NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 22: The New Jersey Devils celebrate after Dougie Hamilton #7 scores the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 at Prudential Center on January 22, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Lobel/NHLI via Getty Images)


Dougie Hamilton is enjoying what could turn out to be a career year for the veteran defenseman. Already on base to set career bests in goals, assists and points, Hamilton was the man of the hour for the Devils when he netted the game winner in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1, sending New Jersey to its six win in its last seven games.

The game winner came with 2:54 to go in overtime, as Nico Hischer corralled the puck from behind the net, dished it out to Jack Hughes who sent the cross to Hamilton, who properly slammed it home from the outskirts of the circle to give the Devils the victory.

Hamilton now owns 11 goals on the year. His career high is 18 goals, which he set back in the 2018-19 season with Carolina. He is well on his way to at least matching that mark.

Meanwhile, Jack Hughes scored the Devils first goal of this game  — some 56 seconds into the contest. It turned out to be a personally significant one for Hughes, who became the second player in Devils history to reach 30 goals before his age 22nd birthday.

Future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby had the Penguins lone goal at the 6:25 mark.

Vitek Vanecek recorded 25 saves in 26 opportunities for New Jersey.

The Devils 30-12-4 are just two points back of Carolina for first in the Metro Division, even though New Jersey has more wins (30 to Carolina’s 29).