NEWARK, N.J. – Clayton Stoner scored a lucky goal and Jose Theodore made 21 saves as the Minnesota Wild beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Stoner scored his first NHL goal 1:14 into the third period to snap a 1-1 tie. Stoner fired the puck along the right boards into the Devils end. New Jersey goalie Johan Hedberg skated behind the net, anticipating the puck would wind all the way around.
It never reached Hedberg. The puck caromed off the boards and angled into the open net before Hedberg could dive back into position.
Cal Clutterbuck also scored for Wild, who won for the third time in four games. It was Minnesota's first win in New Jersey after four loses and a tie.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored for the Devils, who have only two wins in 15 games.
Hedberg got the start over Martin Brodeur, who was yanked Saturday after giving up three goals on seven shots in a 6-3 loss to Carolina.
The Wild dominated the first period and took a 1-0 lead when Clutterbuck scored an unassisted goal at 11:48.
Clutterbuck seized the opportunity when Kovalchuk turned over the puck as he spun and fell in the neutral zone. Clutterbuck swooped in on Hedberg from the right wing, picking the short side.
Minnesota outshot listless New Jersey 8-1 in the period. The Devils' lone shot came about 12 minutes in when Jamie Langenbrunner tested Theodore with a drive from the right circle.
In the second, Kovalchuk atoned for his turnover by scoring at 3:07. Kovalchuk flicked in a shot from the left circle as Nick Palmieri screened Theodore.
That goal gave a badly needed spark to the Devils, who outshot the Wild 14-4 in the period.
NOTES: D Mark Fraser returned for the Devils after missing 34 games with a broken hand in an early-season fight. With Fraser activated from the injured list, D Mark Fayne was demoted to Albany of the AHL. ... LW Brian Rolston was back in the Devils lineup after he missed three games while clearing re-entry waivers. ... The Wild scratches were RW Jed Ortmeyer, D Marco Scandella and RW Anti Miettinen. ... The Devils scratched C Dainius Zubrus, RW Mattias Tedenby and D Matt Corrente. ... The Devils are 1-5 since former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire replaced John MacLean.