Sun, Feb 17, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Huge comeback, unlikely hero inch Devils past Wild

AP, ST PAUL, Minnesota

New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider, center, lunges toward the puck as the Minnesota Wild’s Charlie Coyle, left, looks for a rebound and Mikael Granlund watches from the ice in overtime on Friday in St Paul, Minnesota.

Photo: AP

A goaltender who was winless in his previous 21 decisions outplayed an All-Star down the stretch on Friday night.

Cory Schneider got his first win in nearly 14 months when Nico Hischier scored 3 minutes, 19 seconds into overtime, lifting the New Jersey Devils to a wild 5-4 victory over the slumping Minnesota Wild.

Hischier, Marcus Johansson and Kyle Palmieri each had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who won for the second time in eight games. Will Butcher and Ben Lovejoy also scored.

Schneider had 15 saves in relief of Keith Kinkaid, including three in overtime. He allowed five goals on Thursday in Chicago and was 0-17-4 since his last win on Dec. 27, 2017.

“Sometimes things happen in a strange way, but I was more excited for our team just to show some mettle and to come back and win a tough game after a tough trip,” Schneider said.

In overtime, Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk’s errant pass behind the net was picked off by Palmieri. Dubnyk made a save before Hischier whacked in a loose puck to complete an improbable comeback.

Dubnyk, who last month played in his third All-Star game, has allowed 10 goals in the past two games, both losses that included Minnesota blowing a multi-goal lead.

“They’re finding their way in. It’s frustrating,” he said. “We probably deserved four points out of the last two games and we only got one. Got to find a way.”

Coach Bruce Boudreau was non-committal when asked if Dubnyk is to start today against St Louis.

“It’ll be a conversation that the coaches and the goalie coach have tomorrow and the GM and we’ll see what transpires,” Boudreau said. “We’re not blind. We saw how they went in, but the other thing that bothers me is we do this all the time — we get them down and you don’t get that killer instinct and you stop playing and you try to defend all the time and it’s a losing way to play.”

Playing for the third time in four nights, New Jersey trailed 4-1 late in the second period before Butcher scored off a deflected pass. Palmieri added a power-play goal midway through the third.

Lovejoy scored with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left in regulation when he beat Dubnyk with a low slap shot from the left circle.

Mikael Granlund and Brad Hunt each had a goal and assist for Minnesota, which dropped to 1-4-3 in its past eight games. Joel Eriksson Ek and Nick Seeler also scored.

The Wild are clinging to the final playoff wild card in the jumbled Western Conference.

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