Henrique has four goals and two assists in his last four games.
Just minutes after it looked like he might be the goat, Adam Henrique delivered an encore performance as the Devils' hero against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Henrique broke a 2-2 tie with 3:19 to go in regulation to lift the Devils to a 3-2 victory Tuesday at Prudential Center. His wraparound goal, which slipped by Cam Ward inside the right post, held up as the difference maker, extending the Devils' winning streak to three in a row.
"Coming around the net, I knew Ward was going to get to the post," Henrique said. "I just kind of tried to wrap it and throw it back through his five-hole. I think we got a lucky bounce off his skate, or something, and I saw it in the back of the net."
It was his second winning strike in as many games. All four of his goals have come in the last three contests.
"The kid's got a knack for big goals," coach Peter DeBoer said of Henrique, who scored twice against Winnipeg on Saturday, including the OT winner. "I think he's got the personality where those pressure situations don't seem to faze him. He almost got one a little earlier in the third period, made a great individual effort, so he seems to be able to rise to the occasion."
He's got speed, he's got skill. He has good size and he has unique composure. It's almost like [Patrik] Elias composure, where the game's moving around him, but it doesn't rattle him. It's a great quality to have. - Coach Peter DeBoer on Adam Henrique
That more than made up for Joni Pitkanen's goal at 6:06: a centering feed that went in off of Henrique's stick to even the game at 2-2.
"It [stinks]," Henrique said. "But it's nice, we came away with the win and we're able to laugh about it now. I guess not too many guys can say they scored on Marty, now I can."
The Devils (7-5-1) came back from a 1-0 first-period deficit to score the next two. Dainius Zubrus notched his fourth of the year, and Petr Sykora's second of the season broke a 1-1 tie at 2:37 of the third period.
Patrik Elias contributed two assists. His line with Sykora and Zubrus combined for two goals, three assists, while shutting down Eric Staal's trio with Jeff Skinner and Chad Larose.
"I thought that line was great," DeBoer said. "The Staal matchup is a big task on any night. To not only play like they did, but also, I thought, spend large amounts of time in their end of the ice wearing the other team down, was critical for us."
Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for his second straight win and offered Henrique a calming word after the Pitkanen tally.
"I just saw his face, I just tapped him on the legs," Brodeur said. "Not a big deal. It happens, it'll probably happen again. When you're a centerman, you get close to the net so a lot of things can happen."
Brodeur credited Henrique with making the most of his Devils opportunity.
"He's a skilled kid that works really hard and I think he's in the position to have success," Brodeur said. "Not everybody's going to have it. He's taking that chance that he's got in the middle with Joe [Jacob Josefson] being hurt to really take it in stride and try to establish himself."
DeBoer, who has praised the poise of rookie Adam Larsson, was impressed by Henrique's reaction after accidentally tipping one into his own net.
"A lot of young guys give up a goal like that late in a game, wouldn't want to get back on the ice or be put back out there," he said. "He not only wants to get back out there, he wants to make a difference. It's a great quality."
Henrique's sudden scoring punch is making it easier for the Devils to cope with their injuries at center. It has also helped them get by without the services of Ilya Kovalchuk (lower body), who missed his second straight game.
"[Henrique's] got speed, he's got skill," DeBoer said. "He has good size and he has unique composure. It's almost like Elias composure, where the game's moving around him, but it doesn't rattle him. It's a great quality to have."
And his three-game goal streak couldn't have come at a better time. Henrique became the first Devils rookie with back-to-back winners since Elias did it in 1997.
"For us it's big," Brodeur said. "I think it shows a lot for his teammates, for the coaching staff and for everyone to be able to count on him."
Brandon Sutter put the Hurricanes on the board with a shorthanded goal in the first. Elias fell at the left point after the Devils won the offensive zone draw. Sutter stepped around Elias and scored on a 2-on-1 with Patrick Dwyer just eight seconds into the Devils' power play.
Sutter set up Dwyer seven seconds later during the same power play, but Brodeur turned away Dwyer's backhander at the left post.
Dwyer was tripped up by Henrik Tallinder late in the frame. The Devils responded with their 25th straight kill on home ice. They finished 2-for-2 on the kill and have not allowed a power-play goal at home (26-for-26).
The Devils found the iron twice in the early going. Zubrus fired one from the right circle that went off of Ward, then the right post at 9:10 of the first. Sykora got the dreaded double iron during a power play in the opening seconds of the middle frame. His shot from the right side dinged off the cross bar, then the left post 27 seconds in.
Brodeur kept the Devils within striking distance, robbing Larose on a 2-on-1 setup from Sutter six minutes into the second.
"I thought Marty was outstanding, especially at critical times," DeBoer said. "He made some huge saves early in the game where I really thought we could've gotten down by two or three. He was great."
Zubrus tied things up at 1 on a redirection of Anton Volchenkov's shot from the right point. The on-ice call of a goal was allowed to stand after a video review.
The NHL explained the call in a release: "...the referee ruled that Devils forward Dainius Zubrus tipped the puck into the net with his stick below the crossbar. Video review looked at the play but was inconclusive. The call on the ice stands, New Jersey goal."
"I think at one point my stick was kind of high," said Zubrus. "But I think when the contact was made, I thought it was close. A close call, honestly. I'm not sure. I think it was OK, but who knows."
Elias nearly scored 18 seconds later when he hit the left post on a setup in front.
Sykora gave the Devils their first lead in the third. Elias won the draw back and Sykora snapped a shot from the top of the left circle that got a piece of Ward on its way to the back of the net.
Notes and quotes
• Andy Greene returned after missing two games with a lower body injury and was paired with Larsson.
• DeBoer on his team's two wins without Kovalchuk:
"When you have players like that out of the lineup, your attention to detail, I think, gets better out of necessity. I think that's what's happening."
• The Devils honored the captains of New Jersey's high school varsity ice hockey programs during the first intermission, when 181 captains were welcomed onto the ice.
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