Newark, NJ—-The Devils knows they have to start faster but they finally rose to the occasion in the third period and found a way to beat their arch-rivals.
Damon Severson stole the puck from Alexis Lafreniere in the Devils zone, raced down on a 2-on-1 with captain Nico Hirshier and smashed a winner for his first NHL overtime goal.
He scored with 2:47 on the clock in overtime for the New Jersey Devils, who stormed back from two goals down in the third period for a 4-3 victory against the New York Rangers at the Rock on Saturday.
With the win, the NJD snapped an eight-game home losing streak. Prior to Saturday’s victory, the Devils had not won at home in over a month since December 6, when they beat the Chicago Blackhawks.
It was Severson scored his 6th goal of the season in overtime to carry the team into much-needed win against their cross-Hudson River rival.
“We were on a mission,” Severson said. “Not every goal is going to be a picasso, a snipe, a deke, or bardown. We had to find a way to score some dirty goals as well.”
Jack Hughes scored twice to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games and got an assist on Jesper Bratt’s power-play goal.
The NY Rangers came into Saturday’s contest on a three-game win streak and were 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. They were just one point behind the NJD. If they would of beat the Devils, they would have surpassed the NJD in the standings, in second place.
It didn’t take the Rangers long to put points on the board. Just 1 minute and 34 seconds into the first period, Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey received a pass from Lafreniere that smoked pass the pipes. It was Vesey’s 7th goal of the season and Lafreniere’s 13th assist of the season.
With three minutes and 17 seconds left in the first period, Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider received a 2-minute penalty for an interference against Devils forward Miles Wood. Just a few seconds later, defenseman Adam Fox joined his teammate in the box for two minutes after hooking Devils Jack Hughes. The Devils didn’t not capitalize while they had the advantage.
The NJD finished the first period dominating the number of shots on goal, leading with 20-9.
The Rangers scored again just three minutes and 28 seconds into the second period when Rangers forward Julien Gauthier received a pass from Fox and scored on Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek, earning his sixth goal of the season.
Hughes got the Devils on the board at 9 minutes and 24 seconds into the second period, when he scored an unassisted goal on Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, giving him to his 25th goal of the season and 3rd goal in the last two games.
But the Rangers scored again, when defenseman K’Andre Miller passed to forward Chris Kreider, who smashed a rocket past Vanecek at 13 minutes and 15 seconds. It was Kreider’s 19th goal of the season and Miller’s 17th assist of the season.
The Devils finished ahead in shots on goal, leading 33 to 22 after the second period.
Just 31 seconds into the powerplay, Hischier made a pass to forward Bratt to score on Shesterkin for his 15th goal of the season and Hischier’s 20th assist. It was Bratt’s 6th goal of the season on the power play.
“Every game, every point, every period really matters,” Bratt said in a post-game interview. “Obviously we didn’t get the start we needed, with an early goal but something we have been working on all season is to really never give up and keep fighting.”
Bratt got the Devils within 3-2 at 8:28 of the third period with a goal from the left circle on a power play.
Hughes tied up the game 3-3, scoring his 26th goal of the season and 2nd unassisted goal of the game, sending the game into overtime.
Hughes has scored 8 goals in the past 5 games. Today’s goals brought him to his career-high of 26 goals.
“Sometimes when you are shooting the puck a lot, it doesn’t go in and sometimes when you are shooting a lot you get those bounces,” Hughes said after the game.
The game continued in a 3-on-3 player 5-minute overtime. New Jersey’s Devil’s defenseman Damon Severson seized the opportunity on a takeaway and scored an unassisted goal sealing the game for the Devils.
New Jersey Devils made 31 saves in the game.
“I’m extremely proud of our road record, but the home record (11-10-2), I mean, imagine if you pour that 14-2-1 road record into this building, the noise that was in here today,” New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. “Just the atmosphere, you know, I think it pushes the players, too. As soon as we got the second one, I thought the building was fantastic.”
Jimmy Vesey and Chris Kreider scored, Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves for the Rangers (22-12-7), who had won three in a row.
The New Jersey Devils will travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes for a 7:00 P.M. start time.