The Minnesota Wild spoiled Ava Manning’s 12th birthday celebration at the Prudential Center when they beat the Devils in overtime — and Eli Manning and his daughter had a front-row view of the final goal.
Manning appeared shocked by the goal — which Wild forward Matt Boldy scored in the final seconds — and sat with his arms outstretched next to his oldest daughter.
The Wild noticed Manning and his reaction, tweeting, “When you’re editing pics and all of a sudden…” with a winking face attached to the end.
They also tagged Manning with three waving emojis in a reply for good measure.
Earlier in the game, Manning tweeted out a video of Ava — wearing what appeared to be a Jack Hughes No. 86 jersey — riding the M&M Zamboni
“Happy Birthday Ava,” he wrote. “I know every 12 year old girl dreams of riding a Zamboni on their birthday.”
Their loss to Minnesota marked the Devils’ fourth in the last five games, and they now trail Carolina by two points for the Metropolitan Division lead entering Wednesday night.
This time, the Devils needed a goal from Timo Meier with eight minutes left in the third period to tie the game and force overtime, and after Hughes’ shot went wide with eight seconds remaining in the extra frame, Boldy collected the puck and tore down the ice on a breakaway — one stride ahead of any New Jersey player as he reached Vitek Vanecek.
After struggling at the start of the season, the Wild now sit in first place in the Central Division, with a 14-game point streak between Feb. 17 and March 15 boosting their position in the Western Conference standings.
The Devils face the Sabres, Senators and Islanders before hosting the Rangers on Tuesday night for a pivotal Metropolitan Division game.