ST. PAUL, Minn. — Devils defenseman John Moore is becoming an overtime specialist for a New Jersey team specializing in big road wins.
Moore scored 52 seconds into overtime and the Devils overcame a late letdown to cap a successful road trip with a 4-3 win against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
The seventh-year defenseman has scored two of his three goals in the extra session this season and has five overtime tallies among 28 career goals. Moore came down on the rush and tipped home a cross-ice pass from Adam Henrique for Monday’s game-winner.
“He’s got a real knack for it, so that was nice to see,” New Jersey coach John Hynes said. “When you look at that play he kind of starts to break out and beats his guy up ice. He’s got a real knack for finding a way to score goals in those situations.”
Rookie defenseman Will Butcher scored for the second straight game and Cory Schneider stopped 33 shots for the Devils, who led 3-1 before Minnesota’s Mikael Granlund scored twice in the third period.
“It takes a kick in the butt to get us going sometimes, and we talk about self-preparation all the time,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But it was one of those things today. They get two in off us in the beginning, and I think we’ve had a lot in this first 20 games here. We go in spurts, but we don’t go in 60 minutes. Until we learn to go in 60 minutes, we’re not going to go too far.”
Henrique had a goal and two assists, and Steven Santini scored his first goal of the season for New Jersey. The Devils finished a 3-0-1 road trip that included wins over Chicago and Minnesota and an overtime loss at Toronto. New Jersey is 7-2-2 away from home this season.
Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Wild, who have lost two in a row. Granlund’s second goal with the extra attacker and 1:36 left pushed the game into overtime. Devan Dubnyk made 21 saves.
“I feel like we always need to come from behind and all of a sudden we start getting angry, start getting emotions,” Niederreiter said. “The crowd starts getting into it and all of a sudden we get fired up. I think that’s something we’ve got to find in our room to get the emotions going and just be positive with one another and everyone has to pull the same string.”
Minnesota controlled play early and the Devils didn’t have a shot on goal through the first nine minutes. Their first shot came on a clearing attempt from the defensive zone that floated to Dubnyk at the other end of the ice.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but our goaltending has been awesome all year and gave us a chance tonight,” Moore said.
The Wild held a 12-3 advantage in shots after one period yet trailed 1-0 after Henrique’s shot in the first was saved by Dubnyk, but the puck ended up sitting in the crease and was punched in by Minnesota defenseman Gustav Olofsson.
Niederreiter tied the game just 1:32 into the second period to extend his goal streak to a career-high four games. He has six goals and three assists in 11 games since returning from a high ankle sprain.
But then Olofsson might have helped New Jersey again. Santini’s shot from the sidewall appeared to hit Olofsson before deflecting past Dubnyk.
NOTES: Minnesota forward Charlie Coyle returned to the lineup after missing 16 games with a broken right leg. Coyle took the spot of Chris Stewart, scratched for the first time this season. Stewart had six goals in the first six games but hasn’t scored since. … New Jersey forward Pavel Zacha played after being a healthy scratch in four of the previous five games. Stefan Noesen was scratched for the first time in eight games. … The Wild have five power-play goals in their past three games. They were 2 for 34 over their previous 11 games.
Devils: Return home against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.
Wild: Travel to Buffalo to face the Sabres on Wednesday.
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