Devils 5, Capitals 4 (OT)
WASHINGTON -- The New Jersey Devils rallied back from a pair of two-goal deficits to force overtime, then saw defenseman Andy Greene swat a puck out of the air for the game-winner 43 seconds into overtime for a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night at the Verizon Center.
Devils right winger Dainius Zubrus sent the game into overtime when he scored with 8:13 remaining in the third period.
The win was the Devils' third in their last four games and moved them within four points of the Capitals, who lost for the second time in three games.
On the winning goal, Greene closed in on Braden Holtby and swatted right winger Jaromir Jagr's pass through the legs of the Washington netminder for his sixth goal of the season.
Jagr finished with a goal and two assists, moving him into a tie with Mark Messier for seventh on the NHL's all-time goals list and within two points of Mario Lemieux for seventh on the all-time points list.
The Capitals fell behind early on a power-play goal by Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky, his first since Nov. 20, but built a 3-1 lead on second-period goals by left winger Jason Chimera, center Mikhail Grabovski and right winger Joel Ward.
The Capitals carried that lead into the third period, and that's when the track meet began.
Jagr cut the Capitals' lead to 3-2 with his 13th goal of the season, tapping a behind-the-net feed from defenseman Andy Greene into the open right side of the net. The goal was Jagr's 694th in his career. It was also Jagr's second point of the night and 1,720th of his career.
Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin was serving an interference penalty on Jagr's goal and he redeemed himself less than 3 minutes later with his league-leading 30th goal of the season in his 34th game.
Devils left winger Patrik Elias turned the puck over to Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, who set up Ovechkin for a snap shot.
Just 74 seconds later the Devils again drew within one goal when Zidlicky scored his second goal of the game, snapping a shot past Braden Holtby with 9:21 gone in the third period.
A clearing attempt by Holtby led to the Devils' game-tying goal with 8:13 remaining in regulation. The puck was intercepted along the right wing wall by center Travis Zajac, whose shot toward the net was deflected by Zubrus and past Holtby for his eighth goal of the season.
NOTES: Capitals coach Adam Oates and Devils RWs Jaromir Jagr and Dainius Zubrus were teammates in Washington more than 10 years ago. Jagr, 41, entered the game with 693 goals, one behind Mark Messier for the seventh on the NHL's career list. Jagr also entered the game five points behind Mario Lemieux in career points with 1,718. "What Jagr's done is great, just great," Oates said. "I played with him here and it looks like he's reinvented himself a little bit. Good for him. He still loves the game." ... The Capitals entered the game with the NHL's second-ranked power play at 26.3 percent. C Nicklas Backtrom, the quarterback of that unit, entered the game leading the NHL in assists (33), power-play points (23) and power-play assists (21). ... The Devils were without C Andrei Loktionov (illness, day to day) and Damian Brunner (knee, four weeks). Caps defenseman Alex Urbom, who was claimed off waivers from the Devils, was a healthy scratch for the 10th straight game. ... The Capitals return to action on Monday night when they face former coach Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks in Washington, followed by a three-day Christmas break. The Devils will visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday and return to action on Friday night at home against Columbus.