Final Score: New Jersey 2, Edmonton 1 (OT)
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Jon Merrill's first NHL goal was the game winner, coming with 2:26 left in overtime to give New Jersey a 2-1 win over Edmonton at Prudential Center.
Michael Ryder set up the score, taking the puck away from a scrum along the right-wing boards then dishing between the circles for Merrill, who ripped a shot off the near pipe and in.
"You always dream about that kind of stuff when you're a little kid," Merrill said. "I'm sure my phone will have some texts, but I'll probably reach out to my father, first and foremost. It's good to get the first one. It's a huge win for the team, as well. That's most important."
Andrei Loktionov provided the other goal to back 19 saves from Cory Schneider for the Devils, who ended a two-game slide and improved to 2-0-2 in their last four outings.
Taylor Hall tallied while Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 stops for the Oilers, who head to the Olympic break having lost for just the second time in their last seven.
Loktionov netted the game's first goal at 11:01 of the opening period, but Hall knotted the score by potting a Nail Yakupov pass to complete a 2-on-1 break on the following shift.
Bryzgalov made 10 stops and Schneider six in a scoreless third period. Edmonton enjoyed an 8-5 shot edge in the final 20 minutes of play but neither team could produce a deciding tally.
"I'm encouraged by our play, especially the last couple games," noted Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. His club has come up with 11 of a possible 14 points in their last seven games.
New Jersey has won four of its last five home games against Edmonton, but has only taken 12 of the 28 meetings in East Rutherford since relocating from Denver in 1982 ... Merrill posted four assists in 30 NHL games this season before recording his milestone tally. The 22-year-old collected nine points (2G, 7A) in 14 games for the Devils' AHL affiliate in Albany ... New Jersey completes its pre-Olympic slate in Washington on Saturday night.
02/07 22:47:43 ET
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