Adam Henrique, Mike Cammalleri Lead Devils Over Senators


Ten seconds left. The New Jersey Devils nursing a 2-1 lead. The Ottawa Senators controlling the puck in the offensive zone. The puck is fired toward the net. Cory Schneider makes a huge save. Kyle Turris passes the rebound to Bobby Ryan. The puck is on his stick and there’s an empty net staring at him. Two seconds left. Overtime is all but certain. He can’t pull the trigger. His stick gets caught on his right skate. Adam Larsson clears the puck, the final horn sounds and the Devils win! Talk about drama. Everyone thought the game was going to be tied. Yet, somehow, the Devils got a lucky break and were able to hold on. They’ve now won two in a row, five of their last seven and have points in five straight. It isn’t always pretty, but finally the Devils are finding a way to succeed.

Feb 3, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes save during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the Prudential Center. New Jersey Devils defeat the Ottawa Senators 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

The game didn’t start off great as the first period was one of the most boring 20 minutes of hockey I’ve ever seen. Shots were 6-4 Devils and it just wasn’t pretty. Then the second period opened up a bit as Ottawa would get on the board. Curtis Lazar pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone as there was a bit of miscommunication between Mike Cammalleri and Andy Greene. Lazar would end up beating Cory Schneider on a breakaway, the only puck that would find its way past Schneider all night. The Devils’ netminder, who’s been on fire lately, had another terrific game stopping 19 of 20 shots. Coming off the month of January in which he went 5-1-1 with a .940 SV% and 2.00 GAA, Schneider started off February just as strong. He’s been amazing all season and a huge reason why the Devils aren’t in the cellar right now.

So the Devils were down 1-0, but in impressive fashion they would answer less than two minutes later. After some nice work in the offensive zone, Andy Greene made a pass down to Marek Zidlicky below the right circle. He actually couldn’t handle the pass, but fortunately was able to recover and found Adam Henrique cutting toward him. Henrique gathered the pass and ripped a shot past Robin Lehner inside the left post. The goal was huge for Henrique personally as well as big for the team. Henrique had gone 12 games without a goal, but it wasn’t all his fault. Not only is he playing out of position on the left wing, but his line changes every other week. Also, for some reason, Jordin Tootoo has been seeing power play time instead of him. Nobody understands that decision at all.

PP Times Tonight:

Adam Henrique – 0:13

Jordin Tootoo – 2:21

Jon Merrill – 4:08

Adam Larsson – 0:28

Eric Gelinas – Healthy Scratch

Don’t ask me how any of those numbers make sense. Anyway, the Devils were now tied at one entering the third period. If they could just find a way to grab the two points, it would be a nice feat. Jaromir Jagr and Mike Cammalleri made sure of that. After some tremendous work along the boards, Jagr found Cammalleri alone in the slot. Cammy unleashed a wicked shot that rang in off the pipe. It was his team-leading 17th goal of the season and NHL-leading 7th game-winning goal tied with Oliver Ekman-Larsson of Arizona. Yes, the Devils actually lead in a positive category! He has a GWG in the last four Devils’ regulation wins. Mike Cammalleri has been everything and more; he’s worth every penny of that $5 million he’s making this season.

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The Devils were able to hang on down the stretch, thanks in large part to the duo of Andy Greene and Adam Larsson. Those two have become a dominant top defensive pairing and are pretty much the only defenders I fully trust on the team right now. Greene had 22:37 TOI, an assist, two blocks and two hits while Larsson played 22:17 with one block and three hits. Also having good games were the lines of Patrik Elias – Travis Zajac – Martin Havlat and Tuomo Ruutu – Jacob Josefson – Jordin Tootoo. Those lines created some nice offense (6 shots) and physical energy respectively.

Also worth noting is the penalty kill, which only had one chance tonight which it killed off. In the last 36 games, they are functioning at an 88.1% clip which is outstanding. The Devils will look to continue their winning ways Friday against the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs.

Next: Should the Devils Trade Eric Gelinas?