Zetterlund capped off his first career two-goal game with the overtime winner on Saturday to lead the Devils to a sixth straight NHL victory, winning 4-3 over the Calgary Flames.
After letting a 3-1 first period lead slip away, the Devils got a four-on-three in overtime when Elias Lindholm was penalized for interference and they took full advantage with Zetterlund leaning into a one-timer from the faceoff dot after being set up by a cross-ice pass from Dougie Hamilton.
“I worked hard for it, my whole life, actually. I know when the puck is coming there I won’t miss,” said the 23-year-old Swede.
Drafted by New Jersey in the third round in 2017, Zetterlund has spent three seasons in the AHL, but this year is getting an opportunity and making the most of it.
“We know he’s a good shooter. He’s had a lot of success in the American League. The first goal, right place at the right time. Watching our power play, we decided at the end we needed a shooter,” said Devils coach Lindy Ruff. “ (Zetterlund) hit a heck of a shot to win the game.”
Nathan Bastian and Miles Wood also scored for New Jersey (9-3-0), which has won nine of its last 10 after back-to-back losses to open the season. Jesper Bratt was held off the scoresheet, snapping his franchise-record point streak to open the season at 11 games.
“You can hear everyone having fun,” said Zetterlund, who has three goals in seven games. “We have a game plan. All four lines and the D-core and our goalies are following it so it’s easy.”
Bastian and Wood each had helpers as well for two-point nights. It extends Bastian's point-streak to a career-best four games. Wood also is on a four-game point spree.
“Things are going pretty well right now,” said Bastian. “Stick to the basics. We play such a simple game. Keep doing that, and hopefully we get results like we are right now.”
After starting the season with five wins in their first six games for the first time in franchise history, the Flames haven't won since, although they picked up a point in this game, unlike the previous three outings.
Calgary now heads out on a road trip that consists of three games in four days.
“Definitely losing four in a row is unacceptable for our group. We're going on the road, we haven't done it for a while, we've been at home for a while. So it's gonna be something new for us — new energy, new excitement,” said Zadorov. “The guys in this room are professionals, we have a really good team, we believe in each other so I think we are going to turn things around.”
Vitek Vanecek made 27 stops. He improves to 5-1-0.
Jacob Markstrom, who falls to 4-3-1, had 31 saves.
The Flames entered the third down 3-2, but pulled even at 3:12 when Zadorov jumped up into the rush and deftly steered in Coleman's centring pass.
Calgary got off to a fast start with Kadri sending a backhander past Vanecek just 1:29 into the game.
But the lead was short-lived with Bastian, left wide open in the slot, tying it at 4:27. Three minutes later, another defensive breakdown allowed Zetterlund to tap in a cross-crease feed from Tomas Tatar to give New Jersey the lead.
The Flames went 0-for-2 with the man advantage and have now gone four games without a power-play goal going 0-for-12 over that period. It comes after Calgary opened the season with power-play goals in five of their first six games going 7-for-23 over that span.
WESTERN CANADA SWEEP
After defeating the Canucks 5-2 on Tuesday and the Oilers 4-3 on Thursday, it's only the second time the Devils have come out West and won all three stops in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary. The only other time was over 25 years ago during the 1996-97 season.
Already without Chris Tanev (upper body), who missed his second game, the Flames lost defenceman Michael Stone after one shift on Saturday. Flying out Sunday for a road trip of three games in four days starting on Monday, Calgary may need to recall someone from their AHL affiliate, which is also based in Calgary and are currently at home.
Devils: It's another matchup with the Flames, who visit the Prudential Center on Tuesday to launch a three-game homestand.
Flames: Open a three-game Eastern road trip on Monday against the New York Islanders.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2022.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press