Even in a loss, the New Jersey Devils found something positive.
New Jersey, playing in its first game without the injured Ilya Kovalchuk, lost in a shootout to the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, at Scotiabank Place.
Mike Zibanejad scored the deciding goal in the fourth round of the shootout. The rookie center carried the puck in on Martin Brodeur, faking a forehand shot before pulling the puck to his backhand and putting his shot over the Devils goalie.
Travis Zajac extended the shootout with a third round score. The Devils center went to his forehand to his backhand and back again to his forehand before breaking down Ben Bishop and sending his shot high to the glove side.
Daniel Alfredsson scored the second round of the shootout, beating Brodeur high to the glove side with a shot from the left circle.
Marek Zidlicky and Andrei Loktionov scored for New Jersey, who remained seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for sixth in the conference. New Jersey extended its lead to four points over the eighth-place New York Rangers.
Zidlicky pulled the Devils even with the game-tying goal at 6:05 of the third period. The Devils defenseman pinched down the side boards, stealing the puck from Dave Dziurzynski. He skated the puck through the slot before firing a shot over the glove of Bishop for his fourth goal of the season.
That bailed out Brodeur, who left a rebound that led to the Senators second goal late in the middle period. Kyle Turris carried the puck over the Devils blue line before firing a puck on Brodeur from the slot. The Devils goalie made the initial save, but Greening followed up on the shot, swiping the loose puck past Brodeur for his fifth goal of the season.
Ottawa jumped all over New Jersey in the opening minutes, scoring the game’s first goal at 2:12 of the first period.
Chris Phillips held the puck above the left circle before sending a wrist shot toward Brodeur. The puck found its way through a screen in front and past the Devils goalie for the 1-0 lead.
DeBoer used his timeout shortly after that score. The Devils coach was visibly angry at his team, yelling at the players.
Loktionov responded for the Devils, tying the game with his sixth goal of the season. Ryan Carter won an offensive face off and worked the puck back to Andy Greene. The Devils defenseman blasted a slapshot that Bishop stopped with the left pad. Steve Bernier collected the rebound, skating to the left post and bringing two defenders with him. His pass found Loktionov wide open at the bottom of the left circle. The Devils center snuck his shot past a diving Zibanejad and into an open net to tie the game.
Brodeur stopped 12 shots and suffered his first loss in four starts. His best save was his last, as the Devils goalie kept Alfredsson off the scoreboard in overtime. The Devils goalie slid across his crease to make a glove save on the Senators captain’s left circle shot with 41.1 seconds remaining in overtime.
Bishop made 27 saves to win his second straight game against the Devils.
Already dealing with injuries throughout the lineup, New Jersey lost two more players in tonight’s game. Both Stephen Gionta and Bryce Salvador did not return after the first period. The Devils announced Gionta had a lower body injury and Salvador had an upper body injury. There were no updates on either player’s condition after the game.
New Jersey outshot its opponent for the 14th straight game. During that stretch, the Devils have outshot opponents, 405-302.
Zajac had his three game point streak snapped. The Devils center had five points (1g, 4a) in three games before tonight’s loss.
Zidlicky now leads all Devils defenseman in goals (4), assists (10) and points (14).