Apr 4, 2014, 9:41 PM EST
The New Jersey Devils came into Friday’s game against the Washington Capitals a little light on forwards and only became more shorthanded as the contest went along, but they still found a way to grind out a 2-1 win.
The Devils didn’t take any chances with that tricky shootout business, either, winning it in regulation.
Alex Ovechkin opened up the scoring with an increasingly rare even-strength goal:
Tuomo Ruutu found the net to tie things up for the Devils later on:
Ryan Carter scored a beauty of a game-winner for the Devils:
Carter indicated that the Devils were outworked earlier in the contest, but eventually turned that tide against the Caps (who probably cringe on quitting/laziness-type narratives at this point).
With this victory, the Devils now have 82 standings points with five games left. Washington slides to 11th with 81 (and also five games remaining).
It was a great night in general for the Devils (and to some extent, the ninth-ranked Toronto Maple Leafs, who were idle), as the Chicago Blackhawks snagged a late regulation win against the Columbus Blue Jackets as well.
Much like the Devils and Capitals, the Blue Jackets only have five games left this season, although they’re still fairly comfortable with 85 standings points. (Again, things are rosier for the Maple Leafs, who have just four games left but 84 points).
It might not be pretty as the Devils, Capitals and other East teams approach the final stretch, yet it may just come down to who is willing to fight through it. New Jersey was that team, at least tonight.
- NHL on NBCSN: Can Capitals take advantage of depleted Penguins? 0
- Team Canada crushes Slovakia 9
- Criticism spreads to GM Lou Lamoriello after Devils fire DeBoer 7
- Eichel earns assist and scores in shootout as U.S. squeaks by Finland 1
- Canada enters World Juniors as 11/10 favorite; USA next at 9/4 5
- Devils fire DeBoer 21
- More mumps: Downie and Greiss test positive 6
- Orpik reflects on ‘outside pressure’ in Pittsburgh 20
- Canada tabs Fucale for WJC opener 0
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment 10
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (76)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)
- Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win (42)