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Video: Brunner disarms Cowen, outmaneuvers goalie Lehner

Dec 19, 2013, 9:06 AM EDT

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen (2) loses his stick while New Jersey Devils ring wing Damien Brunner (12), of the Czech Republic, steals the puck moments before scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) AP

It was less than two weeks ago that the New Jersey Devils decided to make Damien Brunner a healthy scratch against the Red Wings. He made his NHL debut with Detroit last season, but after a streaky campaign, they balked at his asking price.

That had to make being forced to sit out hurt all the more because it suggested that Detroit’s decision was the right one. Perhaps that’s what sparked him.

“Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you come back up,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer told the Star-Ledger. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that being out against Detroit here was probably rock bottom for him. Not something we wanted to do, but to his credit he hasn’t felt sorry for himself. He picked himself up and he’s playing the best hockey since he’s been here.”

Brunner has four goals and six points in his last four games, including an impressive effort that paid off late in the second period of last night’s game against Ottawa.

He fought Senators defenseman Jared Cowen for the puck and the blueliner lost his stick in the process. That opened up a one-on-one between him and goaltender Robin Lehner, as you can see below:

It was a controversial marker, as some argued that Brunner slashed Cowen.

“I saw the replay. From the one angle when you see his back turned it looks like a slash. But from the other side you see he lets his stick go pretty easy,” Brunner offered in his defense.

Either way, he feels he wouldn’t have even gotten himself into that situation a couple weeks ago. He lacked confidence then. That’s not an issue now.

  1. 950003cups - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    That was a sweet goal.

  2. upper90cheese - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    He’ll be getting a call from Shannaban. He viciously knocked the stick out of his hands. The onus is on the poke checker, not the poke checkee. the Devils should lose a roster spot, then they’ll learn. Have to get this kind of stuff out of the game.

    • ntvd7 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Well played :)

  3. 13datsyuk13 - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Enjoy this streak devil fans. It won’t last long and then he will go back to being forgettable.

    • thecheeman - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      /enjoying it

    • nj666 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      I’m sorry I didn’t read that I was too busy watching the red wings get embarrassed on HBO

    • 950003cups - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      And you know this based on what? His first 44 games?

  4. 2qswing - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    and yet, Marc Methot was a healthy scratch.

  5. 950003cups - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Cowen totally tried to embellish that one. Acting like he was hit by a bus.

  6. hosewater2 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Linus Omark of the East, always entertaining but the bottom line numbers are not palatable to some.

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