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Tedenby Propels Devils Past Canes in OT

Posted By Matt Pellicane On Feb 8 2011 @ 11:59 pm In New Jersey Devils | No Comments

Although coach Jacques Lemaire was unhappy with his team’s effort on Tuesday night, he has to be pleased that they were able to pick up a win against one of the many teams they are looking up at in the standings.  Rookie Mattias Tedenby scored his second goal of the game in overtime as the Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 at the Prudential Center in Newark.

The two teams traded scoring chances in the first period, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.  Johan Hedberg was in net for the Devils, filling in for Martin Brodeur who is day-t0-day with a knee strain that he suffered in Sunday’s game against Montreal.

Carolina rookie sensation Jeff Skinner opened the scoring in the second period on a power-play when his shot from the left circle found a seam between Hedberg’s body and his right arm.  It was a shot that Hedberg should have stopped, and Skinner’s teammates gave him some playful ribbing as he cruised by the bench after scoring what certainly was a soft goal.

The Hurricanes lead did not last long as Tedenby scored just over two minutes later to knot the game at one.  Tedenby buried a shot from the slot after receiving a beautiful, no-look backhand pass from Jason Arnott at the side of the net.

Skinner found the back of the net again in the third period, and it came via the power-play once again.  It was Anton Volchenkov who was the guilty party in the penalty box for the Devils on both of Skinner’s power-play goals.  This time, Skinner corralled the rebound of a point shot and slipped the puck past Hedberg.  Skinner scored two goals against the Devils for the second time this season, doing so when the two teams met earlier this year in Carolina where the Canes were 6-3 winners.  Skinner leads all rookies with 43 points this season.

With the third period winding down, Nick Palmieri drew the Devils back even.  Palmieri found the rebound of Ilya Kovalchuk’s shot and lifted a backhander past Canes goalie Cam Ward to tie it at 2-2.  The Devils had a host of chances to win the game in regulation, but Andy Greene was robbed by Ward’s catching glove and Patrik Elias was stoned on a point blank chance late in the third.

The overtime period belonged to the Devils rookie, Tedenby.  The young Swede was the source of some controversy as he decided not to take part in the morning skate on Tuesday.  This came just days after he was benched for the third period in the Devils win in Montreal.  The decision was somewhat surprising since it is common for rookies to take advantage of as much extra ice time as possible.  People can question his choice, but his fresh legs may have been the Devils picked up the extra point in overtime.

Tedenby took a pass from Travis Zajac, skated into the slot and fired a wrister past Ward on his blocker side.  This was just another high in Tedenby’s rookie season that has been filled with its fair share of highs and lows.  Tedenby has scored seven goals thus far this year, but has also seen his name on the scratch sheet numerous times when Lemaire was unhappy with his play in the defensive zone.  However, it’s no secret that when number 21 is in the lineup, he brings a jolt of energy that the Devils can stand to benefit from.

The Devils are now within 15 points of a playoff spot, something that did not look remotely possible just a few months ago.  The Devils will look to continue their ascent in the standings when they head north to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Thursday.

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