Brick City Breakdown: New Jersey Devils 3, Ottawa Senators 2, F/OT


Jaromir Jagr did it again. The NHL record holder for overtime game-winning goals has added another to his tally. Jagr’s power play goal with 1:21 remaining in OT was the 19th of his Hall of Fame career and propelled the New Jersey Devils to a huge victory on the second night of a back-to-back. The emotions were high coming into tonight as it was the first game in Ottawa since the tragic attacks earlier in the week. The pre-game ceremony featured both teams gathered in a circle at center ice with Canadian military personnel in the middle. Both anthems were sung after a moment of silence and it was just a beautiful ceremony that left everyone covered in goosebumps. The victory takes the Devils to a record of 4-2-2 on the season, but amazingly 4-1-0 on the road. The Devils have been incredible away from the Rock and if they can wake up at home, watch out.

Cory Schneider

Schneider played one of his best games of the young season. He was outstanding all night and made some huge saves to keep the Devils in the game. He ended up making 33 saves on 35 shots, and the two goals he did allow were not his fault at all. Schneider has been getting a lot of blame in recent days for the Devils’ struggles and that’s completely unfair. Schneider has been one of the best Devils this season and bails the team out countless times when they’re on their heels. Sure he’s given up some soft goals, but overall he’s been fantastic. He’s the team’s number one goalie for a reason and is the only netminder in the league to play in every one of his team’s games.

Damon Severson

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What more can I possibly say about this kid? He’s amazing; that pretty much sums it up. He’s become the Devils’ best overall defenseman, and oh yeah, he’s only 20-years-old. There isn’t anything Severson can’t do – shooting, skating, defending, passing, etc. He’s the whole package and tonight that skill was on full display. Severson woke the Devils up in the second period with his goal halfway through the frame. Severson picked off an Erik Karlsson pass at center ice and came in down the right wing. He wound up and let a vicious slap-shot go that Robin Lehner had no chance on. Five minutes later, Severson put the puck on a tee for Marek Zidlicky who let his own slapper go for the go-ahead power play goal. Tuomo Ruutu gets a huge shoutout for drawing the penalty that led to that goal after he laid a crushing hit on Karlsson that Chris Phillips decided to attack him for. Damon Severson is one of the best defenseman in the game right now, not just among rookies, and he should have his name in Calder Trophy discussions all year long. Four goals, three assists and a +6 in eight games… Just amazing.

Penalty Kill Struggles

The Devils have one glaring weakness and it’s the penalty kill. Ottawa was 2-4 with the man-advantage tonight and it could have ended up costing the Devils the game. They actually had some pretty good kills in the first period, but then fell asleep later in the game. In the second, Jon Merrill was caught way out of position and let Alex Chiasson walk in all alone in front of Schneider. Then in the third, Bryce Salvador took a terrible penalty leading to the game-tying goal. Andy Greene was about to clear a loose puck but Milan Michalek was able to poke the puck past him to Karlsson who found Bobby Ryan in front for the equalizer. It’s not fair to blame any one player – the unit as a whole stinks. After being the best PK unit in the league last season, they’re the worst so far this year. It has to get better..

Other Tidbits

Severson led the team with 27:31 of ice time, five minutes more than Andy Greene.

Adam Henrique made a great play leading to Jagr’s OT goal. He deflected David Legwands neutral zone pass that went to Eric Gelinas who sprung Jagr into the offensive zone. It probably went unnoticed, but that’s why the Devils won the game. It was a huge play.

The Devils are now second in the Metropolitan Division with 10 points, two behind the New York Islanders who also won tonight. They’re also fifth overall in the Eastern Conference.