Let's face it, the Devils were due.
Bobby Holik tied the game with New Jersey's first power-play goal on the road this season, ending an 0-for-20 drought, and the Devils snapped a four-game road losing streak Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
The Devils set an NHL record last season with a 28-10-3 record away from home. This year, they are 3-5-1.
Holik also got the go-ahead goal five seconds before getting ejected in the second period.
Fredrik Olausson scored on his first career penalty shot in the first period, but the Ducks failed to score on their other 23 shots at Martin Brodeur as they lost for the fifth time in seven games and the fifth consecutive time against the Devils. Guy Hebert stopped 31 shots, including 17 of 18 in the first period.
New Jersey took the lead for good at 15:37 of the second period on Holik's eighth goal, a deflection of Scott Stevens' slapshot from the left point.
Holik got tangled up with Steve Rucchin on the ensuing faceoff and took a swing at the Ducks' center with his left hand, catching him squarely in the mouth with the butt end of his stick an drawing blood.
"I was held down, so I pulled twice and I couldn't get away from him," said Holik, the Devils' leading goal-scorer. "So I kind of pushed him down with one hand and then came over the top with no intention to hurt him."
"If my hand was at the end of my stick and I hit him with my glove, the referee (Mark Faucette) probably would have called it roughing and we would have moved on. But my hand was a little lower on the stick. And if you look at the tape, I move both my hands lower on the draws. So the end of the stick is exposed."
Holik earned a match penalty for deliberate intent to injure, and an automatic game-misconduct. But Anaheim failed to record a shot on net during the entire five-minute power play that followed.
"Our special teams won us the game tonight, especially killing that five-minute penalty," Brodeur said. "For them not to have a shot with the talent they have, it's pretty amazing."
Jason Marshall was serving a holding penalty when the Devils finally converted a power-play opportunity on the road. Until then, they were the only NHL team that hadn't.
Holik tied the game at 1 on a pass from rookie Brian Rafalski at 18:28 of the first period.
The game was still scoreless when Antti Aalto spotted Olausson coming out of the penalty box after serving a hooking penalty and sent him on a breakaway. He was about 10 feet from the net when Daneyko tripped him while attempting a poke-check, setting up the eighth penalty shot in Ducks' history and their fifth successful attempt.
"I saw an opening coming out of the penalty box and I went for it," Olausson said. "I just tried to make a good move on the penalty shot. But it kind of takes the joy out of scoring to lose the game like that."
Olausson also became the third player this season to convert one, joining Buffalo left wing Miroslav Satan and Nashville defenseman Kimmo Timonen.
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