Henrique elevates game, lifts Devils in OT
November, 5, 2011
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
What a rookie season it's been for Adam Henrique.
The 21-year-old rookie center made the Devils' roster out of training camp, but was sent down two games later.
It didn't take long for him to get called up again.
Jacob Josefson's injury led to Henrique coming back. Then line juggling led to him playing between Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. And the way he’s playing right now, he might just be here to stay.
A game after notching his first NHL goal, Henrique had two -- including the game-winner on a breakaway with 3:32 left in overtime -- lifting the Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Jets on Saturday night at Prudential Center.
"I just try to take advantage of this situation as much as I can," Henrique said. "You don't get second chances like this everyday."
You sure don't.
"Two goals on Hockey Night in Canada, that's pretty fun," Parise said. "He elevated his game."
Sure did. Especially considering Kovalchuk was out with a lower body injury.
"You never wanna get sent down," Henrique said. "But once you get the chance to get back up, I'm just trying to work hard and improve my game everyday, and I think I've been able to do that."
Coach Peter DeBoer said the Devils were hard on Henrique when they demoted him, wanting him to get better at playing away from the puck, and he has responded.
"Great three games in four nights for him," DeBoer said. "He had fresh legs out there. He had a real burst."
Henrique gave the Devils a 2-0 lead with 7:01 left in the second period, roofing a backhander on a partial one-on-one after receiving a pass from Parise. Then he gave them two points when he took another Parise pass, moved in all alone and wristed one into the net 1:28 into the extra session, sending his elated teammates out onto the ice to congratulate him against the boards.
"Anytime you get a few games like that, it's a confidence boost, but you try not to let it go to your head," Henrique said.
• Martin Brodeur said his shoulder felt fine after making 21 saves to earn his first victory since April 6 last season against Toronto.
"It definitely weighs on you when you haven't got any points for the team," Brodeur said.