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Predators draw level late, dump Devils in overtime

Mikael Granlund scored with nine seconds remaining in the third period and Ryan Johansen tallied 33 seconds into overtime to lift the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday in Newark, N.J.

Granlund cleaned up a rebound in front of the net to forge a 3-3 tie. Nashville rode that momentum into overtime and took advantage of New Jersey’s turnover in its own end before Johansen scored from the right hashmarks for his fifth career overtime goal.

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Johansen, who collected two goals and an assist, scored 11 seconds into the first period to tie David Legwand’s record for the fastest game-opening goal in franchise history. Colton Sissons tallied late in the first period and Juuse Saros made 25 saves as the Predators, who improved to 6-1-1 in their past eight games.

Kevin Bahl, Jesper Bratt and Alexander Holtz scored 2:38 apart early in the second period for the Devils, who lost for just the second time in their past 18 games (16-1-1). Jack Hughes and Erik Haula each notched two assists.

Vitek Vanecek, the NHL Second Star of the Month for November, turned aside 20 shots to fall to 11-2-1 this season.

The Devils erased a two-goal deficit quickly in the second period.

Hughes skated around the net before feeding Bahl for a blast from the high slot to halve the deficit at 1:57.

Hughes then fed Bratt at the doorstep on a power play before the latter shifted to his backhand and tucked the puck past Saros for his ninth goal of the season at 2:30.

Holtz’s blast from the top of the left circle on another power play beat Saros to give New Jersey a 3-2 lead at 4:35 of the second.

Nashville wasted little time making its mark on the contest after pinching along the boards following the opening faceoff. Cole Smith quickly fed Johansen, who gained a step on Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler and followed up his initial shot by tucking the puck past Vanecek to end his seven-game goal drought.

Sissons doubled the advantage with 44 seconds to play in the first period. His goal was his third of the season and second in as many games.

–Field Level Media

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