Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Niskanen scored just 1:13 into overtime to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
Karl Alzner and Niskanen each finished with a goal and an assist, Eric Fehr also lit the lamp and Braden Holtby made 29 saves for the Capitals, who rebounded from a 3-0 loss to Winnipeg for their fourth win in their last five games.
"We were on our heels for the majority of the third period," said Niskanen. "Wins seem a lot bigger this time of year, especially in the position that we're in."
Steve Bernier tied the game late as the Devils came away with a point, while Travis Zajac also scored and Cory Schneider made 21 stops in the team's third straight loss.
Schneider was pulled for an extra attacker late in regulation and it paid off. Bernier tapped in Scott Gomez's feed from behind the net with 29.2 seconds left to force overtime.
In the extra session, Niskanen's rising slap shot from above the left circle deflected off a defender's stick and past Schneider to seal the outcome.
Alzner opened the scoring by accepting a cross-ice feed from Niskanen and snapping a shot past Schneider's blocker from the left circle just 2:51 into the game.
Fehr increased Washington's lead to 2-0 as his right point shot went off a Devils player's stick and into the net 1:35 into the second period.
Zajac cut the deficit in half with 5:19 left in the middle frame by jamming home a loose puck through Holtby's pads in tight.
Five minutes into the third, the Devils had a goal waved off after forward Adam Henrique chipped away at the puck in the crease and Holtby was pushed into the net.
Niskanen has tallied four assists over his last four games ... Washington won four of its five matchups with New Jersey this season ... The Capitals have not allowed a power-play goal against the Devils this season, killing off all 12 penalties ... Washington improved to 33-2-4 when scoring first this season.