John Marino scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:17 remaining and the New Jersey Devils beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 on Tuesday night in Newark, N.J.
After blowing a 3-1 lead in the third, New Jersey regained the edge when the light-scoring Marino, off some nifty passing from Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier, beat Colorado’s Justus Annunen (26 saves) for just his fourth goal of the season.
Bratt had a goal and assist, Hischier added two helpers and Erik Haula delivered an empty-netter for the Devils, who were outshot 17-4 in the third but prevailed out of the All-Star break following a 3-6-1 stretch.
Trailing 3-1 after two periods, Colorado began its barrage on New Jersey netminder Vitek Vanecek (35 saves). The Avalanche got within a goal when Cale Makar slipped in a loose puck after it was dislodged from the stick of New Jersey’s Luke Hughes with 11:31 to play.
Then, 29 seconds later, the game was tied thanks to another Colorado defenseman. Samuel Girard flowed alone unmarked at the point and sent a slap shot past Vanecek.
However, the rally ended there for Colorado, which is in the mix for the top spot in the Western Conference but couldn’t rebound from a 2-1 overtime loss at the New York Rangers on Monday.
On Tuesday, Colorado opened the scoring 1:23 into the contest. Off a New Jersey own-zone turnover, Mikko Rantanen pounced on the puck, and ripped it by Vanecek.
The Devils answered 42 seconds later when Chris Tierney redirected Simon Nemec’s drive by Annunen, who was playing in his second NHL game this season.
The Avalanche appeared to break a 1-1 tie 38 seconds into the second period via Josh Manson’s snipe. However, the goal was overturned upon review for goaltender interference.
New Jersey then took the lead just over three minutes later when Bratt scored his 20th goal of the season via a two-on-one rush with Hischier. The Devils made it 3-1 when Dawson Mercer cleaned up a net-front mess with 13:13 to go in the second.
Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon’s 14-game point streak ended Tuesday.