NEWARK, N.J. - Adam Henrique and the New Jersey Devils thought they had tied their game with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The referees and linesmen didn't share that opinion.
As a result, the Blue Jackets skated off with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night. Matt Calvert scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves.
William Karlsson also scored for Columbus, and Bobrovsky extended his mastery of New Jersey. He has won his last four starts against the Devils.
Henrique had the lone goal for New Jersey, which has lost three of four.
He came very close to adding another.
With the Devils trailing 2-1 in the third period, Henrique beat Bobrovsky at 8:26 to spark a celebration among the 13,567 fans at the Prudential Center.
It was short-lived.
Prior to the puck going in the net, Columbus was called for a delayed penalty. The four on-ice officials conferred and ruled the Blue Jackets had touched the puck before Henrique put it in. At that point, in their eyes, the play was dead. It did not go to a video review.
The results: no goal, a penalty to Nick Foligno and massive confusion.
Henrique said he never heard a whistle, and simply played on.
"I had no clue what was going on," he explained. "I thought it was good."
Bobrovsky had a different perspective. He thought Columbus centre Gregory Campbell had the puck, which should terminate play.
"I saw that we controlled the puck, that Soupy had control of the puck," Bobrovsky said. "Logically, it should be done. I thought under the rules, it was the right call."
Henrique and the Devils wound up on the wrong end of it.
"I don't know what the call was or their view," Henrique said. "We certainly thought we had it tied up."
Bobrovsky cleaned up everything else the rest of way.
"I have no problem with our team's effort," Devils coach John Hynes said. "In the second and third period, I thought we made a good, strong push. Unfortunately for us, the puck didn't get in."
The Blue Jackets took nine of the first 10 shots in the opening period and the pressure paid off with Karlsson's goal at 8:51.
Cory Schneider did his best to hold off the onslaught up to that point with spectacular stops against Cam Atkinson and David Savard.
Columbus broke through when Karlsson, shooting from a sharp angle, banked his own rebound off Schneider's right pad.
The Blue Jackets skated off at the first intermission with the one-goal lead and a 14-4 shots advantage.
The tide turned in the Devils' favour in the second as they started the period with 3:12 of carry-over power-play time.
New Jersey didn't score with that man advantage but did finally beat Bobrovsky shortly thereafter, thanks to some slick passing.
Henrique started and finished the play. He stripped the puck from Boone Jenner and fed it to Mike Cammalleri motoring down the right wing. Cammalleri then delivered a perfect return pass to Henrique for a high wrister from the left dot over Bobrovsky.
The Devils controlled the tempo most of the period, denying the Blue Jackets a shot on goal for the first 16 minutes.
But in the last 4 minutes, Columbus launched a big push that paid off with Calvert's goal at 18:36.
Atkinson unloaded a drive from the left point and Schneider made a stick stop. Calvert was right on the spot to steer in the rebound.
Both teams welcomed back significant players.
Patrik Elias made his first appearance of the season for the Devils. The team's career leader in goals and points had been sidelined since training camp with a right knee injury.
The Blue Jackets regained a pair of centres: Brandon Dubinsky (elbow) and Alexander Wennberg (foot) had both missed six games.
"It was an ugly win, for sure," Dubinsky said. "They had some pushes but it was obviously a big win for us. We have to find a way to string some together. It's not going to be an easy task, but I think this group can do it."
NOTES: Scott Hartnell played in his 100th game for Columbus. ... The Blue Jackets are the only team that hasn't played an overtime game this season. ... New Jersey scratched RWs Brian O'Neill, Jiri Tlusty and D David Schlemko. The Columbus scratches were defencemen Justin Falk and Fedor Tyutin. ... Devils RW Kyle Palmieri took a hard hit along the boards in the first period and returned for the second with a full face shield attached to his helmet.