NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at New Jersey
(Thursday, March 20th)
Final Score: New Jersey 4, Minnesota 3 (OT)
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Andy Greene's goal two minutes into overtime lifted the New Jersey Devils to a much-needed 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild, spoiling Zach Parise's return to the Prudential Center in the process.
Patrik Elias and Adam Henrique assisted on Greene's game-winner -- the third helper of the night for both -- while Jaromir Jagr, Michael Ryder and Mark Fayne all scored to support a 20-save effort from Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.
New Jersey, which currently sits five points back of a playoff spot, halted a three-game skid with the verdict.
Parise, who captained the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals and spent his first seven NHL seasons with New Jersey, potted one of three Minnesota goals in the third period as the Wild overcame a 2-0 deficit to notch a point.
"It was fun to be back, but unfortunately the outcome wasn't what we were planning on," Parise said. "We were able to claw back into the game and get a point. That could be a big one later in the year.
"In a way, I'm kind of glad it's over."
Matt Cooke and Mikael Granlund also tallied for Minnesota, which received 25 saves out of Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Devils bounced back strongly in overtime after blowing a two-goal lead with under 9 1/2 minutes in regulation. Shortly after Schneider turned away Mikko Koivu, Elias led a rush up the ice before slipping a backhand pass across the crease that Greene successfully slammed into an open left side.
"I was just looking to support the rush and actually kicked it out of the corner to start it," Greene said. "I thought about changing but saw we had a 3-on-2 developing and supported it. The puck squirted through there, back door, and luckily I got some rubber on it and put it home."
Jagr's 704th career goal, a one-timer of a Ryan Clowe feed into the left slot on a power play 3:34 into the third period, staked the Devils to a 3-1 advantage. Schneider gave up a soft score with 9:24 left, however, mishandling a puck thrown on net by Granlund from the left boards.
"He whipped it through a few pairs of legs and I didn't see it coming," Schneider said. "It's just what has been happening lately for me. I need to be tighter on that one."
A penalty to Travis Zajac shortly afterward enabled the Wild to pull back even. The resulting power play ended with Cooke successfully redirecting Marco Scandella's blast from the right point past Schneider to forge a 3-3 tie with 4:32 left in regulation.
Ryder's slap shot through Bryzgalov's pads with 3:02 left in the first period and Fayne's shorthanded marker midway through the second -- a wrister in transition that beat Bryzgalov to the stick side -- had the Devils entering the second intermission carrying a 2-0 lead.
Parise struck quickly against his former mates in the third, however, registering his 24th of the year on a power-play tip-in of Ryan Suter's initial attempt with just 21 seconds elapsed in the frame.
Wild defenseman Nate Prosser received a game misconduct for landing an elbow to the head of Devils forward Tim Sestito late in the first period. Sestito did not return to the contest ... Elias has now recorded five goals and 10 assists in 11 games since the Olympic break ... Minnesota's Jason Pominville had a six-game point streak end ... The Wild went 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Devils were 1-of-4 on such situations.
03/20 23:44:16 ET