EditorsNote: Fix the word “unleashed” in 12th graf
Travis Zajac scored a power-play goal 56 seconds into overtime as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday in Sunrise, Fla., in the season finale for both teams.
Nathan Bastian, a 21-year-old who was New Jersey’s second-round pick in 2016, scored twice for the Devils and now has three career goals. This was just his seventh NHL game.
Pavel Zacha scored New Jersey’s other goal, and 22-year-old rookie Mackenzie Blackwood made 37 saves.
The Panthers got goals from Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Hoffman in the final four minutes to send the game to overtime.
Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers. For Barkov, it was his 35th goal of the season, and he set the franchise record with his 95th point. He broke the previous record of 94 set by Pavel Bure in the 1999-2000 season.
Huberdeau, who also had an assist, finished the season with 92 points. He and Barkov are the only Panthers teammates ever to have more than 90 points in the same season.
Hoffman’s goal gave him 300 career points.
Roberto Luongo made 23 saves for the Panthers.
New Jersey opened the scoring with just 1:27 gone in the first period. Nico Hischier slid a perfect cross-ice pass to Bastian, whose one-timer found the right side of the net.
The Devils nearly went ahead 2-0 with 13:10 left in the first as Drew Stafford deflected in a high shot by Kenny Agostino. But the Panthers appealed, and the goal was wiped out due to a high-sticking violation.
Bastian scored his second of the night at 7:41 of the second period.
Barkov’s goal at 11:58 of the second cut Florida’s deficit to 2-1. The Panthers had a two-on-one breakaway, with Dadonov on Barkov’s left. But Barkov kept the puck and unleashed a low shot past sliding defenseman Steven Santini and past Blackwood.
New Jersey went up 3-1 when Zacha drove past Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, turned the corner and slipped the puck past Luongo with 5:31 left in the second.
Huberdeau’s goal with 3:25 left in the third closed Florida’s deficit to 3-2. Hoffman scored with 1:25 left in regulation to force overtime. A delay-of-game penalty on Huberdeau with one second remaining in regulation gave New Jersey the overtime power play.
—Field Level Media