NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Devils are so bad in shootouts, coach Pete DeBoer doesn't mind seeing his team take chances in the five-minute overtime.
It got them a much-needed win Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild after they blew a two-goal, third-period lead.
Defenseman Andy Greene scored from in close 2 minutes into the extra period and the Devils snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Wild in Zach Parise's first game back in New Jersey against his former teammates.
"We've asked our D all year to create offense for us," said DeBoer, whose team has lost all eight shootouts this season and an NHL-record 12 straight dating to last season. "I think we have a little more urgency in overtime as a group because of our shootout record. There isn't any secret about that, so you get a little more aggressive."
Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias each had three assists and combined to set up Greene. Elias carried the puck from his own zone into the Wild end and sent a pass through the crease that Henrique nudged toward goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Greene got the rebound and scored his second game-winner in overtime this season.
Greene took a chance on the play.
"I actually kick it out of the corner to start the rush and I thought about changing, but then I kind of saw we had a three-on-two," Greene said. "I supported it and the puck obviously squirted through their back door and I got some good lumber on it and put it home."
Greene didn't care that the win wasn't pretty.
"It doesn't matter at this point," he said. "As long as we get ourselves a chance to get two points in a game, who cares how it happens? Two points is two points."
Despite the win, the Devils are five points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 games left in the regular season.
"I liked how we played tonight," DeBoer said. "As long as we can stay fresh and energized and bring that game, there's no reason we can't keep winning."
Michael Ryder, Mark Fayne and Jaromir Jagr also scored for New Jersey, which played with a lot more energy with their playoff hopes fading in the wake of the losing streak.
Parise, Mikael Granlund and Matt Cooke tallied for the Wild, who have points in 17 of 21 games.
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