NEWARK, N.J. (AP)The New Jersey Devils were well aware they were playing poorly at home.
Coach Lindy Ruff spent most of Friday reminding his players they hadn’t won at the Prudential Center since Dec. 6, and if that wasn’t enough, the fans were clearly unhappy.
The Devils did something about it Saturday, rallying from two-goals down in the third period and beating the rival New York Rangers 4-3 to snap an eight-game (0-7-1) winless streak at home.
Damon Severson provided the game winner with 2:13 left in overtime while Jepser Bratt started the comeback with a power-play goal and Jack Hughes forced the overtime with his second of the game.
”We had a couple of games here at home where as a team we couldn’t find a way to win,” Bratt said. ”This was a huge rivalry game, a playoff-type game. We really needed this extra point. It was huge for us.”
The Rangers could have moved past the Devils in the standings, but New Jersey stepped up before starting a five-game road trip.
Hughes said the Devils didn’t start the way they wanted, giving up an early goal and not taking the lead until overtime.
”We wanted to take anything we could get,” said Hughes, who has eight goals in five games. ”So, it happened to be a comeback win and like I said, that was a pretty crazy crowd today. It’s a lot of fun playing the Rangers, so when you get to beat them, that’s kind of a statement win. too.”
Severson’s first overtime goal came on a 2-on-1 odd man rush after a Rangers player was knocked down in a collision with a New Jersey player in the Devils’ zone. He beat Igor Shesterkin with a wrist shot in ending the Rangers’ three-game winning streak.
Severson saw the collision out of the corner of his eye and he knew he was on a 2-on-1 with Nico Hischier.
”I was looking for him for a pass and I just instinctually shot the puck,” Severson said after his third goal of the season.
Jimmy Vesey, Julien Gauthier and Chris Kreider scored for New York, which is 12-3-3 in its last 18 games. Shesterkin was magnificent in making 40 saves.
”Back and forth, a lot of good scoring chances,” said Rangers coach Gerard Gallant, whose team has points in five straight games (3-0-2). ”Obviously, Shesty was great tonight. He was our best player. He gave us a chance to win the hockey game.”
Vitek Vanecek finished with 31 saves for New Jersey.
Trailing 3-1 in the third period, Bratt scored at 8:28 to cut the lead to a goal and Hughes tied it with his 26th of the season on a rebound.
Rangers: Host Minnesota Tuesday to open a three-game homestand.
Devils: At Carolina Tuesday to start a five-game road trip.
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