NEWARK, NJ - The Devils had the lead entering the third period, but a late surge by Ottawa allowed the Senators to rally and down the Devils 4-2. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored three, including the empty-netter to pace his Senators squad.
"The bottom line is, we still had the lead in the third period and we don't hold it. That can't happen, especially at home," said Devils forward Taylor Hall.
Wayne Simmonds scored his second goal in as many games to put the Devils on top 1-0 at 4:19 of the first period. Simmonds took the puck to the net on a breakaway and put a nice move on, burying his third of the season. Miles Wood and Nico Hischier both recorded assists on the goal.
New Jersey hosts Pittsburgh on Friday for Military Appreciation Night. The game can be seen on MSG+ and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at NewJerseyDevils.com. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET.
The first 9,000 fans receive a Military Hat, courtesy of Prudential. FIND TICKETS
Pageau continued his impressive season, scoring his ninth of the year at 14:54 for the Senators.
Devils defenseman Will Butcher scored a huge response goal at 17:52 of the opening frame. Butcher's rising shot tucked inside the crossbar and made it a 2-1 game.
Through two periods of play, the Devils found themselves hanging on to that one-goal edge. Shots were relatively even, at 18-16 for New Jersey.
Hall had a big opportunity in the third to increase New Jersey's lead but their star winger was denied by the pad of Craig Anderson on a breakaway.
With around nine minutes remaining in the third, the Devils came in waves, pinning the Senators in their own zone for a long shift. However, they could not capitalize on a tired squad.
With goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood screened, Mark Borowiecki scored his second goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2 13:30 of the third period.
Blackwood made a huge glove save with less than five minutes to play on a shot by Nick Paul to keep things even.
The Senators got a bounce to go their way with 2:01 remaining in regulation. A shot hit off the outside of the post and dropped perfectly to Pageau, who was able to bury his second of the night.
The Devils pulled Blackwood with 1:09 remaining, but shortly after Pageau scored his third of the night to seal the win.
"This far into the season, we can't be having the same breakdowns and same things happening," said Devils Captain Andy Greene. "I think of five games off the top of my head [like this]. It's just not good enough. We've got to be way smarter, way tougher, way harder to play against."
The Devils will host Pittsburgh on Friday for their Military Appreciation Night. The club will honor active and retired servicemen and women throughout the game.