Instant analysis: Devils 5, Capitals 4, OT

Instant analysis: Devils 5, Capitals 4, OT
December 21, 2013, 9:45 pm

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) and Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8) exchange words at center ice during the second period at Verizon Center.

(Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

How it happened: After falling behind on a power-play goal by Marek Zidlicky, the Caps rallied with three unanswered goals by Jason Chimera, Mikhail Grabovski and Joel Ward, then played cat-and-mouse with the Devils as the two teams traded goals. Jaromir Jagr scored with Alex Ovechkin in the box to draw the Devils within 3-2, but Ovechkin redeemed himself with his 30th of the season. Just 1:14 later Zidlicky netted his second of the game and former Caps right wing Dainius Zubrus sent the game into overtime when he scored with 8:13 remaining in regulation. Andy Greene won it just 43 seconds into overtime when he swatted a puck out of the air and between the pads of Braden Holtby to complete the Devils’ comeback

What it means: The Caps’ loss was their second in three games and shrunk their lead over the Devils to five points. They remain a distant 15 points behind the first-place Penguins.

[RELATED: Ovechkin nabs career goal 401, season's 30th (VIDEO)]

Ovi time: Alex Ovechkin was held quiet in the first two periods but turned a Patrik Elias giveaway into his 30th goal in 34 games this season.

Scary moment: Late in the second period Tom Wilson was hit on the right side of his face with a shot, then elbowed in the head by Travis Zajac. He received some medical attention and returned to the bench later in the period.

Street sweeper: One of the best saves of the night came with 6:38 remaining in the second period when caps defenseman John Carlson swept away a loose puck in the crease just as Steve Bernier was trying to score into the open net.

What’s net: The Caps are off on Sunday and face Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks Monday night at VerizonCenter.