New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils came back from two goals down to pull out the win in a shootout against the Ottawa Senators.

By Patrick Comia

It wasn’t pretty, but a win’s a win.

But, what made this special for the Devils is that they kept at it, and kept at it. There was no quit in anyone on the team, as the Devils fought back to beat the Ottawa Senators.

However, the Devils could have made it a little easier on themselves if they didn’t allow their mistakes to give way to scoring opportunities for the Senators.

Through most of the game, they exhibited a “looseness” with the puck and had a tendency of giving their opponents too much space to operate in the offensive zone. That will need to be changed by head coach John Hynes going forward.

The Devils got on the board early with a five-on-three power play goal from alternate captain Travis Zajac. A player looking for redemption and had been rumored to be on the trading block to Toronto early in the season, Zajac is putting a squash to all of that with his the past two games. Through his first five games this season, he has four points (two goals, two assists).

Zajac finished the game with one point, but it was a goal the Devils needed to give them some early confidence.

After a giving up a shorthanded goal that tied the game, Jordin Tootoo put New Jersey up a goal with a one-timer from Adam Henrique on their second power play.

For the first 20 minutes, the Devils were a perfect two-for-two with the man-advantage.

Despite giving up four goals this game, Cory Schneider made timely saves to keep the Devils fighting.

1) Save on Mike Hoffman

2) Save on Zack Smith

3) Save on Kyle Turris

Those were just three of the 39 shots he faced. Yeah, he’s good!

The third period started off the wrong way for the Devils.

After Stephen Gionta was called for a five-minute game misconduct and kicked out of the game for spearing a Senators player at the end of the second, the Senators had over three minutes of power play time. And the Devils nearly killed it off.

Unfortunately, they would give up a power play goal to Ottawa with :54 seconds remaining in the penalty. After, the Senators would add another goal making it a two-goal deficit with less than six minutes remaining in regulation.

That’s when the magic happened.

Henrique would strike for New Jersey squeezing a wrist shot past Andrew Hammond, cutting the lead to 3-4.

Then, with the goalie pulled with less than two minutes left, the Devils had a six-on-five man-advantage. Lee Stempniak, a journeyman who had bounced around from team to team the past two seasons, came through with a timely goal to tie the game up and send things to overtime.

With a scoreless five minute overtime period, things had to be settled in a shootout.

It took four rounds, but the Devils came out the victor thanks to, you guessed it, Stempniak with a beauty of a backhand shot, top shelf.

The Devils are one win away from being .500 on the season, making things a little bit interesting when it comes to division play this season.

The team will travel to Buffalo, as they will visit the Sabres and get their first look at Jack Eichel.

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