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NHL Roundup : Even at Home, New Jersey Has Devil of a Time

December 05, 1987|From Times Wire Services

You'd think the New Jersey Devils' motto would be: "There's no place like home." But that isn't necessarily so.

The Devils improved their home record to 11-1-1, best in the National Hockey League this season, with a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues Thursday night at East Rutherford, N.J.

Still, they're not real excited about the condition of their home ice.

"This was the worst it was all year," defenseman Joe Cirella said. "It was very chippy. It was chipping up in chunks. At practice today, we had to stop six times to fix the ice."

However, the Devils aren't ready to give up their advantage.

"There was no home ice advantage tonight," New Jersey defenseman Craig Wolanin said. "Nobody knew which way the puck was going. But we'll take this ice every day if we win on it."

The Devils (14-8-3) jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period, when rookie Doug Brown scored 66 seconds into the game and Doug Sulliman connected at 5:52. Cirella and Jim Korn had second-period goals and the Devils made it 4-0.

The Blues replaced goaltender Rick Wamsley with Greg Millen after Cirella's goal. Wamsley allowed 3 goals on 12 shots.

"Rick has played well," St. Louis Coach Jacques Martin said. "Tonight, he was not on. Unfortunately, we did not have enough scoring power to come back."

St. Louis scored 38 seconds apart in the third period on goals by Doug Gilmour and Tony Hrkac.

Buffalo 6, Quebec 3--Dave Andreychuk scored three goals and Mike Foligno added a pair as the Sabres downed the Nordiques at Buffalo.

Andreychuk scored what proved to be the winning goal at 1:59 of the third period, breaking a 3-3 tie, on one of three assists by Calle Johansson. Foligno added a pair of insurance goals to wrap up the victory.

Andreychuk's first goal, at 3:33 of the second period, tied the score, 2-2. After a spectacular series of saves by Quebec goaltender Mario Brunetta, Andreychuk's shot appeared to hit the post. At the next whistle, referee Terry Gregson consulted with the goal judge and linesmen and ruled it a goal.

Andreychuk's second goal, at 16:50 of the second period, tied the score, 3-3.

Boston 4, New York Rangers 3--Steve Kasper scored the winner with two minutes left as the Bruins scored three goals in the final seven minutes to beat the Rangers at Boston.

The Rangers took a 3-1 lead on Brian Mullen's two goals within 2:01, the second at 10:08 of the third period. But Ray Bourque got his fourth goal at 13:12 and Rick Middleton tied the game with his ninth goal at 16:33 on a power play.

Kasper won it with his 10th in the last 10 games.

Before the game, Boston honored former Bruins' star Phil Esposito, now the Rangers' general manager. His number 7 was retired and a banner bearing the number was raised to the Boston Garden ceiling.

Calgary 5, Toronto 3--Joe Nieuwendyk scored his 15th goal of the season, tops among NHL rookies, and the Flames got past the Maple Leafs at Calgary.

Nieuwendyk's second-period goal gave the Flames a 3-1 lead and they went on to run their undefeated streak to seven games.

Calgary leads Edmonton by three points in the Smythe Division race.

Philadelphia 5, Hartford 2--Peter Zezel's first of two goals sparked a three-goal first period and the Flyers turned back the Whalers at Philadelphia.

Zezel has scored seven goals in five games since returning from a sprained ankle that put him out for seven games. He had one goal in his first 12 games before going out with the injury.

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