The New Jersey Devils looked all but dead when Alex Ovechkin scored 8:07 into the third period to give the Washington Capitals a two goal lead. With the usual offense of the Devils only scoring 2.36 goals per game coming into the contest, it seemed very unlikely that they could score the four goals it would take to tie the game.
The Devils gave their fans an early Christmas present by making one of the biggest comebacks of the year. They rode defensive scoring to beat the second best team in their division in overtime. Marek Zidlicky didn’t waste any time cutting the Caps’ lead to one. He scored off a quick pinch that turned into a one time goal only 1:21 after the Ovechkin goal, which made the score 4-3; that was Zidlicky’s second goal of the contest. Andy Greene became the hero in overtime, as he ran in on a Jaromir Jagr rebound and blasted through Braden Holtby‘s five hole. The goal needed to be reviewed, but they eventually saw that the puck hit the part of his stick instead of his hand.
The Devils have been much better at scoring as of late, scoring 15 goals in the last four games. Thankfully, since the goaltenders haven’t been as perfect as they were earlier in the season. Martin Brodeur had an off night on Saturday, allowing four goals on 18 shots. It may be one of his worse performances of the season, but he still came out victorious. If the Devils can find a way to play the same defensively from earlier in the year and hold on to this offense, they will be a real contender.
Jagr continues to be ageless by scoring another goal tonight. His 694th goal ties him with the great Mark Messier on the all-time list. His goal made it 3-2 early in the third period; he got the goal off of Greene’s pass from behind the net in front of plenty of open space in the net. This just shows that Jagr knows exactly where to be at all times.
The Devils have a real test on Monday when they have to take on the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. They have to bring their A-game to try and take down the best team in the NHL. For now, they can revel in the fact that they are sitting in third place once again in the Metropolitan Division.
Nick Villano in the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NBA, MLB, and NFL content. You can follow him on Twitter for more sports information.