Devils recover, defeat Blackhawks in OT in opener


NEWARK, N.J. — Jack Hughes scored his second goal 57 seconds into overtime, and the New Jersey Devils recovered for a 4-3 win in their season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks at Prudential Center on Friday.

Hughes skated into the Blackhawks zone on a 2-on-1 and patiently waited for an opening before faking Blackhawks goalie Kevin Lankinen and shooting into an open net with his backhand from the slot. Hughes threw his stick into the stands after scoring the winner.

Dougie Hamilton and Andreas Johnsson scored, and Jonathan Bernier made 24 saves for the Devils (1-0-0).

Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik scored, Patrick Kane and Tyler Johnson each had two assists, and Lankinen made 25 saves for the Blackhawks (0-1-1).

Dach cut it to 3-2 at 16:07 of the third. The Blackhawks pulled Lankinen while on a power play for a 6-on-4 advantage, and Dach was able to get the rebound of Kane’s initial shot and score from the right post.

Lankinen was then pulled again for an extra attacker, and following a scramble in the zone, Kubalik tied it 3-3 on a shot from the right circle with 26 seconds remaining.

Hamilton, a defenseman who signed a seven-year, $63 million contract on July 28, scored from the high slot 17 seconds into the game to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.

The goal was the fastest to start a season in New Jersey’s history. The previous record was set by Zach Parise, who scored 26 seconds into a 4-0 win at the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 10, 2006.

DeBrincat scored 51 seconds into the second period with a one-timer from below the left circle on the power play to tie it 1-1.

Hughes gave the Devils a 2-1 lead on a spinning wrist shot from the left circle at 17:58 of the second.

Johnsson pushed the lead to 3-1 when he jammed in a loose puck in the crease at 6:34 of the third period. Dawson Mercer, who was making his NHL debut, got the primary assist on the play.

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