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Great Games #8: Merrill's magic in overtime

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Newjerseydevils.com looks back at 10 of the top Devils games from last season.

#8 - Feb. 7, 2014 Devils 2, Oilers 1 OT

Jon Merrill had said scoring a huge goal in a big spot was a moment he’d dreamt about for some time. It took 31 NHL games, but he realized that dream last season, scoring with 2:26 remaining in overtime to give the Devils a 2-1 victory over Edmonton back on Feb. 7.

"You always dream about that kind of stuff when you're a little kid but I think after 20 games that had gone by," Merrill said. "When I hadn't scored, those dreams kind of went away a little bit. To get that first one feels really good. It's a huge win for the team and that's most important."

Merrill took a pass from Michael Ryder in the left circle and blasted a shot that beat goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on the long side.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer felt Merrill, the game's first star, was one of his team's better defenders against the Oilers. He earned 20:49 of ice time and scored on his only shot of the game to become the first player in team history to score his first career goal in overtime.

"We rewarded him for the game he played; he might have been our best defenseman through 60 minutes," DeBoer said. "He was rewarded for his play out there. When you talk to the people in Albany, they rave about him on the power play; he's got some offensive instincts. He's got that ability."

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