Great Games #4: Devils find puck luck vs. Ducks
Newjerseydevils.com looks back at 10 of the top Devils games from last season.
#4 - Nov. 20, 2013 Devils 4, Ducks 3 OT
By the time they had reached Orange County, the Devils were starting to find their groove on the road.
Their opponent was an Anaheim squad that had opened 8-0-0 at home. But the Devils would find luck on their side against the Ducks and open their three-game California trip with an exhilarating 4-3 overtime victory at Honda Center.
Travis Zajac was credited with the decisive – and unconventional – tally. He was the last Devil to touch the puck in front of the Ducks' net before Ben Lovejoy fired a clearing pass off of Corey Perry and into his own goal at 1:58.
"That was one of the luckiest goals I've ever scored, but I'll take those any day of the week," Zajac said. "I was really tired, but I was able to try and get myself a little open and the pass kind of bobbled it [off] my skates. I just tried to kick it on net. It looks like they tried to clear it and [it went in] off their guy. Pretty lucky.”
The win gave the Devils a 4-1-1 mark over their previous six road games following an 0-5-2 start away from home. They would record their first three-game winning streak the next night with an overtime victory in Los Angeles.
"We knew we had to play better to give ourselves a chance, so we had to come out strong in the third period," Zajac said. "We started to win some forecheck battles and stuck with it right to the end. We got rewarded late in the game on Jagr's goal. It was kind of a lucky one there."
Power-play goals by Marek Zidlicky and Eric Gelinas had the visitors ahead, 2-1 after the first period. The home team answered in the second with two power-play tallies of their own and led, 3-2, after 40 minutes.
In the third, with just 1:01 to go in regulation, Jaromir Jagr connected for a 6-on-5 goal. With Martin Brodeur off for the extra attacker, Jagr put a Patrik Elias set up through Jonas Hiller to make it a 3-3 game.
Jagr posted his 689th goal, while Elias collected three assists.
"I think the schedule worked to our advantage tonight,” Jagr said. "They had to travel last night, and we had one extra day of rest here. Maybe in the third period it showed. But they're one of the best teams in the league – maybe the best team – so that's a huge two points for us."