NEWARK, N.J. – Jakob Silfverberg hit the post on one shot and just missed with another in regulation, so the young Ottawa Senators right wing wanted to make sure he made the right plays down the stretch—especially in the shootout.
“I had a few chances and missed them,” said Silfverberg, whose goal in the shootout was the lone tally in the Senators’ 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday. “The one that hit the post, he (Devils goalkeeper Martin Brodeur) didn’t know where it was, so I really thought I had that one.”
However, Silfverberg made up for his earlier misses by setting up Daniel Alfredsson for the tying goal with 11:48 left in regulation, then gave the Senators the win by finally beating Brodeur in the shootout.
“I wasn’t exactly worried about which way he was going,” said the 22-year-old. “I just wanted to get a quick shot off. That was the key, just to shoot it quick before he could do anything.”
Brodeur thought he had a chance to make a stick save, but it slid past him and the Senators (8-6-2) had only their third road win of the season and only the second in 12 games at the Prudential Center. The Devils (9-3-4) lost for their second straight and third in the last four games.
“It went in and I was very happy,” Silfverberg said. “We worked hard to get this win. It was huge for us.”
It was the Senators’ first victory without All-Star Erik Karlsson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the top defenceman in the NHL. Karlsson was lost for the season last Friday night when an inadvertent skate from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke tore Karlsson’s Achilles tendon.
“We were a little down,” Silfverberg said. “We have a lot of young guys on our team, so this was big for our confidence. We’ve lost a couple of key players this year.”
The Senators are also without All-Star Jason Spezza, who was lost for the season last month after back surgery.
“Everyone continued to work hard, especially after we let up the early goal,” said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean, who was miffed before the game when asked about his team’s psyche after the loss of Karlsson. “I thought our whole group made a good accountability of themselves. Frustration is a useless emotion. We had to keep working at it.”
Ottawa captain Alfredsson scored his fourth goal of the season and the 420th of his storied career in the third period on a backhander over a diving Brodeur, sending the game to overtime. It was Alfredsson’s first goal in four games, but more importantly, it was the Senators’ first goal since Karlsson got hurt.
“He’s the captain and he’s our best player,” Silfverberg said. “It’s always nice to get him going and I was glad to help him out. It was a huge goal for Danny.”
MacLean credited Silfverberg for stepping up.
“I thought he had a very good game,” MacLean said. “It was good for him to get one in the shootout. He deserved it. But his play has been good for us without the puck.”
Ben Bishop, getting a rare start, turned aside 30 shots for Ottawa, including three in the shootout to earn his first win of the season in his third start. When Bishop stopped former Senator Bobby Butler on the Devils’ third shootout attempt, the Senators had the well-earned victory.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias were both stopped by Bishop in the shootout.
Stephen Gionta scored his second goal of the season just 1:19 into the game, but the Devils were silenced the rest of the way by Bishop.
Brodeur made 29 saves for the Devils.
“We had a handful of quality scoring chances, but he (Bishop) made a few big saves,” Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said. “We had the opportunities to get that second goal, but we let them hang around and you see what happens when you do that. They showed some resiliency and finally got one in the third.”
NOTES: Devils D Mark Fayne, who had two giveaways that led to goals in New Jersey’s 5-3 win over Philadelphia, was a healthy scratch for a second straight game. … Devils rookie F Stefan Matteau was a healthy scratch for a third straight contest. … The Devils recalled C Andrei Loktionov from Albany (AHL) and sent struggling C Jacob Josefson back to Albany. Josefson had only one assist in 15 games this season. … When Loktionov was with the Los Angeles Kings, his roommate was Alexei Ponikorovsky, who was recently re-acquired by the Devils. … The Devils lost LW Ryan Carter to an upper-body injury when he was sandwiched into the boards by Ottawa’s Chris Neil and Dave Dziurzynski in the second period. Carter did not return. … Devils RW Bobby Butler faced his former team for the first time. … Senators LW Milan Michalek has a sprained knee and was a scratch for the third straight game. Michalek is joined on the Senators’ injury list by All-Stars Jason Spezza (back) and defending Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson (Achilles tendon surgery).