Devils beat Senators again, this time in shootout
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils had quite the roller-coaster ride Friday night before securing a 5-4 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators at the Prudential Center.
Staring at a 2-0 first-period deficit, the Devils (7-2-0, 14 points) scored the game’s next four goals to grab a 4-2 lead late in the third period. However, the Senators (5-1-5, 15 points) tied the score and forced overtime by scoring twice in the final two minutes with their goaltender pulled for a sixth attacker.
New Jersey then survived a wild overtime and rallied in the shootout when Drew Stafford tied it 1-1 by scoring in the third round before rookie Jesper Bratt netted the game-deciding goal in the fourth round.
“We never give up, that’s the thing with this team,” said Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid, who made a game-saving stop on Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson after losing his stick in the final seconds of overtime.
On the other side, Karlsson was pleased with his team’s effort in securing at least one point, despite the emotional defeat.
“We did a good job of coming back and getting that one point,” said Karlsson, who logged nearly 28 minutes of ice time and picked up an assist Friday. “We had a few chances to end it and get that second one, but it didn’t happen for us today.”
According to Devils alternate captain Taylor Hall, this was a game New Jersey would not have won last season when they finished last in the Eastern Conference.
“I think last year, especially at the end of the year, we were finding ways to lose games, and this year it’s just that extra inch, that extra play we are making,” Hall said.
Jimmy Hayes had a goal and an assist for the Devils. Adam Henrique, Brian Gibbons and Damon Severson scored New Jersey’s other three goals. and Kinkaid made 23 saves, including two in the five-minute overtime.
The Senators raced to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from Mike Hoffman and former Devils defenseman Johnny Oduya but squandered the advantage, eventually losing on the road for the first time in four tries this season.
Hayes scored a pivotal goal at 18:12 of the first period, cutting Ottawa’s lead in half 58 seconds after Oduya’s first as a Senator put the visitors up 2-0. Sent into the clear on a cross-ice pass from Pavel Zacha, who had two assists on the night, Hayes blistered a left circle shot past Senators goalie Mike Condon for his second goal of the season.
“You never want to give one up late, but it’s always good to get one late, and in this case, get the team back within one,” Hayes explained.
Henrique buried a power-play rebound against the league’s top penalty-killing team to tie the score at 10:52 of the second. Gibbons then gave New Jersey its first lead at 18:07 of the second with his team-high fourth goal, one that beat a surprised Condon with a quick release from the left circle.
It looked like the Devils put the game away when Severson wired home his first of the season at 14:10 of the third period, especially considering the Senators played the night before -- beating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in Ottawa -- and arrived in New Jersey in the early morning hours.
However, the Senators showed plenty of resolve, scoring two goals 52 seconds apart in the closing minute to force overtime and earn at least one point in the standings.
With Condon on the bench, Mark Stone netted his seventh goal at 18:45 to make it 4-3. Ottawa coach Guy Boucher followed with a timeout so that he could keep his best players on the ice. The move paid off when rookie Christopher DiDomenico scored his first NHL goal with 36.6 seconds remaining in regulation for a 4-4 tie.
“It just happened so fast,” DiDomenico said of his goal. “(Derick Brassard) made an unbelievable play behind the net and I just swung at the puck, put it to the net, and the next thing I know it was in the net. It was good to celebrate the tying goal. We worked so hard on a back to back and we never died out there.”
NOTES: Devils G Cory Schneider missed the game to be with his wife, Jill, who gave birth to the couple’s second child Friday afternoon. ... After losing all three games against the Senators last season, and scoring only two goals in the season series, the Devils beat Ottawa twice by identical 5-4 scores in the past eight days. ... Devils RW Kyle Palmieri did not play because of a lower body injury. ... The Devils also scratched D Dalton Prout and D Mirco Mueller. ... The Senators had not allowed a power-play goal on the road this season, a perfect 11 of 11 on the penalty kill, until Devils C Adam Henrique scored on the man advantage in the second period. ... The Senators scratched C Kyle Turris (illness), D Chris Wideman and C Filip Chlapik.