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In a game that was rich with excitement, the Devils managed to escape with a 4-3 overtime victory thanks to Mr. Overtime himself, John Moore, who scored the game winner less than a minute into extra time.
The Devils got off to a slow start, but managed to find themselves up 1-0 after the first frame thanks to Adam Henrique, who managed to squeak a puck past Devan Dubnyk in the closing minutes of the first period. However, it would not take long for Minnesota to get the game tied up as Nino Niederreiter would score less than two minutes into the second period after Steven Santini was sent to the box for hooking Jason Zucker. Despite being outshot 15-6 at this point in the game, the Devils would manage to recapture the lead thanks to the aforementioned Santini, who fired a shot from the boards that found its way to the back of the net after it deflected off a Wild defender for a 2-1 Devils lead heading into the second intermission.
The third period is where things got interesting. Both teams found themselves in a dog fight as there were a number of scrums and some goals, too. The Devils took a 3-1 lead thanks to a wicked wrister from Will Butcher after a great set up from Adam Henrique. New Jersey looked to be in a good spot, but after a Miles Wood penalty, the Wild cut the lead to one thanks to a power play goal from Mikael Granlund.
That wouldn’t be the last we’d hear from Granlund, either. After Minnesota pulled their goaltender with just over 2:30 left in the third, he blasted a one-timer from the right circle after the Devils were unable to win a face-off and get the puck out of their own end. New Jersey were staring at a possible third tough loss in a row, but thanks to John Moore, they managed to get the extra point in overtime to help move them to 12-5-3 on the season.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) November 21, 2017
- After being moved to the fourth line, Adam Henrique responded with one of his best games of the season. He had the first goal of the game and two assists (including a beautiful set up to John Moore for the game winner in overtime) and logged 16:39 of total ice time. Henrique wasn’t only creating offense, either. He seemed to be in the middle of every scrum and was much more physical than he’s been in recent weeks. It may’ve only been one game, but it was definitely a step in the right direction for a player who’s had his fair share of struggles lately.
- I had given Ben Lovejoy high praise for a couple of his recent performances, but last night he reverted to his old ways. The Devils were out-attempted 29-11 and out-chanced 12-1 with him on the ice. Safe to say a performance of that rate won’t cut it going forward. He’ll need to be more consistent with Mirco Mueller out for the long-term because they don’t have many other options.
- In his first game back after being a healthy scratch for a majority of this road trip, Pavel Zacha had a disappointing return. He only logged 9:40 of total ice time and struggled to stay above water at five-on-five. At this point, if the Devils don’t find a regular role for him, it may be in his best interest to go to Binghamton and log big minutes because he really seems to be lacking confidence at the moment.
- Cory Schneider had a strong performance and rebounded nicely after giving up five goals on 34 shots in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon. It took a long time for the Devils to find their legs and were being outshot 18-6 at one point in the game, but found themselves either tied or ahead partly because of Schneider’s play. The Devils gathered themselves in the latter half of the second period, but they would not have been in this game if it weren’t for Schneider’s performance early on.