Greene, Devils top Wild in overtime
NEWARK, N.J. — Defenseman Andy Greene's power-play goal two minutes into overtime led the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night at The Prudential Center.
Right wingers Michael Ryder and Jaromir Jagr and defenseman Mark Fayne scored for New Jersey, which improved to 30-27-13. The victory snapped a three-game winless streak.
Devils goaltender Cory Schneider made 19 saves.
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov had 24 saves for Minnesota, which fell to 36-23-11.
Left winger Zach Parise, center Mikael Grandlund and defenseman Marco Scandella scored third-period goals for the Wild. Parise's goal was his first against his former team. He was booed every time he touched the puck by the announced 14,772.
One of the 10 best players in franchise history, Parise left the Devils for the Wild on July 4, 2012, a few weeks after New Jersey lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final. Parise. After scoring 410 points in 502 games, Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million free-agent deal with the Wild.
New Jersey led 2-0 at the second intermission.
Ryder's 17th goal of the season sent the Devils into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. Ryder beat Bryzgalov from the high slot with 3:02 remaining in the period for his goal in 23 games.
Fayne pushed the advantage to 2-0 with a short-handed goal at 9:35 of the second period. Fayne received a pass at the right point from center Adam Henrique and skated to the top of the circle before snapping a wrist shot that beat Bryzgalov stick side.
Parise got the Wild on the board 21 seconds into the third by tipping defenseman Ryan Suter's point shot past Schneider.
Jagr put the Devils ahead with his 23rd goal of the season 3:13 later. The future Hall of Famer one-timed a between-the-legs feed from left winger Ryane Clowe past Bryzgalov.
But the Wild fought back to tie the score with goals off the stick of Grandlund and Scandella.
The game remained tied until Greene's winner.
HOUSTON — Guard James Harden rebounded from a sluggish first quarter with an eruptive second quarter, pacing the Houston Rockets to a 20-point turnaround and a 129-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night at the Toyota Center.
Harden finished with 28 points and eight assists as the Rockets (46-22) extended their home winning streak to 10 games. He committed four turnovers in the first quarter while missing two of his three shots from the field. Once the second quarter commenced, Harden performed up to All-Star capabilities.
With the Timberwolves (34-33) leading 41-31, Harden scored 10 points during a 17-0 Houston run. He added two free throws that pushed the lead to 59-50 with 2:16 remaining in the half before burying a 3-pointer for a 64-54 lead at the break. Harden scored 17 points in the second quarter.
The Rockets pushed their lead to 21 points in the third quarter in applying the knockout blow. They did so despite exceptional performances from Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (29 points) and center Gorgui Dieng, who posted his third consecutive double-double and career highs in points (22) and rebounds (21) subbing for injured Nikola Pekovic (right ankle).
Rockets forward Chandler Parsons added 19 points and nine rebounds, and guard Patrick Beverley scored 11 of his 14 points in the first quarter. Forward Donatas Motiejunas (20 points, six rebounds) and guard Jeremy Lin (11 points, 10 assists) sparked the Houston bench.
Minnesota took advantage of seven first-quarter Rockets turnovers to establish a 33-27 lead entering the second. The Timberwolves outworked Houston on the glass and for loose balls, prompting Rockets coach Kevin McHale to call a timeout out of frustration after Minnesota parlayed a 14-4 run into that 41-31 lead. That is when Harden emerged.
After shooting a season-best 58.2 percent from the field in their win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night, the Rockets shot 57.6 percent against Minnesota. Houston committed just eight turnovers after its sloppy first quarter.