OTTAWA — At 21-year-old Colin White has only had 11 games to make an impression with the Senators. But with Ottawa missing four veteran forwards, he stepped up.
White scored his first NHL goal as the Senators earned a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. White, who has split time between Ottawa and the American Hockey League's Belleville Senators this season, looked right at home playing alongside Matt Duchene and Mike Hoffman, who also scored.
"He's getting better and better every night," said Duchene, who led all scorers with three points. "He's going to be a heck of a hockey player in this organization and I'm really enjoying playing with him."
Senators head coach Guy Boucher has been impressed with White, but said Duchene deserves a great deal of credit for taking him under his wing and helping him adapt to the NHL.
"I think the kid is learning fast and he's helping us," said Boucher. "Right now he's showing us that he's ready to play at this level and we'll see where it takes us. He's relentless and that's my type of person.
"I like the fact that Duchene is really leading with him and helping him and that connection is good."
White was excited to finally get his first goal as he had just picked up his first assist last Saturday.
"It was a nice play all around," said White. "Duchene brought it in, (Thomas Chabot) looked off the D and made a great play back door and then I just got it and ripped it. It was pretty exciting."
Chris DiDomenico and Zack Smith also scored for Ottawa (18-25-9). Craig Anderson made 30 saves.
The Senators were already without veteran forwards Mark Stone (knee) and Bobby Ryan (hand) but learned on Tuesday that they would also be without Derick Brassard, who is banged up, and Nate Thompson, who left the morning skate early, as he continues to deal with a lower-body injury.
Travis Zajac, Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils (27-17-8). Keith Kinkaid allowed four goals on 20 shots before being replaced by Eddie Lack, who allowed one goal on 12 shots.
White's goal gave the Senators a 4-1 lead midway through the second. The goal put an end to Kinkaid's night.
The Devils cut the lead in half as Hall picked up his 19th of the season on the power play, extending his scoring streak to 11 games (7G, 10A). Alex Burrows had taken a double minor as he took exception to a hit from Hall and chased him down before punching him.
"I thought it was a clean hit," said Hall. "He was losing his mind and I think he kneed me in the back of the head at one point."
The Senators made it 5-2 in the final minute of the second as Jean-Gabriel Pageau fed Smith for a breakaway as he stepped out of the penalty box. Smith made no mistake beating Lack, who made his first appearance in goal for the Devils.
"I feel I've got to make that save on the breakaway to give us a chance to come back," said Lack. "Three goals is a little bit too much to start the third."
Notes: Ottawa recalled Max McCormick from AHL Belleville. New Jersey's Taylor Hall played in his 500th NHL career game Tuesday.
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press