey
Belanger made the key play on both scores.
"I'm not a skill player," Laperriere said of the game-winner.
"I had an open net. I just put it in.
"Eric went to the net hard and had a good shot. I just put in
The shot hit Martin Brodeur in the glove and he had no idea
where the rebound landed.
"I knew I made the save, but I didn't know where it fell,"
Brodeur said. "I thought I saw it and I went to grab it."
But it was too late.
The first Laperriere goal gave the Kings a 2-1 lead at 7:06 of
the second period after Belanger bested Jason Arnott on a faceoff.
The puck popped right to Laperriere who surprised Brodeur with a
quick shot from the right circle.
"I wanted to get the puck back to Jaroslav Modry," Belanger
said. "The puck just laid there and Ian had a good jump on it. It
was a great shot and a huge goal for us."
The Kings, winners of three straight, also got a goal from Adam
Deadmarsh while Felix Potvin made 25 saves.
Pandolfo had pulled the Devils even at 2-2 at 8:47 of the third.
Pandolfo, scoring only his second goal of the season, drilled a
high, rising shot from the left circle that flew past the arm and
shoulder of Potvin.
Madden and Deadmarsh scored in the first period as the teams
deadlocked at 1-1.
Madden connected first at 7:22 by deflecting Andrei Zyuzin's
point shot past Potvin. It was Madden's first goal in 18 games.
Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski made the poor clearing pass
which led to the Deadmarsh goal at 14:08. Rafalski, trying to clear
the zone, backhanded the puck directly to Kings center Brian
Smolinski. In a flash, it was on Deadmarsh's stick and on its way
past Martin Brodeur.
The Kings missed out on a golden opportunity to pad the lead
late in the second period when the Devils picked up a pair of minor
penalties at 17:19. But Brodeur denied the Kings on the 5-on-3 with
a brilliant stop on Belanger at the edge of the crease.
The Devils have alternated wins with loses in their last four
games, a pattern that is starting to wear thin.
"We turn it on, we turn it off," Devils center Bobby Holik
said. "It's a lack of determination on our part. How many times
can this happen? It's unacceptable."
Devils captain Scott Stevens, who took a puck in the groin
late in the second period in the Devils 2-1 win over Carolina, made
the game even though he missed practice Monday. ... The Devils
played without leading scorer Patrik Elias who missed a second game
with a finger infection. ... Arnott, benched for most of the third
period against Carolina for taking an abuse of officials penalty,
made his peace with coach Larry Robinson. "I had a talk with
Larry," Arnott said. "We've taken some undisciplined penalties
that have hurt us. It's tough. Tempers fly. It's part of the
game." ... Kings LW Kelly Buchberger played in his 1,000 NHL game.