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Devils erase 2-goal deficits, down Caps in OT
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Andy Greene notched the game-winner 43 seconds into overtime, as the New Jersey Devils edged the Washington Capitals, 5-4, on Saturday at Verizon Center.
On the deciding goal, Jaromir Jagr ripped a shot from the high slot that Braden Holtby sticked away, but Greene got his shaft on the disc and deflected it into the back of the net out of mid air to send New Jersey to victory.
"I honestly can't remember the last overtime goal I scored," Greene remarked. "It feels great to do it and get a big win tonight."
Greene and Jagr each finished with a goal and two assists, while Marek Zidlicky scored twice and Dainius Zubrus added a goal and an assist for the Devils, who have picked up at least one point in four straight games (3-0-1).
Martin Brodeur backstopped the victory with 18 saves.
Joel Ward registered a goal and an assist, while Alex Ovechkin and Jason Chimera potted a marker apiece for the Capitals, who have lost three of their last five games.
Holtby stopped 32 shots in the setback.
The Capitals carried a 3-1 lead into the third following a three-goal second stanza, but Jagr lit the lamp on the power play 5:28 into the final frame after Ovechkin went off for interference at 4:44.
Ovechkin made up for the penalty with his league-leading 30th goal of the season at 8:07 to make it 4-2, but Zidlicky brought the Devils back within a goal just over a minute later when he pinched in from the point and rifled a one-timer from between the circles that beat Holtby high to the glove side for a 4-3 margin at 9:21.
New Jersey pulled even at 11:47 when Travis Zajac picked off a Holtby clearing attempt along the right midboards before throwing a shot on net that Zubrus redirected through the legs of the scrambling netminder.
"They are a relentless team," Washington head coach Adam Oates said of the Devils. "They kept coming. We made a couple mistakes."
Zidlicky opened the scoring with a power-play marker at 11:26 of the opening frame, but the Capitals countered with three goals in the second to take control of the contest.
Chimera tied the game at 1-1 when he pounded in his own rebound off a wraparound attempt from the low right side at 10:07, while Mikhail Grabovski followed with his 10th of the season just 4:31 later to make it 2-1.
A Washington counterattack in the final minute produced the period's final score, as Ward buried a rebound from the low left side at 19:14 to give the Capitals a two-goal lead.
Jagr's goal was the 694th of his career, tying him with Mark Messier for seventh on the NHL's all-time goals list ... New Jersey forward Damien Brunner did not play after injuring his right knee in Friday's overtime loss to Anaheim ... Zajac and Patrik Elias both had two assists for New Jersey ... Martin Erat added a pair of helpers for Washington.
12/21 22:36:37 ET