A potentially disastrous 3-on-5 penalty kill turned into a game-winning goal for the Devils.
Facing 52 seconds of a Montreal Canadiens 5-on-3 power play late in the third period, the Devils held down the fort before a blocked shot by Travis Zajac set up a breakaway for Taylor Hall.
Hall, who was serving a penalty after the Devils were called for too many men on the ice, emerged from the box and scored a 4-on-5 shorthanded goal, giving the Devils the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the Canadiens on Sunday at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Devils coach John Hynes challenged the play for offside, but review upheld the call, costing the Devils by giving the Canadiens another power play. The Devils killed that infraction.
A scoreless second period kept the Devils behind by one goal before they broke through to tie it early in the third period. A Sami Vatanen shot from the right point went toward traffic, where Hischier poked his stick out and deflected it past Canadiens goalie Carey Price. His 19th of the season made it 1-1 26 second into the third.
Hischier nearly broke through two more times in the third with the game tied 1-1. He gathered a loose puck and entered on a clean breakaway, but Price turned away his shot. Hischier then beat Price but drilled the crossbar from the left circle.
Hall’s goal out of the penalty box to give the Devils a 2-1 lead with 4:07 left in regulation was his first shorthanded goal as a Devil and his 37th goal of the season.
Following an off day on Monday, the Devils return home to for their final two regular-season games at the Prudential Center. They host the Rangers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday before playing the Toronto Maple Leafs in their home finale at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
The Devils then play their final regular-season game when they visit the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Aggressive teams snap up the risky players. Passive ones enjoy the safety of the herd. Maybe that isn’t new, but it’s more noticeable when the Rams are assembling the Howling Commandos and the Giants are listing one of the NFL’s best players on eBay.