Devils score five straight goals to beat Avalanche, 5-3
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The young New Jersey Devils are playing better and even starting to starting to stun some of the NHL’s best teams.
Nathan Bastian scored a power-play goal with 6:56 left, Yegor Sharangovich iced the game with a short-handed, empty-net goal and the Devils rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 on Tuesday night.
“I think when you look at it, we’ve played a lot of games like this where you get down and we battle back but we don’t quite make it all the way back or win the game,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “I thought tonight there was just a belief that we were going to come back.”
Tomas Tatar, Ty Smith, Damon Severson also scored for the Devils. Nico Daws made 23 saves for New Jersey, which had its biggest comeback win of the season.
“It was a great win obviously,” said Tatar, who picked up his 400th career point. “We are trying to create here a winning mentality and these kind of games give it to you. You have to respect their team; they have a lot of experience, they’ve been around for a long time. I think in the third, they were going to battle back but we kept skating and played our game and I think we deserve to win.”
Jesper Bratt added three assists for the Devils and Jack Hughes had two, with both helping out on the game-winner.
Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar scored for the Avalanche, who were 23-0 this season when leading after the first period. Darcy Kuemper had 38 saves.
“We were terrible. So it is what it is,” said coach Jared Bednar, whose team leads the NHL in points with 87. “The team needs to get a rest and to move on. We were second to every puck. They were skating and we weren’t checking. We looked tired, mentally tired. We turned the puck over every second time we touched it.”
MacKinnon and Rantanen scored power-play goals in the first period.
“Overall, it was a really tough game,” Rantanen said. “I don’t think we had any momentum in the 60 minutes. The power play was the one that got us momentum. Other than that, we were awful tonight.”
Playing their second game in as many night, the Avalanche seemed to run out of gas after taking a 3-0 lead on Makar’s 21st goal of the season early in the second period. It extended his point-scoring streak to 13 games.
By the end of the second period, the game was tied at 3, with Tatar starting the comeback at 9:20 by putting the rebound of a Jonas Siegenthaler shot off the post into an empty net.
Smith closed the gap to a goal with a shot that might have been deflected by Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard. Severson knotted the game with a power-play goal at 17:21.
Bastian got the game-winner after a power-play shot by Hughes hit him in the crease. The puck stopped about a foot from the goal line and he swatted it home for his 10th of the season.
The loss was Colorado’s fourth loss since Jan. 14 (19-4-2).
NOTES: The win was Ruff’s 776th of his NHL career, moving him ahead of Paul Maurice into sole possession of sixth in league history. ... Devils captain Nico Hischier sat out with a lower body injury. ... The game was the first between the team since Jan. 4, 2020. ... Daws started his fifth straight game for New Jersey. ... Colorado is now 11-4-1 in back-to-back games this season. This was their first loss in regulation in the second game (6-1-1).
Avalanche: Finish three-game road trip at Carolina on Thursday night.
Devils: Host Winnipeg on Thursday night in the third of a four-game homestand.
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