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game recap

Blackhawks defeat Devils in overtime

Marian Hossa scores winner; Travis Zajac gets natural hat trick for New Jersey

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa scored with 3:29 left in overtime for the Chicago Blackhawks, who overcame a hat trick by Travis Zajac in 4-3 victory against the New Jersey Devils at United Center on Thursday.

Seconds after Mike Cammalleri hit the post for New Jersey, Hossa ended the game with his 12th goal of the season. Chicago (16-6-3) got goals from Marcus Kruger, Artem Anisimov and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Corey Crawford made 30 saves.

The Blackhawks, who lead the NHL with 35 points, have won three of four games (3-0-1) without captain Jonathan Toews (upper-body injury).

"Definitely [we're] missing a guy like that," Hossa said. "Obviously, when he comes back it's going to be a big offensive boost, but the good thing is we're still finding a way to win the games. Tonight, it wasn't pretty but a big two points."


WATCH: All Devils vs. Blackhawks highlights


Zajac scored a goal in all three periods for his second NHL hat trick and first since March 31, 2014 in the Devils' 6-3 win against the Florida Panthers. It wasn't enough to prevent another road loss for New Jersey, which dropped to 3-7-4 on the road with six straight losses (0-4-2).

"It feels good, but you'd trade it for a win, especially a road win," Zajac said. "We've had a hard time getting those, but it was a game where I think we can be proud of the way we played."

Video: NJD@CHI: Zajac tallies his 2nd hat trick of the year

Cory Schneider made 29 saves for the Devils (10-7-6), who got left wing Taylor Hall back from an eight-game absence after he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. 

The Blackhawks led 3-2 to start the third period and nearly made it 4-2 at 1:27 on an apparent goal by defenseman Brian Campbell. The ruling on the ice was no goal because Richard Panik ran into Schneider after his initial attempt was stopped.

Chicago challenged, but the ruling was upheld after the review.

Video: NJD@CHI: Kruger snaps one home to tie the game

Zajac tied it 3-3 at 8:49 with his third goal, which he scored after a Blackhawks turnover in their own zone.

The Devils took a 1-0 lead on Zajac's sixth goal at 3:13 of the first. He scored his second goal on a power play at 10:43 of the second, but the Blackhawks took a 3-2 lead on goals by Kruger at 1:02, Anisimov at 12:25 and Hjalmarsson at 18:25.

Goal of the game

Hossa scored his third overtime goal and fourth game-winner of the season. "I don't think the goalie saw much," he said. "It wasn't a hard shot, but I think I just tried to shoot it at the net."

Video: NJD@CHI: Hossa buries wicked wrister for OT winner

Save of the game

Crawford made back-to-back saves late in the third period to keep the score 3-3. The first was against Zajac at 16:21 and the second was three seconds later against Miles Wood.


Unsung moment of the game

Kyle Palmieri got his stick on a pass by Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson on a power play in the second period, which sent the puck to Zajac for his second goal.

Video: NJD@CHI: Zajac blasts a top-shelf PPG

Highlight of the game

Zajac's third goal was set up by Cammalleri. He intercepted a pass by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, faked a shot and sent a pass to Zajac for a one-timer. "He's smart player," Zajac said of Cammalleri. "When you think he's going to shoot, that's when he passes. When you think he's going to pass, that's when he shoots. That's what makes him good and dangerous."

Video: NJD@CHI: Zajac bags another and tallies a hat trick

They said it

"It would have been nice if that goes an inch the other way, but that's the way it goes. That's the game of hockey." -- Devils center Travis Zajac, on forward Mike Cammalleri hitting the post in overtime


"I thought Taylor did what Taylor does. He impacts the game, he's got great speed, he's a tenacious competitor and it was good to have him back in the lineup." -- Devils coach John Hynes, on the return of left wing Taylor Hall


"It's a lot more than last year. I'll take that." -- Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, on scoring his second goal of the season after scoring none in 41 games last season


"I definitely owed the team that [goal]. That was a bad giveaway." -- Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, on his goal 6:00 after his turnover led to Zajac's second goal

Video: NJD@CHI: Hjalmarsson buries wrister through traffic

Need to know

Toews is doubtful for Saturday's game at the Philadelphia Flyers. … Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival played the 950th game of his NHL career. … The Devils placed forward Reid Boucher on waivers to bring Hall off injured reserve. … New Jersey rookie forward John Quenneville, a cousin of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, made his NHL debut.

What's next

Devils: At the Nashville Predators on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; FS-TN, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CSN-PH, WGN, NHL.TV)


Video: Hossa nets the game-winner to lift Hawks past Devils

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