Sergey Kalinin's first power-play goal in the NHL timed out well for the New Jersey Devils.
Kalinin scored during a man advantage with 2:27 left and the Devils beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Thursday night for their second victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions in a week.
With Patrick Kane off for high sticking, Corey Crawford stopped Kyle Palmieri's shot from the left circle. But Kalinin, a 24-year-old rookie who signed with the Devils as a free agent last May, was alone at the edge of the crease and slipped the rebound in the net.
"The game-winner was great," New Jersey coach John Hynes said. "We have him now net-front on the power play, which he earned."
Kalinin spent the past five seasons in Russia's KHL and is happy about the opportunity he's getting with the resurgent Devils.
"When you play more, when coach and team trusts you, it's more power for you," Kalinin said. "You feel more comfortable on the ice, and try to create things."
It's also not bad when you're 2-0 against the champion Blackhawks.
"It's a great team," Kalinin said. "Every game against them is very hard. We still need to work hard."
Adam Henrique and Palmieri scored in the second to put New Jersey ahead, Cory Schneider made 27 saves and the Devils rebounded after a 2-0 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday night. New Jersey has won three of four — including a 4-2 win over Chicago last Friday night — and is 9-3-0 since starting 0-3-1.
"What we're real happy with, even more than the record, is just the way the team's come together," Hynes said. "Guys are playing for one another. There's a lot of belief in how we're playing."
Chicago rookie Artemi Panarin scored from a sharp angle with 6:41 left in the third to tie the game at 2. Kane assisted on that one and scored a 5-on-3 goal in the first period to extend his point streak to 11 games. He has eight goals and 11 assists during the run.
Crawford stopped 19 shots, and the Blackhawks lost for the third time in four games. They've only won two of their last seven.
Coach Joel Quenneville said his team did "a lot of good things to generate zone time, shots and traffic" and "deserved a better fate."
But in thinly veiled code, he singled out his goaltending as being sub-par.
"Just OK tonight and OK all year," Quenneville said. "All three goals tonight (were) nothing plays. Nothing dangerous about them at all."
Kane opened the scoring after the Devils defense pair of John Moore and Damon Severson were both sent off for minor penalties on the same play.
Kane beat Schneider with a high shot on the short side from the right circle for his 11th goal, completing a crisp passing sequence with Jonathan Toews and Teuvo Teravainen across the top of the crease.
Henrique and Palmieri connected in the second to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.
Henrique fooled Crawford from 35 feet out 59 seconds into the period to knot it 1-1 with his team-leading eighth goal. With the Blackhawks defense backing in, Henrique snapped off a quick shot from the middle and beat Crawford high on the stick side.
Palmieri slipped behind Chicago's confused defense, streaked to the net and popped in a loose rebound from the edge of the crease with 2:59 left in the period to put New Jersey ahead.
Crawford stretched to his left to make a glove save on Kalinin's quick shot from high in the slot, but couldn't handle the puck or recover in time to stop Palmieri after Chicago veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook and rookie Viktor Svedberg got crossed up on coverage.
Panarin tied it with his third goal in two games moments after Crawford made a point-blank pad save on Mike Cammalleri. Panarin finished Chicago's rush by beating Schneider with a quick shot high on the stick side.
"Obviously it hurts when you tie it 2-2 and you give that next goal up," Kane said. "It's one of those times where it seems where we're winning one game and kind of letting one or two slip away."