The Minnesota Wild was not slowed down by a traffic jam against the New Jersey Devils.
Kevin Fiala scored the only goal in a shootout, Cam Talbot made 42 saves and the Wild defeated the Devils 3-2 on Wednesday night after arriving late to the arena.
Stuck in vacation traffic in Manhattan with the Holland Tunnel closed, the Wild finally reached the Prudential Center in New Jersey at 6:26 p.m., shifting the start of the game 24 minutes to 7:33 p.m.
“In my opinion, it’s a bit irresponsible on their part,” said Devils coach Lindy Ruff.
The delay did not affect the visiting team, who had to take a 2 1/2 hour bus ride from the hotel to the arena.
“I was trying to get in here and you know, not to think about anything. Just go out and check what I can control. And that’s all you can do in a game like that, a situation like this,” said Talbot. “So that was my mindset that came into it and I feel like I was able to execute that tonight.”
Minnesota scored two goals in the first period before the Devils trailed 2-0 in the third to send the game into overtime.
Dmitry Kulikov assisted in Ryan Hartman’s goal to open the scoring 12:10 in the first period and give the Wild a 1-0 lead. Nico Strum scored at 19:06, making it 2-0 in the first break.
The Devils cut their lead in half early in the third inning when Pavel Zacha scored to make it 2-1 at 3:08.
New Jersey tied it with six skaters on the ice when Yegor Sharangovich scored at 6:53 PM to make it 2-all.
The Wild ended a two-game slip to remain top of the Central Division.
Mackenzie Blackwood made 27 saves in the loss. The Devils were 0 for 4 on the power play, including a two-man advantage in the third period, when Talbot had three saves.
“We had some good looks. We had a few that were frustrating in the submission,” Ruff said. “We’ve made some tough decisions, but that’s something we’ll just keep working on. I think we hit a post on a power player, I think we hit an open net on a power play. We just have to keep believing that if we keep working on it, it will get better.”
The Devils dropped to 1-3 in shootouts this season, while the Wild improved to 2-1.
COMMENTS: Chase De Leo, center of New Jersey, made his debut for the Devils. He played nine shifts and 5:30.
Wild: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday afternoons.
Devils: At the Nashville Predators on Friday nights.