NEWARK, N.J. — Nico Hischier scored a power-play goal with 33 seconds left in overtime, and the New Jersey Devils extended their winning streak to eight games with a 4-3 victory against the Ottawa Senators at Prudential Center on Thursday.
Dougie Hamilton took a shot from the point that Hischier deflected in the slot.
“I tried to get out of the way, but I guess it just hit me and went in,” Hischier said. “The crowd was on our side, we had momentum. I kind of had the feeling when we got the power play [in overtime] that we were going to bury one, and we did.”
Hischier scored twice, and Jack Hughes had two assists for the Devils (11-3-0), who hadn’t won eight in a row since 2011 (Feb. 6-22).
Vitek Vanecek made 17 saves on 20 shots before being replaced by Akira Schmid at 10:37 of the third period for precautionary reasons. Schmid made seven saves, including five in overtime, in his season debut. It was his first NHL win in seven games (1-4-0).
“Obviously, you don’t expect your first one to be like this, but I’ll take it for sure,” Schmid said. “The only thing going through my head when we got the power play in overtime was, ‘just score.’ … That’s all that went through my head.”
Shane Pinto scored two goals, and Anton Forsberg made 37 saves for the Senators (4-8-1), who have lost seven straight (0-6-1).
Ottawa has not won since Oct. 24, a 4-2 victory against the Dallas Stars.
“Every loss is tough, but we have to turn this around,” Forsberg said.
Tomas Tatar gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead on a wrist shot from the high slot that deflected off Senators forward Parker Kelly at 4:44 of the first period.
Pinto tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal on a deflection from the slot at 12:15. Jake Sanderson skated along the blue line before reversing a pass to Claude Giroux at the left point, where he directed a shot-pass to Pinto.
A native of Franklin Square, New York, Pinto had about 40 family members and friends in attendance.
“I think we earned that one, but they found a way,” Pinto said. “It was a very cool moment, a cool atmosphere, but I wish we could have won.”
Travis Hamonic scored on a slap shot from the point 1:09 later to give the Senators a 2-1 lead at 13:24.
Hischier tied it 2-2 on a wrist shot from the left face-off circle at 18:06.
“When you get on a run like this, you’ve got to find different ways to win and we’re just finding different ways to win,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “The way we’re playing, we’re giving ourselves a chance to win every night.”
Miles Wood gave New Jersey a 3-2 lead on a rebound from the slot at 2:53 of the second period.
Pinto scored his second goal on a wrist shot from the high slot to tie it 3-3 at 1:29 of the third period.
Schmid made four saves during an Ottawa power play in overtime before defenseman Thomas Chabot was penalized for interference on Jack Hughes at 4:18. Hischier scored his second straight game-winning goal nine seconds later.
“I actually was thinking about (the winning streak),” Schmid said. “I don’t want to be the guy that … I’m not going to even say it.”
“I knew that we could be this good,” Wood said. “This club has depth. You see Schmid get called up and stand on his head. For him to come in late in the third period like that, make those huge saves on the 4-on-3 (penalty kill in overtime) was huge. I’m so happy for him.”
Vanecek appeared to be hurt late in the second when Chabot collided with him on a shot attempt from the slot that was penalized for goalie interference at 14:32. He remained in the game after being evaluated by a trainer.
“Right now, I don’t have any concern with Vitek,” Ruff said. “I’m a pretty optimistic guy. So, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.
“I’m probably more focused on the fact that [Schmid] stepped in and did a great job. The team, for the end of that third period, did a great job in front of him, trying to let him get into the game and let him feel the puck.”
NOTES: Giroux extended his point streak to seven games (five goals, three assists). … Hischier (five goals, four assists) and Tatar (one goal, six assists) each extended his point streak to six games. … New Jersey is 10-0-0 this season when Hischier has a point.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.