Jack Hughes played the role of hero again in Ottawa after a dramatic shootout victory for the New Jersey Devils on Monday.
It wasn’t bad, at all.
Prior to Monday, the team went eight-straight days without playing a game. They entered the contest at Canadian Tire Centre riding a three-game losing streak. The two basement teams in the NHL’s standings provided an entertaining game, though.
P.K. Subban and Ottawa’s young gun Brady Tkachuk were feisty with one another early on. It wasn’t long until the two dropped the gloves—or at least the hot-headed Tkachuk intended to throw down.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 28, 2020
Luckily, they earned the last laugh after a scrap Subban arguably wants to put behind him.
— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) January 28, 2020
While the fans are ready to part ways with defenseman Damon Severson, No. 28 did earn his sixth goal of the year on the power-play to open up the scoring during the first period.
Forward Kevin Rooney was almost unrecognizable on the ice at times and in a positive sense. Rooney netted a wrap-around goal that ended up skyrocketing to the net’s top shelf, which provided Jersey with a 2-1 lead during the second period.
Wins never come easy for the Devils, that’s for sure.
New Jersey managed to allow two shorthanded goals in less than 40 seconds during the third period. Former New York Ranger Vladislav Namestnikov and Chris Tierney earned the shorties for Ottawa midway way through the final frame.
The Devils fired back and opted to rewrite the formula that’s cost them too many games this season.
The team’s leading goal-scorer, Kyle Palmieri, came to the rescue with less than four minutes remaining in regulation. The 2020 NHL All-Star nominee put home a loose rebound off an original shot from the team’s other 2020 All-Star, Nico Hischier.
The overtime left both fanbases shaking their heads and anxiety after moments of sloppy play and two prime scoring opportunities for the Devils. Most could sense that Hughes would have an ultimate say in the outcome, though.
Apparently the youngster is comfortable playing in Ottawa—just look back at his first career NHL overtime winner that was scored in Ottawa back in December and then his sleek shootout winner on Monday.
Hughes was the team’s second shooter and came through in the clutch to end the shootout early, while goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood’s services were only needed for two attempts.
The victory wasn’t impressive by any means, but it’s apparent the team’s cohesion has improved and moral victories can go a long way for a team whose future superstar is 18-years-old.