Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) – John Tavares tied the game late in the third
period and won it in overtime with an impressive sequence, powering the New
York Islanders to a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
Tavares lifted the stick of Devils defenseman Adam Larsson below the goal line
to acquire the puck, moved in on net and finished the play with a wrister past
the blocker of Keith Kinkaid for the win.
Tavares also assisted on a goal by Josh Bailey and Jaroslav Halak made 21
saves in his sixth straight start for the Islanders, who ended a two-game
Travis Zajac and Scott Gomez lit the lamp for the Devils, who earned a point
after being held to just 14 shots in Thursday’s 3-0 loss at Boston.
Kinkaid turned aside 28 shots in defeat.
New Jersey took a 2-1 lead after Adam Henrique beat Halak to the puck behind
the cage and sent it to Gomez, who snapped a shot into the vacant net at 7:23
of the third period.
Tavares gathered the puck after it took an odd carom off the boards behind the
New Jersey net and sent it off Kinkaid’s skate and into the net from a sharp
angle for a 2-2 game with 6:13 remaining in regulation.
Neither team lit the lamp during a sluggish opening 20 minutes and the
Islanders owned a 7-2 shot advantage heading into the second.
The Devils had a goal waved off 4:12 into the middle frame. Patrik Elias
blasted a shot from the left circle and Zajac followed it up and put the puck
in past the goal line, but the referee had already blown the play dead.
The duo would not be denied later in the frame. Zajac skated across the slot
to the right circle and sent a pass to Elias below the goal line. Elias
quickly dished the puck back to Zajac, who rifled a shot over the shoulder of
Halak for a 1-0 Devils lead with 8:03 to play in the middle stanza.
Bailey deflected Calvin de Haan’s point shot over the glove of Kinkaid for a
1-1 game just 1:02 into the third.
The Islanders have now won five straight games against the Devils, including
three this season … Prior to the game, the Devils activated forward Jacob
Josefson from injured reserve and placed defenseman Eric Gelinas on IR … The
two teams will conclude the season series March 21 at Prudential Center.