There haven't been too many nights when both the New Jersey Devils powerplay and penalty kill were successful.
Tonight, they both worked to perfection.
The Devils scored two goals - one on the penalty kill, and one on the powerplay - to defeat the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, in overtime at Rexall Place.
Zach Parise scored the game-winning goal, netting a powerplay tally at 1:06 of the overtime period. With Corey Potter in the box for tripping, Patrik Elias held the puck near the goal line. He faked a shot, then sent the puck past the outstretched stick of Nikolai Khabibulin and to Parise in front. The Devils' captain tapped the puck in the open net for his 15th goal of the season.
It was the third straight game the Devils scored a powerplay goal. It's the first time the team has scored a powerplay goal in three straight games since November 15 - November 19.
The Devils penalty kill, one of the best in the league, opened the scoring in the second period.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored a shorthanded goal at 8:35 to put New Jersey ahead. With David Clarkson in the penalty box serving an interference penalty, Kovalchuk stole the puck from Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry at the right point. He skated in alone on Nikolai Khabibulin, wristing a shot over the goalie's glove for his team-leading 17th goal of the season.
New Jersey has scored 11 shorthanded goals this season and one in each of their last four games. They sit just seven away from the team record of 18, set during the 1987-88 season.
Ales Hemsky tied the game, 1-1, with a powerplay goal at 8:32 of the third period. The Oilers, on their fifth powerplay, finally broke through against Johan Hedberg as Hemsky fired a one-timer from the left circle past the screened Devils goalie for his fourth goal of the season.
Hedberg, who allowed four goals on nine shots last night, turned away 22 shots for his 12th win of the season. He tied Martin Brodeur for the team lead in wins.
Khabibulin made 23 saves in the loss. The Oilers have lost four straight games and have just one win in their last eight games.
Tonight was the first time New Jersey won a game at Rexall Place in January. The team was 0-2-4 in six previous games during the year's first month. They moved to 11-10-5 all-time in Edmonton.