Lee Stempniak needed to try out to even make the New Jersey Devils. Instead of barely scraping by, he’s becoming one of their biggest difference-makers.
His latest offering came on Thursday night, as he powered a late comeback to help the Devils steal a 5-4 shootout win from Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators.
Stempniak assisted on the 4-3 goal and scored the tying marker with about 30 seconds left (the latter of which you can see in the video above).
Fittingly, he also made the difference with the shootout-winner.
With that, the Devils have now won three straight games, all beyond regulation (Stempniak scored one of the OT-clinchers, naturally). They’ve shown some serious scrappiness in taking this and other contests, including limiting the damage from Ottawa getting a five-minute major power play opportunity.
(Only Mike Hoffman‘s rocketing shot kept it from being a quiet chance for the Sens.)
Cory Schneider kept the Devils in the game, and hit a milestone in the process.
Does this indicate that the Devils might be a tough out at times this season? Maybe, maybe not … but Stempniak certainly seems like a shrewd addition so far.