Parise hat-trick leads Devils to victory

NEW YORK Sat Dec 1, 2007 1:40am EST

1 of 4. Montreal Canadiens goalie Cristobal Huet (L) cannot stop a goal by New Jersey Devils winger Zach Parise (9) in the first period of their NHL hockey game in Newark, New Jersey, November 30, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Zach Parise scored three goals, two on the power play, and Martin Brodeur made 27 saves for his 94th regular-season shutout when the New Jersey Devils beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 on Friday.

Parise capped his very first hat-trick with a third-period power-play goal to give the Devils their ninth consecutive win over the Canadiens, their sixth-successive NHL victory.

He scored an even-handed goal with 35 seconds left in the first period and scored off a power play in the second.

Brian Gionta collected New Jersey's fourth goal off another power play in the third period.

Parise assisted on the goal, giving him four points for the night.

"Marty was rock-solid again. Zach scored three goals and I had a lot of guys who had very good games," Devils coach Brent Sutter told reporters.

Brodeur, the sparkplug of the Devils' streak, stopped 16 Montreal shots in the first period, then had a relatively easy time of it. He handled five shots in the second period and six in the third.

He now has 116 regular season and playoff shutouts, the most in NHL history. Terry Sawchuk held the previous record of 115.

"It means a lot," Brodeur told reporters. "Just because they're playoff games, (it doesn't mean) they shouldn't count. Usually, everything counts more in the playoffs than in the regular season. When you combine them, I think it's great."

Brodeur also tied with George Hainsworth for second on the league's all-time list for regular-season shutouts.

Devils left wing Jay Pandolfo missed his first game in four years because of an injury in the pelvis area. He had played in 307 consecutive regular-season games, the third longest in franchise history. He last missed a game on January 18, 2003.

* Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien scored three consecutive first-period goals when the Chicago Blackhawks crushed the Phoenix Coyotes 6-1.

Coyotes netminder Ilja Bryzgalov was pulled just 10:30 into the first period after allowing five goals on seven shots. Mikael Tellqvist played the remainder of the game.

Byfuglien gave Chicago a 3-0 lead 5:01 into the first, then scored two power-play goals in 16 seconds near the 10 minute mark. He also had a second-period assist.

* Sidney Crosby scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 for their third win in a row.

* Rod Brind'Amour's two goals sparked the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 home win over the Washington Capitals. Alex Ovechkin scored twice and had an assist for Washington.

(Writing by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; editing by Martin Petty)

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