Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 30 of 31 shots to lead the Devils to a 2-1 win over Vancouver to conclude their road trip
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 30 of 31 shots to lead the Devils to a 2-1 win over Vancouver to conclude their road trip with a record of 3-2-0, including a 2-2-0 split of the four-game Western Canada portion.
Wayne Simmonds and Jesper Bratt scored for the Devils in the win.
New Jersey returns home to face the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday. The game can be seen on MSG and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at NewJerseyDevils.com. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET.
"It was a resilient effort. We're in these situations more and more and have handled them better as of late. It was a good road trip for us," said Devils head coach John Hynes.
The Devils started the game on fire, generating a ton of chances in the early going.
Midway through the first, Taylor Hall nearly opened the scoring when his rebound snuck under the pad of Canucks starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom but the puck was retrieved off the goal line by Tyler Myers.
With Jordie Benn in the box for cross-checking, the Devils power play struck for the game's first goal. 58 seconds into the man advantage, Wayne Simmonds picked up the puck at the side of the net and roofed it under the cross bar to make it 1-0.
Twenty-two seconds later, Damon Severson's blast from the point found its way past a screened Markstrom after being tipped by Jesper Bratt to extend the Devils lead.
"It was a big win. I thought we deserved it. If you look at our game, it wasn't too different from our effort in Edmonton. Both teams (Devils and Canucks) were in the three (games) in three-and-a-half (days). For us to pull out an effort like that, it was a great team effort at a time we really needed it."
A P.K. Subban penalty put the Canucks back on the attack in the latter half of the opening frame but Blackwood was equal to the task.
Blackwood's 30-save effort really buoyed the team on this afternoon.
"He gave us saves when we needed them. He's finding ways to win games and that's exactly what you need from a goaltender," Hynes noted.
After one, shots on goal were 11-8.
New Jersey carried the play in the first part of the middle frame before the Canucks started to take over. Markstrom made a nice glove grab off a quick shot from Pavel Zacha six minutes into the period and three minutes later, Markstrom had to be sharp in making a stop off Hall on the rush.
Matt Tennyson was called for holding with less than eight minutes to play in the second. Twenty-four seconds into the man advantage, the Canucks connected for their first of the game.
Brock Boeser's shot from the right circle beat Blackwood to the blocker side to make it a 2-1 game.
Canucks continued to pour it on to close out the period but Blackwood was able to hold the fort and keep the Devils up by one heading into the break.
Shots after 40 minutes were 22-21 for Vancouver; 14-10 Canucks in the second.
In the third, the Devils were outshot 9-6 but they were able to withstand the Canucks pressure through the 20-minute frame.
Vancouver had one power play in the period after Hall was called for embellishment after a check into the boards by Elias Pettersson, giving the Canucks a power play almost eight minutes into the third.
"We had a big penalty kill in the third," Hall said. "We had some chances offensively. We weren't hemmed in our end in the third period. We did a good job playing with the lead."
Coming out of the box, Hall had a partial breakaway. His shot was stopped by Markstrom but after that the puck went into the net as Alex Edler slid into his own goaltender. After a brief discussion and review, it was ruled no goal. The puck slid over the line after the net was dislodged.
"You want to know why it didn't go in. From what it looked like on the replay, there was some grey area so it would be good to get an explanation for what the ruling is," Hynes noted, adding that in the end whether it was a goal didn't matter as the team got the two points and can build on it moving forward.
"We've had some hard times here early in the year but when you look at the team, they're still bonded together, there's a strong battle level."