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|22 февраля 2013 года.
Devs rally in third, thanks to Loktionov // The Record
WASHINGTON -- The Devils appeared to be running out of chances.
Down a goal and staring down a possible three-game losing streak, they had wasted three consecutive power plays in the first half of the third period, including a two-man advantage for 1:39.
That's when newcomer Andrei Loktionov stepped up and made his first big play as a Devil.
Loktionov scored on a rebound to tie the game 9:19 into the third period and Ilya Kovalchuk blasted home a 5-on-3 power-play 2:21 later as the Devils pulled out a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.
The Devils had lost three of their past four games (1-2-1) following a five-game winning streak and were facing a Caps team that has won just five of its first 16 games. So, though it wasn't the prettiest of victories, they were in no position to be picky.
"It wasn't textbook, there's a lot of things we need to work on, but we found a way to win against a very desperate team," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "We'll take the two points and get ready for Saturday."'
The teams will meet again Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center in this rare two-game series in a same city. The Devils are hoping Thursday's win will spark them out of their funk.
"You're going to go through times when the team game is not there, and you've just got to find a way," said left wing Patrik Elias, who scored a short-handed goal and set up Kovalchuk's winner. "By no means was it a perfect game by us today. We did some good things, but we did some bad things, too. So, we're happy with the two points, but we've still got to get better. We've got to keep building."
The Devils acquired Loktionov in a Feb. 6 trade with Los Angeles for a 2013 fifth-round draft pick. They sent him to Albany initially, but called up the 22-year-old center Sunday when they sent struggling center Jacob Josefson down.
"I didn't know a lot about him," DeBoer admitted. "[Josefson] gave us dependability, versatility and a little bit of offense, and we were hoping for the same thing out of him."
Loktionov played a solid game in making his Devils debut, getting 9:28 in ice time, in Monday's 2-1 shootout loss to Ottawa. He actually played less Thursday - 8:43 - because of all the power-play time but made the most of his chance when he got it.
DeBoer juggled his line combinations after his team fell behind 2-1 in the second period on power-play goals by Washington's Mathieu Perreault and Mike Ribeiro. He put Adam Henrique between Bobby Butler and Kovalchuk on one line, and Travis Zajac between Elias and David Clarkson on another.
For a right circle faceoff 9:14 into the third period, DeBoer sent out the combination of Loktionov with Alexei Ponikarovsky and Stephen Gionta. Loktionov won the draw cleanly from Ribeiro back to defenseman Adam Larsson, who walked the puck to the middle before throwing a wrist shot on net. Goaltender Braden Holtby made a left pad save, but left a rebound to his left that Loktionov chipped home for his first goal as a Devil.
"I scored a goal and I think it will help me to play the next game better and better and feel more comfortable," Loktionov said. "I'm so glad to score a goal. It was a very important goal, too."
When Capitals defensemen John Erskine (hooking) and Tom Poti (interference) were sent off 52 seconds apart, the Devils ended up with their second 5-on-3 power play of the third period. After the Devils failed to get a shot through on their first 5-on-3, DeBoer drew up a play during a timeout following Poti's penalty at 10:51 and the Devils made it work.