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Arnott's three-point game leads Devils

12/2/2001

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- If New Jersey Devils coach Larry
Robinson intended to motivate Jason Arnott by taking away his
alternate captaincy, the plan worked.

Arnott had two goals and an assist, and the slumping Devils beat
Detroit 4-1 on Saturday night, ending the Red Wings' nine-game
unbeaten streak.

Arnott, who lost his alternate captaincy before Friday night's
4-2 loss to Detroit, tried to downplay the move.

"Whether it was to shake things up a little bit, I'm not
looking a whole lot into it," Arnott said after the Devils won for
only the second time in 11 games (2-6-2-1). "I'm a huge leader on
this team and I have to keep doing it whether I have an A on or
not."

Robinson made Bobby Holik an alternate captain instead of Arnott
because he wanted a more vocal person.

Arnott insisted that beating the Red Wings was more important
than his own situation.

"It's a big confidence booster to play as well as we did and to
beat a team of that caliber," said Arnott, who again is playing on
a line with Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias.

Andreas Salomonsson scored the go-ahead goal, and Jay Pandolfo
ended a 57 game goal-scoring drought for the Devils.

Pavel Datsyuk scored for the Red Wings, who lost for only the
fifth time in 28 games (22-4-1-1). The three-goal loss was the
largest this season for Detroit, which took a season-low 17 shots
against Martin Brodeur.

The Red Wings didn't handle the loss well.

Coach Scotty Bowman didn't show up for a postgame news
conference. A Detroit spokesman said the coach left right after the
game because of unspecified "security concerns."

Detroit players avoided the locker room where the media waited
for them, and they had to be tracked down in the hallway walking to
their bus.

"We really didn't generate anything and our passing was bad,"
forward Brendan Shanahan said. "Even when we generated chances, we
negated them with bad passes. There was no part of our game we can
be proud of tonight. It was bad, a real stinker."

The loss also marked the first time in 13 games the Red Wings
failed to earn a point. They were 10-0-1-1 in that span, including
8-0-1 in the last nine -- including a 4-2 victory over New Jersey on
Friday night.

"We didn't work," Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios said.
"That's the bottom line. They outworked us and outplayed us."

Datsyuk gave Detroit the lead Saturday night, scoring in front
at 9:07 after three Devils failed to clear the rebound of Boyd
Devereaux's shot.

Arnott tied it with 4:55 left in the period, putting a rebound
into an open net with Dominik Hasek on the ice.

"Jason is one of the most talented guys on this team," Devils
captain Scott Stevens said. "If we can get him hot, he's hard to
stop. He's still a leader in my mind. You don't need a letter on
your jersey to be a leader, and he showed that tonight."

New Jersey, which is in last place in the Atlantic Division
after going to the Stanley Cup finals the last two years, took
control with three goals in the second period.

Salomonsson put New Jersey ahead 2-1 at 5:43. Scott Gomez, who
had not had an assist in seven games, skated behind the net and
sent a pass in front. It hit off Devils forward Jim McKenzie, and
Salomonsson shoved it past Hasek.

Arnott helped Pandolfo get his first goal since Jan. 18 by
stealing a puck at center ice and leading a 2-on-1 break. Hasek
stopped Arnott's shot but Pandolfo scored into an open net at 9:51.

Arnott got his 10th of the season on a power play at 12:44 from
the circle. Holik set up the goal.

Detroit had a chance to get back in it when Turner Stevenson
took a five-minute major penalty for checking Kirk Maltby from
behind into the boards late in the second period. The Red Wings
took two shots with the extra man and they never threatened much
after.

Game notes
This was Detroit's third loss on the road this season
(9-2-0-1). ... The Red Wings are 10-20-9-0 in New Jersey. ...
Salomonsson's goal was his second of the season and first in 13
games. ... McKenzie's assist was his first in 27 games. ... Devils
defenseman Brian Rafalski collected his 100th NHL point on Arnott's
first goal.