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Skilled Salmela rewarded with OT winner

Saturday, 03.12.2011 / 11:50 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Skilled Salmela rewarded with OT winner
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Anssi Salmela picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season.

His overtime tally on Saturday lifted the Devils to a 3-2 overtime win over the Islanders, propelling New Jersey within six points of a playoff spot.

Though Salmela had just four assists in his previous 33 games, his teammates weren’t surprised by the Finnish defenseman’s offensive flash.

“I don’t know he doesn’t have more goals, actually,” said Martin Brodeur. “He’s a pretty skilled player. He’s been playing some good hockey and definitely getting rewarded with a big overtime goal is really nice for him and really nice for us to see that from him.”

Salmela was reacquired by New Jersey in last season’s Ilya Kovalchuk trade. He needed knee surgery to repair an injury he sustained in international play during the offseason and missed the first 27 games of the season.

“He wasn’t here, wasn’t among the regulars, was not even dressing,” Jacques Lemaire said. “Then we got injuries, he got back in and played well.”

Lemaire thinks Saturday’s goal could be a preview of what’s yet to come from the 26-year-old blueliner.

“He’s capable of playing like this,” the coach said. “But at a certain time he’s losing it. He wants to make it more complicated and he gets in trouble. When he keeps it simple, he’s got great mobility, good puck control – he’s got a good shot.”

Jacob Josefson scored his first NHL goal in the first period, then admired Salmela's winner in OT.

"It was great," Josefson said. "A really good shot, top shelf. Couldn’t have been prettier."

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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