Larrson scores in OT to lift Devils past Coyotes, 3-2
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) The NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime setup is agreeing with the New Jersey Devils.
Two days after knocking off the rival Rangers in overtime, the Devils picked up their second straight win when defenseman Adam Larsson scored 43 seconds into the extra session to give New Jersey a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Travis Zajac had a goal and two assists, with the second one setting up Larsson’s slam dunk into an open net. The goal capped a 3-on-1 break that started after the defenseman knocked Martin Hanzal off the puck in the Devils’ zone.
”I got a perfect, perfect pass by Travis there,” Larsson said. ”I was just standing far post.”
It was a chance the Devils almost squandered. Larsson skated the puck into the Coyotes zone and sent a pass to Lee Stempniak, who scored the OT game winner Sunday. The pass eluded him, got by an Arizona defender and went right to Zajac.
”I saw the D man and then I made a terrible pass, but I was lucky it didn’t bounce over his stick,” Larsson said. ”It would be a 3-on-0 the other way, but, in the end, Trav made a real good pass to me.”
Mike Cammalleri also scored for New Jersey and Cory Schneider made 18 saves for the Devils (2-3-1), who have earned five points in their last three games.
”One of the things we didn’t have in the first few games was elevated performances by real important guys on our team, guys who are the leaders,” Hynes said. ”The last three games we have had that.”
Anthony Duclair and Mikkel Boedker scored for Arizona, which has lost three in a row. Mike Smith made 22 saves in the opener of a five-game East Coast road trip for Arizona.
Smith said the overtimes with the wide open ice lead to chances.
”As you saw tonight if somebody blows a wheel or every turnover is an opportunity the other way,” Smith said.
With Smith on the bench for a sixth skater, the Coyotes tied the game at 2-all on a fluky goal. Boedker fired the puck toward the front of the net and it deflected off New Jersey defenseman David Schlemko with 51 seconds left in regulation.
”He needed a goal,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. ”It was a big goal for us. It got us back in the game and it was his first one of the season.”
Cammalleri’s second goal of the season snapped a 1-all tie and came at 7:09 of the period. Zajac collected a loose puck in center ice, skated into the Coyotes zone and dropped a pass to Cammalleri. His shot seemed to jump off his stick and beat a surprised Smith up high.
The goal came after New Jersey had killed off a short two-man advantage for Arizona after Brian O’Neill and Andy Greene picked up penalties. Shane Doan set up a great scoring chance by Boedker right next to Schneider, but his shot went right into the goaltender’s pad.
Duclair, who the Coyotes acquired in the big March trade with the Rangers for defenseman Keith Yandle, had tied the game with a power-play goal 57 seconds into the third period. The rookie took a pass from Max Domi and cut across the front of the net and beat Schneider in close.
The Devils had taken a 1-0 lead on Zajac’s short-handed goal on the same power play. Larsson broke New Jersey out of its zone with a pass to Zajac. He beat Smith with a backhander with 27 seconds left in the second period after working a give-and-go with Jacob Josefson. It was his first goal of the season.
NOTES: Doan played in his 1,400 NHL game. … LW Jordan Martinook returned to the lineup after missing a game with a lower-body injury. … The Devils were without D Jon Merrill (illness) and LW Tuomo Ruutu (lower body) for the second straight game. … New Jersey beat Arizona in both meetings last season. … Jordin Tootoo of the Devils and Kyle Chipchura woke many up with a fight 2 seconds into the second period.