What. A. Game. John Moore, Mr. Overtime, wins it 52 seconds into overtime for the New Jersey Devils (12-5-3) as they defeat the Minnesota Wild (9-8-3) in the first of two contests this season. John Moore (NJD), Mikael Granlund (MIN), and Will Butcher (NJD) were named the three stars of the game.
The Devils have a five-game winning streak against the Wild and are 7-0-1 in their last eight games against the team. The Devils are also now 7-1-2 in games in which they score first this season and are 9-0-1 when leading after two periods.
Moore tallied the sixth overtime goal of his career, all with the Devils; only Jeff Carter (7) has more. Moore is also tied for the second-most OT goals in the NHL since the 3-on-3 format began during the 2015-16 season.
It was a great, back-and-forth game. Despite being massively outplayed during the first period, the Devils were the first to make their way onto the scoresheet, with Adam Henrique’s fourth tally of the season and his first in 11 games.
During the second period, Nino Niederreiter tied things up at one on the power play with his sixth tally of the season. But Steven Santini took the lead back with his first goal of the season, unassisted. He redeemed himself for two penalties taken earlier.
During the third, Will Butcher would give the Devils a two-goal lead with his second goal of the season. He now has goals in back-to-back games. He is currently fourth in rookie scoring across the league with 16 points (2G, 14A).
Mikael Granlund would score on the power play after Miles Wood was sent off for a questionable “holding the stick” penalty. It’s now 3-2 Devils. With about a minute and a half remaining in regulation, Granlund tallied his second goal of the game to tie things up at three with Minnesota’s net empty.
And we head to overtime, where Moore would score the game-winner just 52 seconds in. Taylor Hall set up the goal perfectly and Adam Henrique dished out a great pass to set up the winner. The entire sequence was brilliant. As mentioned earlier, Moore’s OT winner was the sixth of his career, all with New Jersey, and his second of the season (also scored the OT winner against Ottawa).
Speaking of Adam Henrique, he had a great night, posting his first three-point (1G, 2A) game of the season. He was “demoted” to the fourth line but really shined tonight, finding his way onto the score sheet and being a pest on the ice. He also won 71.4% of his faceoffs tonight. One of my favorite things about him is his ability to bounce back and he did just that tonight.
Cory Schneider looked great tonight and made 33 saves on 36 shots against (.917 save percentage). Devan Dubnyk made 21 saves on 25 shots, posting an .840 save percentage. Pavel Zacha also didn’t look bad tonight in his first game back after being a healthy scratch for four of the last five games; he did only have 9:40 of ice time, however. He had a pair of shots and a hit.
The Devils were outshot 36-25; Hall lead the team in shots on goal with four. They killed just two of Minnesota’s four power play and failed to score on their two. They won just 45.6% of faceoffs. They had more hits (21), blocked shots (21), and fewer giveaways (1). Santini had four blocked shots and three hits.
It wasn’t a pretty game but they found a way to win and that’s what matter. And not to get too excited or anything, but Steve mentioned on the MSG broadcast that last year, 13 of the 16 teams who held a postseason position on Thanksgiving did end up making the playoffs. The Devils will hold a playoff position on Thanksgiving. But again, it’s November and the playoffs don’t start now.
The Devils conclude their four-game road trip with a 2-1-1 record and five points; they’ll return home to face the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at 7PM.