The New Jersey Devils earned a 2-1 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets in NHL action Tuesday night.
Nikita Gusev and Jesper Boqvist both ripped shots past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck in the shootout as the Devils upped their record to 4-5-4
It’s the first time Winnipeg, now 8-7-1, has lost in either overtime or shootout.
Hellebuyck finished with 31 saves, while New Jersey goalie Mackenzie Blackwood turned asided 32 shots, while denying Kyle Connor and Patrk Laine in the shootout.
Nico Hischier scored in the opening period for the Devils, while Andrew Copp replied for the Jets in the second.
It was the first of four straight games at home for the Jets, who host the Vancouver Canucks on Friday at 7 p.m.
There was a scary moment in the third period that stopped play for several minutes.
Jets centre Bryan Little was bloodied and woozy as he was helped from the ice with 12:33 remaining after absorbing a slapshot to the head from teammate Nikolaj Ehlers.
Little had already missed nine games due to a concussion to start the season and was as sorely missed by the Jets during his stint on the injured list. He has a pair of goals and three assists in seven games since his return.
Hischier gave the visitors the lead at 4:44 of the first period, sweeping in a loose puck coughed up by Hellebuyck after a weak shot from a bad angle by Taylor Hall. The Jets’ top pairing was burned badly as Josh Morrissey let Hall barge down the wall and Dmitry Kulikov failed to disturb Hischier on the doorstep.
The Jets top line of Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Connor generated its first shot on goal about seven minutes into the second period with the Devils a man short. But Blackwood, a Thunder Bay, Ont., product still a month shy of his 23rd birthday, snapped out his mitt to snare Schiefele’s laser beam from the top of the circle.
The hosts failed to connect on the power-play chance but finally hit the scoreboard on the next shift as Copp notched his second goal of the year, deflecting a point drive from Morrissey behind Blackwood at 8:38 of the middle frame.
Neal Pionk and Scheifele had terrific chances to end things during overtime but were thwarted by Blackwood, while Hischier couldn’t bury a wraparound past Hellebuyck in the dying seconds of the extra-time session.
Assistant sports editor
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).
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