VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — After failing to score on his first three tries in a shootout, Damon Severson came finally broke through for the New Jersey Devils.
Severson scored in the seventh round of the tiebreaker to give the Devils a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
“I was lucky to have the guys call me tonight and be confident I was going to get the winner,” he said after scoring on a forehand deke. “It was nice to see the puck go in. … I did the move in practice the other day and scored, so I had to stick with it.”
Kevin Rooney and Stefan Noesen scored 7:53 apart in the third period to tie the score after the Devils trailed 2-0. MacKenzie Blackwood stopped 25 shots to give New Jersey its second straight win after a seven-game skid (0-6-1).
“I’m really happy for our guys,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “They battled back. … It’s a credit to the guys in our room, the older guys, the leadership guys, because they set the culture.”
Elias Pettersson and Tanner Pearson scored for Vancouver, and Bo Horvat had two assists. Jacob Markstrom finished with 31 saves.
The Canucks mathematically remain in the playoff hunt. They trail Arizona by nine points in the race for the final Western Conference wild card.
“You want to close those games out,” Markstrom said. “We have to keep building, getting better as a team and close those games out. … It’s tough when you’re up by two and lose in a shootout.”
Petterson also scored on the opening attempt of the shootout, and Drew Stafford tied it for New Jersey in the second round.
Rooney started the Devils’ comeback with a deflection at 5:41 of the third. Noesen tied it with 6:26 left in regulation when he chipped Eric Tangradi’s pass behind Markstrom.
“They got a couple of lucky bounces,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. “It was that type of game. … There wasn’t a lot of space on the ice for either team. They got a couple of pucks through to the net and got some rebounds. I don’t think either ream really outplayed each other.”
Pettersson broke out of a scoring slump with a power-play goal to open the scoring at 3:18 of the second period. With Stafford off for tripping, Petterson took a pass from Brock Boeser and ripped a shot from the faceoff circle over Blackwood’s shoulder. It was his first in 12 games and gave the 20-year-old Swede 59 points on the season — a team-leading 27 goals and 32 assists. He is one point behind Pavel Bure and Ivan Hlinka for most points in a season by a Vancouver rookie.
Pettersson admitted the goal drought was frustrating.
“It’s been bugging me a little bit,” he said. “I have been trying to find a pass instead of shooting the puck. I have to be a little more selfish. I’m a guy that is always trying to find the pass first instead of the shot.
“It was a big relief when it went in.”
Pearson made it 2-0 at 1:42 of the third on an innocent looking shot from the top of the faceoff circle. Blackwood swung his stick, but the puck seemed to go underneath and between his pads.
The Canucks lost two defensemen in a scoreless first period. Chris Tanev limped off the ice and headed to the dressing room after blocking a shot by Kyle Palmieri during a Devils power play. He returned for a brief skate, but left the bench again. Ashton Sautner was hurt later in the period after blocking a shot with his right arm. He returned later.
Vancouver also scored on a power play in Wednesday’s win over the New York Rangers. It’s the first time since November the Canucks have scored on the power play in back-to-back games. Canucks F Jay Beagle didn’t take the pregame skate and was replaced by Tim Schaller. The Canucks didn’t get their first shot on goal until almost 6:30 was gone in the opening period. Before the game started, the Devils were eliminated from playoff contention when the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. New Jersey is 14th in the Eastern Conference.
The Devils visit Colorado on Sunday to finish a six-game trip.
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