Jaromir Jagr scored his NHL record 125th game-winning goal Saturday night to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators.
At 42 years of age, Jagr never ceases to impress. But on this night he was overshadowed.
The game was the Senators' first since the tragic events at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill this past Wednesday. A touching tribute took place prior to puck drop as players and fans united to commemorate the loss of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
The Senators were hoping to give the sellout crowd of 19,266 something to celebrate after the emotional week, but fell just short as Jagr scored at 3:39 of overtime with the man advantage.
"I was hoping to score 4-on-3," said Jagr. "It was a great opportunity because we had a whole two minutes 4-on-3 and with the players we've got we should be able to score. It was a great opportunity for us."
The Devils, who were coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to Dallas on Friday night, were relieved not to have to go to a shootout. The Devils haven't won a shootout since March 10, 2013.
Marek Zidlicky and Damon Severson also scored for the Devils (4-2-2), who snapped a four-game winless streak. Cory Schneider faced 35 shots.
"That was a big win," said Devils coach Peter DeBoer. "We needed that. As a group we wanted to make sure we came up and played a solid game here after (Friday's) game and I thought we did that and got rewarded for it."
Alex Chiasson and Bobby Ryan scored for the Senators (4-2-0) as Robin Lehner faced 29 shots. The loss snapped the Senators' four-game winning streak.
The Senators hadn't played since last Saturday as the game scheduled against the Leafs this past Wednesday was postponed due to the tragedies in Ottawa.
Trailing 2-1, Ottawa tied the game on Ryan's power-play goal midway through the third, but were unable to complete the comeback.
"You can't fault the effort, it was there," said Ryan. "I thought we took over the game in the third for a bit and for large portions of it."
The Devils, who had a slow start to the game, came out with a better effort in the second and as such held a 2-1 lead.
Ottawa scored first as Chiasson took a pass down low and beat Schneider high stick side at the ten-minute mark, but the Devils tied it less than two minutes later on Severson's unassisted goal.
Severson took advantage of an Ottawa turnover along the boards at centre ice and came down to beat Lehner high over the shoulder.
"Losing two games in a shootout isn't fun, obviously you want to win those games," said Severson, a Manitoba native who was playing his first game in Canada. "We knew we would come in here and face a tough test, but going into overtime we were real confident we could pull out the two points and we did."
New Jersey took the lead on Zidlicky's power-play goal from the point.
The game remained scoreless after the first period despite a couple of good chances by both teams.
Michalek, who continues to look for his first goal, had a great chance at the side of the net, but just couldn't bang it in.
The Devils put three solid shots together, but couldn't get anything past Lehner.
Lehner said the Senators' first period was probably one of its best this season.
"Our first period we played fantastic defensively," Lehner said. "They took over a little bit in the second and they capitalized on our mistakes a little bit and we had a great third again and didn't give up. I thought we gave ourselves a really good chance of winning the game."
NOTES: The Senators were without Marc Methot (back, indefinite). Jared Cowen, Erik Condra and Colin Greening were healthy scratches for Ottawa. The Devils were without Jordin Tootoo (foot, indefinite), and Martin Havlat (facial lacerations). Adam Larsson was a healthy scratch.