The thinking worked. The Devils rallied from a 3-0 hole, squandered a one-goal lead in the closing seconds of regulation, but pulled out the win in the tiebreaker with help from Henrique.
"I've had a little game with Moose (Devils goalie Johan Hedberg) in practice where we work on shootouts," said Henrique, who has been in only two shootouts. "I try to change it up each time I try. I figured I can do it in practice, then I can do it in the game.
"It was a huge win for us."
With the Devils seemingly headed to the win, Ottawa's Jesse Winchester tied it with just 5 seconds left with a short-handed goal after Auld was pulled for an extra attacker.
Trailing 3-1 entering the third period, the Devils cut the lead further on a short-handed goal by Dainius Zubrus. Then they scored two straight even-strength goals within a minute.
Tedenby scored his first goal of the season on a deflection off his chest on a shot by David Clarkson. Kovalchuk netted his eighth goal off a fine setup from Henrique, who had two assists.
The Devils had lost four of five.
"It shows that we have a lot of character," Kovalchuk said. "It shows that we'll never give up, and that's a good sign for a young team. Henrique set me up nice on that goal and it's why I'm here. It's what I should do."
Parise got the Devils' first goal, also short-handed, cutting the Ottawa lead to 3-1.
"They were huge momentum swings in our favor," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "Down 3-0, the game can go one of two ways. We can either get blown out of the water or find a way to scrap back into it.
"When you're in a 3-0 hole, it's time for a gut check."
Milan Michalek scored his 18th goal of the season in the first period, breaking the tie for the NHL goal lead. Nick Foligno also scored in the first period and Alfredsson scored in the second period, the first power-play goal the Devils allowed at home all season.
DeBoer lifted Brodeur, who stopped seven of nine shots, after the first period.
"It was a message to everybody," DeBoer said. "We were off to a poor start, and a coach only has a few ways to get a team's attention. Marty had to pay the price tonight."
The Devils seemed to slice the lead in half in the opening minutes of the second when Petr Sykora fired a shot past Auld. However, the goal was disallowed because Tedenby was whistled for holding before Sykora scored.
Devils D Andy Greene will miss four weeks with a non-displaced toe fracture. Greene had no goals and nine assists in 23 games this season. ... Alfredsson's second-period goal snapped New Jersey's streak of 40 straight penalty kills at home in 11 games. It was the longest streak in franchise history. ... Devils C Travis Zajac has resumed skating after undergoing surgery for a torn Achilles tendon in August, but there is no timetable for his return. The team hopes he can return before Christmas.
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NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 08: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators fires a shot during pregame warmups prior to the...