NEWARK, N.J. — Jack Hughes scored at 2:55 of overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 6-5 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center on Friday.
“I kind of shot it through the screen, through [Connor McDavid’s] legs, and once I got around him, I saw the puck trickled in,” Hughes said. “We were pretty pumped up.”
The Devils, who had four one-goal leads, trailed 5-4 before Yegor Sharangovich scored on a tip-in from the slot with goalie Mackenzie Blackwood pulled for an extra attacker to tie the game with 32 seconds remaining in the third period.
Hughes scored two goals and an assist, Dawson Mercer had a goal and an assist, and Blackwood made 32 saves for the Devils (12-15-5). New Jersey has won two straight games for the first time since Nov. 9-11.
“I had one point with 40 seconds left in regulation so it happens fast,” said Hughes, who assisted on the tying goal. “Maybe a few days back home in Michigan was just what I needed. But we knew we were struggling (six straight losses before the holiday break), but we got the break and we’ve come out pretty good in our first two games, so we’d like to keep it going and try to battle out way up the standings.”
Alain Nasreddine coached the Devils after Lindy Ruff was placed in COVID-19 protocol prior to the game. Nasreddine coached New Jersey for 43 games in 2019-20 (19-16-8) after John Hynes was fired on Dec. 3, 2019. Nasreddine was replaced by Ruff on July 9, 2020.
“It was a wild game, but at the end of the day we came up with two points,” Nasreddine said. “I talked to [Ruff] after the game, and he felt the same way. I liked the resiliency of the team; it was a huge win.”
McDavid scored twice, and Kailer Yamamoto had two goals and an assist for the Oilers (18-12-1). Mike Smith made 35 saves.
“Obviously fighting back is never the way we want to be playing, but it’s better to fight back then just kind of roll over,” McDavid said. “I like the way we responded. We need to find a way to make that a two-point game.”
Hughes scored a power-play goal at 1:38 to give the Devils a 1-0 lead in the first period. He has six points in the past two games (three goals, three assists).
“I’m trying to shoot the puck more and the more you shoot it, the more it’s going to go in the net,” said Hughes, who had seven shots on goal.
McDavid made it 1-1 on a wrist shot from the left post at 2:48.
Nico Hischier gave the Devils a 2-1 lead on a backhand at the right post at 3:05.
“It’s good, a better mood in the locker room,” Hischier said. “But I feel like we earned [the past two] wins. It’s going to be fun for the rest of the season.”
Yamamoto tied the game 2-2 on a deflection from the slot at 6:00.
Mercer gave the Devils a 3-2 lead on wrist shot from the left post at 11:10.
McDavid scored his second of the game on a breakaway to make it 3-3 at 7:57 of the second period.
Janne Kuokkanen scored to give the Devils a 4-3 lead at 5:14 of the third before Devin Shore tied it 4-4 on a shot from the slot at 7:06.
Yamamoto’s second goal on a wrist shot at the left post gave the Oilers a 5-4 lead at 8:18 of the third.
The goal was scored on a delayed penalty call during which Hughes and Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton each touched the puck. The Devils used a coach’s challenge saying that play should have been stopped. The goal was upheld after a nine-minute review when officials said the play was not challengeable.
“I think we were obviously frustrated (with the non-review),” Hughes said. “But [Nasreddine] pulled us in and gave us a little pep talk and we went out there and executed on the 6-on-5, which was good and then in the overtime, anything can happen.”
Edmonton is 2-7-1 in its past 10 games.
“It was a roller coaster game,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “I thought we started well, took a penalty, and boom, it’s in our net. We get one right back, get one back again, and then between a challenge that wasn’t a challenge … I think four of the six goals against us were at some point deflected and bounced the right direction (for the Devils).”
NOTES: Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sustained an undisclosed injury midway through the third period and did not return. There was no update after the game. … Forward Jesse Puljujarvi (20:52 of ice time), and defensemen Darnell Nurse (29:09) and William Lagesson (2:45) each returned after missing one game in COVID-19 protocol. … This was the fourth time in NHL history that each of the first three goals of a game were scored by a No. 1 NHL Draft pick (Hughes, 2019; McDavid, 2015; Hischier, 2017). It also happened on Nov. 6, 2021 (John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010; Auston Matthews, 2016); Dec. 8, 2002 (Eric Lindros, 1991; Bryan Berard, 1995; Joe Thornton, 1997) and Nov. 9, 1991 (Bobby Smith, 1978; Mario Lemieux, 1984; Mike Modano, 1988).