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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — It's a new year, and the surprising New Jersey Devils have put themselves in playoff position.
John Moore scored a power-play goal 1:47 into overtime to give New Jersey a 3-2 victory over the NHL-leading Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
"It was a huge test for us," Moore said. "They're a very talented team. We have to build off this. We have to find ways to keep climbing in the standings and gain momentum."
Riding their first three-game winning streak since October, the Devils have moved into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are one point behind the third-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division, and only two back of the second-place Islanders.
It was a gritty win for the Devils, who blew a two-goal lead in the third period and played without leading scorer Mike Cammalleri, who was sidelined with an upper-body injury.
"I thought the Devils played a heck of a game," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought they skated well. Their tracking and backchecking was as good as any team we've faced."
Moore pulled out a win that seemed to be slipping from the Devils' grasp.
With Jamie Benn in the penalty box for hooking, Moore intercepted a Stars clearing attempt and fired the puck past Antti Niemi.
Moore credited his teammates with sustaining the pressure in the Stars' zone that produced the turnover.
"It was a couple of great plays by Kyle Palmieri and some poise by our forwards," Moore said. "We were fortunate enough to get a clean look and it was fortunate that we put it in the back of the net."
Palmieri and Bobby Farnham scored second-period goals and Cory Schneider made 29 saves for New Jersey.
Patrick Sharp and Colton Sceviour scored in the third period as Dallas overcame a 2-0 deficit to force overtime. Niemi made 27 saves for the Stars, who are 5-1-2 in their last eight games.
Palmieri broke a scoreless tie 62 seconds into the middle period with a power move. He picked up the puck off the boards behind the Dallas net and skated to the slot to whip a backhander by Niemi for his team-leading 17th goal.
Farnham doubled the Devils' lead exactly 5 minutes later with a rising shot from the right dot.
Not surprisingly, the Stars came out flying to start the third. Schneider fought them off, stopping Cody Eakin's point-blank drive.
Dallas finally broke through with 9:06 remaining when Sharp knocked in a cross-crease pass from John Klingberg that bounced through the legs of Devils defenseman Adam Larsson.
Momentum swung both ways in the scoreless first period.
The Stars had the early jump with a 6-1 edge in shots. After that, the Devils had eight of the next 10.
Niemi was challenged several times, including a sharp glove save on David Schlemko when he walked right into the Stars' zone for a dead-on shot.
Dallas had tremendous zone pressure late in the period when Schlemko picked up a delay of game penalty. The Stars buzzed but could not get off a shot on Schneider.
NOTES: This was the start of a three-game road trip for the Stars through the New York area. They play the Islanders on Sunday and the Rangers on Tuesday. ... In addition to Cammalleri, the Devils scratched LW Tuomo Ruutu and D Eric Gelinas. Dallas scratched defensemen Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth, and RW Valeri Nichushkin. . The Stars' power play, ranked fourth in the league, was 0 for 3.
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