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GAME STORY: Devils 2, Penguins 1

On Military Appreciation Night presented by Prudential, Mackenzie Blackwood made 38 saves to lead the Devils to a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh

by Marc Ciampa /

On Military Appreciation Night presented by Prudential, Mackenzie Blackwood made 38 saves to lead the Devils to a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh.

Travis Zajac and Blake Coleman scored the two Devils goals in the win. 

Video: POST-GAME REPORT | Devils 2, Penguins 1






The Devils head to Montreal right after the game. The game can be seen on MSG+ and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET.

"Somehow Blackie was just there, his pad was there, his glove was there. He was incredible tonight," said Nico Hischier after the game. 

The man of the hour was quick to give credit to his teammates. 

"Everyone was battling out there. Guys were getting in the shot lanes, sticks on pucks. It was mayhem out there," stated Blackwood. 

Devils head coach John Hynes added that Blackwood was outstanding all night and put the team in a position to gain the important two points. 

"He was big. We don't win the game if Blackwood doesn't have a game like that. It's nice to see him being consistent in his game," said Hynes.

With 13:01 to go in the opening frame, Jesper Bratt picked up the puck in the corner and threw it in front to Zajac who quickly directed the puck on goal past a stunned Matt Murray. 

After one, shots on goal were 12-11 for Pittsburgh. 

Pittsburgh carried the play for much of the period, outshooting the Devils 16-7 but a late goal by Blake Coleman extended the Devils lead to 2-0. 

Shortly after a penalty to Wayne Simmonds expired, Coleman created a turnover at the Devils blueline, put the puck on net then drove to the crease and chipped in his own rebound with 4.1 seconds to play. 

"Sometimes you've got to get an ugly one to get you back on track," said Coleman. "I just wanted to get to the net in general this game more than I have been. Usually you get rewarded when that happens and I was." 

Pittsburgh came close to getting its first of the night three minutes into the third when Jake Guentzel's shot went off the crossbar. Five minutes later, they finally connected.

Jack Johnson fired a shot high glove side from the left circle to raw the Penguins to within one with 12 minutes to play. 

"Guy made a good shot. Maybe I could have saved it," said Blackwood. "But at the moment, I'm thinking about stopping the next one because we've only got 12 minutes left there."

Video: Blackwood, Devils edge Penguins

The Devils were very vocal on the bench to try and will the team to protect the lead. 

"You could see the commitment to the smaller plays in the third. Guys wanted to be out there, wanted to make the difference," Coleman remarked. 

Hynes liked his team's poise immediately after the Johnson goal but did say that Blackwood was a big reason why the team didn't allow a late equalizer. 

"After they scored the first goal, it wasn't a mess. But once it got late late in the period and they started making a press, it was turnovers and if we didn't get the saves we had it would have been a different situation."

Devils were outshot 11-2 in the final frame and 39-21 in the game overall. 

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