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Mikael Granlund, Ryan Johansen combined for the comeback, Juuse Saros stopped 25 shots in net, helping the Predators earn a 4-3 overtime win
NEWARK, N.J. — Ryan Johansen scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds into overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 4-3 comeback victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday.
Johansen took advantage of a turnover at the Devils blue line and scored from between the circles off a pass from Matt Duchene. It was his first multigoal game of the season.
“That was huge for us,” Johansen said. “We could have easily walked out with no points but we made a couple of big plays and had a great result.”
Mikael Granlund tied it 3-3 for Nashville from the top of the crease with 8.4 seconds remaining in the third period and Juuse Saros pulled for the extra attacker.
Video: NSH@NJD: Granlund ties it, Johansen nets OT winner
The Devils had an opportunity to go up by two on the power play when the Predators were called for too many men on the ice with 2:46 remaining in the third, but New Jersey managed one shot on goal during the penalty.
“We had a really big penalty kill at the end, then made a really good play to get our shot,” Granlund said. “I think they were playing it safe (using two defensemen on the power play), but we’ve done that before. That was a good job by us getting two points and a good way to start this back-to-back.”
Johansen had an assist, and Saros made 25 saves in his seventh start in eight games for the Predators (11-9-2), who have won three of their past four.
Jack Hughes and Erik Haula each had two assists, and Vitek Vanecek made 20 saves for the Devils (19-4-1), who lost for the second time in their past 18 games (16-1-1).
“Even though we put an extra defenseman up there, the mindset is go for the goal on the late power play,” New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. “I didn’t like what we did. Nobody did. We wanted to attack, we wanted to try to score, but at the same time we were going to be smart and have two defensemen for both (power-play) units. The execution wasn’t what we wanted.”
Saros made seven saves in the third, including a pad stop against Nico Hischier on a short-handed breakaway at 13:37.
“We found a way to get it done,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “To be a top team you have to beat top teams, and we did that tonight. That was a hard-fought game. We had a big kill at the end and the guys at 6-on-5 got it done.”
Video: NSH@NJD: Johansen nets own rebound 11 seconds in
Johansen gave Nashville a 1-0 lead 11 seconds into the game, scoring on his own rebound at the right post. He tied David Legwand (April 5, 2007, against the St. Louis Blues) for the fastest game-opening goal in Predators history; Johansen’s is the fastest such road goal in franchise history.
Colton Sissons extended the lead to 2-0 on a wrist shot from the slot at 19:16.
The Devils scored three goals on six shots in a span of 2:38 in the second period to take a 3-2 lead.
Video: NSH@NJD: Bahl, Bratt score 33 seconds apart to tie it
Kevin Bahl cut it to 2-1 on a snap shot from the slot at 1:57. Jesper Bratt tied it 2-2 on the power play with a backhand from the slot 33 seconds later at 2:30, and Alexander Holtz made it 3-2 with a power-play goal on a slap shot from the left face-off circle at 4:35.
“We had the lead in the end and we lost it, so we know we have to be better and know this group is better than what we what we did tonight,” Devils forward Tomas Tatar said. “I don’t think it’s too troubling. We just have to rebound, refocus and come back stronger.”
NOTES: Hynes is 4-0-0 against the Devils since being hired as Predators coach on Jan. 7, 2020. He coached New Jersey for five seasons (2015-20). … Nashville defenseman Roman Josi had an assist and has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in his past 15 games. … The Predators are 6-0-0 in their past six games and 9-0-2 in their past 11 against the Devils. … Nashville plays at the New York Islanders on Friday. … New Jersey used 11 forwards and seven defensemen after forward Miles Wood was scratched with an illness. He is day to day. … Bahl scored his first goal of the season and played 11:49 in the defenseman’s first game since Oct. 24. … New Jersey is 17-0-1 when Hischier, who had an assist, gets at least one point.
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