Moore, Mr. OT, comes through for Devils
OTTAWA — When it comes to overtime, John Moore is now a cut above all other NHL defenseman.
Moore scored his fifth overtime winner since three-on-three was implemented in 2015, with his goal 1:20 into the extra session giving the New Jersey Devils a 5-4, come-from-behind victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night at Canadian Tire Centre.
Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers are immediately in line behind Moore for OT goals by defensemen, both with four.
“I’m fortunate I get to play with great players, and I get that opportunity from the coaching staff,” Moore said. “I just try and use my skating with the open ice out there. To be completely honest, I just think I’m the beneficiary of some really good plays by good players.”
In overtime, Taylor Hall picked up his fourth assist of the night by giving Moore a pass near the New Jersey blue line while the Senators were trying to make a change. Moore cut across the ice to the right wing and beat Craig Anderson with a shot from the circle that squeezed through the goalie’s pads.
“Johnny’s been really good for us in overtime,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “The last couple of years he’s been significant. He’s a good skater, he’s got a good shot. He’s shown a knack in those situations, to be able to be a guy who comes through for us.”
The win was the third in a row for the Devils (6-1-0). The Senators (3-1-3) remain winless in four home games after blowing a 4-2 lead in the third period.
“Usually we close these really well,” said Senators coach Guy Boucher, whose team also lost after leading the Washington Capitals by two with less than 20 minutes to go in the regular-season opener. “Both times it’s the same reason. We turned the puck over.
“Puck management from our defensive zone and neutral zone cost us in the end. This is the stuff we’ve got to clean up. At the beginning of the year, it happens. We’ve just got to clean it up for the next games.”
The first pick in the 2017 draft, New Jersey center Nico Hischier, scored the first two goals of his NHL career by the 4:21 mark of the opening period. Kyle Palmieri and Marcus Johansson scored the Devils’ third-period goals.
“I knew at some point it would come,” said Hischier, who had four assists in the team’s first six games. “I just had to keep going. The guys were telling me that. It happened today, and it’s even better if you win the game after your first goal, so I’m really happy tonight.”
Hischier and Hall were used as linemates for the first time, and the combination immediately clicked.
“It’s a big goal for our team, it’s a big goal for him, (to) give him some confidence in the scoring department,” Hall said. “It’s fun for a guy like myself to be a part of those moments and be on his line. He’s a fun guy to play with.”
Ottawa’s Kyle Turris, Derick Brassard, Alex Burrows and Tom Pyatt scored on Devils goalie Cory Schneider, who left the game with a lower-body injury after stopping 20 of 24 shots through two periods.
Kevin Kinkaid, who came on in relief to stop all nine shots he faced, received little warning that he would be entering the game.
“I was actually stuffing my face with some granola,” he said of the second-intermission notification. “I had no idea anything was wrong. You always have to be ready. I did my little pregame routine and went in.”
Anderson made 41 stops in the Ottawa net.
“I’ve got to be honest, for the most part they’re probably the better team,” said Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, who had three assists in just his second game back from offseason foot surgery. “But we find a way to score four goals, and when we do, we’re usually pretty good.
“I don’t think we were terrible today, but they did a great job in finding ways to come back. They put a lot of pucks at net against us. We just didn’t have it just enough today. It’s one of those games we should have won and we let it slip away.”
The Senators lost winger Zack Smith to an upper-body injury, but as in Schneider’s case, there was no postgame update.
NOTES: The goal scored by Senators LW Alex Burrows in the second period was the 200th of his career. ... With G Cory Schneider getting the start in goal for the Devils, G Kevin Kinkaid was tabbed to work between the pipes Friday against San Jose. Schneider’s lower-body injury means the Devils likely will have to call up a back-up for Kinkaid. ... The Devils’ scratches were F Jimmy Hayes, D Ben Lovejoy and D Mirco Mueller ... As expected, Senators D Mark Borowiecki was scratched with an upper-body ailment after he engaged in fights in three consecutive games.