23. march 2010 / THREE ASSIST NIGHT FOR PATRIK ELIAS AS DEVILS ROMP COLUMBUS
PATRIK ELIAS contributed three hard earned assists to a 6-3 routing of the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday.After failing to get one past the St. Louis Blues on Saturday in a 1-0 loss, the Devils struck early and often against Columbus, netting three on the power play which was 0 for its previous 17 attempts heading into Tuesday’s contest.
Patrik’s first assist was the product of tenacious cycling. With the Devils on the power play midway through the first, #26 protected the puck along the boards and threw a spin-o-rama pass into the slot that wound up on Jamie Langenbrunner’s stick. Langenbrunner unloaded a hard shot and Zach Parise slammed home the rebound to give the Devils the 1-0 lead.
The star forward would get his next assist early in the second period. With his team up a man yet again, Patrik took a pass from Ilya Kovalchuk at the point, crept in closer and fired a quick snapshot from just inside the left circle. The rebound shot out the other side and Paul Martin was there to fire it into the open cage to make it 2-0.
In the third, with the Devils up 5-3, Patrik hooked up with Langenbrunner and Parise again to put the game out of reach. The Czech star outhustled two Blue Jacket players as the puck slid into the Columbus zone. He drew them both towards him and threw a quick pass down the boards to Langenbrunner, who found Parise all alone in front for the goal. The assist was Patrik’s 26th of the year and 39th point. He now has 745 career points—two away from catching former teammate Bobby Holik for second in all-time points by a Czech player. The three assist night marks his tenth multiple-point game this season. The last time he had three assists in a game was Jan 2 in a 5-3 win over the Wild. New Jersey (43-25-4) is now tied with the Penguins for first in the Atlantic Division, but the Devils still have one game in hand. They host the New York Rangers Thursday.