Damon Severson's goal in a shootout the difference as Devils roar back to defeat Boston
NEWARK, NJ - The New Jersey Devils not only rallied from a 2-0 deficit, they roared back and dominated the Bruins in the third period 19-5 in shots, en route to tying the game. Ultimately, it took a shootout to decide this one. Jack Hughes and Damon Severson each had a goal in the shootout while Jesper Bratt and Blake Coleman scored in regulation.
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"We played well. They're a really good team but we brought it. That's a big win for us," said Hughes after the game, talking about his shootout goal which was key to the win. "I was going to slow it down and stickhandle a lot but the ice was bad and it rolled on me. Lucky to go low glove there."
The deciding shootout winner was scored by Severson, who talked about the move he made.
"I saw everyone else seemed to be going glove side so I figured if I can make a good fake, go backhand and get it upstairs I'd have a better chance to score," he said, adding that with points in six of their last eight including four in a row, the Devils are finding confidence.
"Winning just gives players and the team confidence. You go into the next game, game after game, winning hockey games," Severson stated. "We did the best we could, they did the best they could and in a shootout it's up in the air. It feels good to beat a really solid team in our conference."
The Bruins had an early power play after P.K. Subban was called for interference only 1:17 in and their dangerous man advantage made the Devils pay.
Just over a minute into the man advantage, David Pastrnak one-timed a blast from the left circle that snuck through the legs of Mackenzie Blackwood. Brad Marchand then got in behind Blackwood and pushed the puck over the goal line to open the scoring.
Almost midway through the first, shots on goal were 10-2 for the Bruins. Devils started to pick up their pace as the period went on, however, at one point outshooting the Bruins 8-2 over a stretch.
Vatanen was denied by Bruins starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak at the doorstep and then made a couple of big stops on a Devils two-on-one, denying Blake Coleman and Nikita Gusev.
After one, shots on goal were 14-10 for the Bruins.
Nine seconds into the middle frame, Brad Marchand tripped up Nikita Gusev, giving the Devils their first man advantage of the night but they were unable to convert.
Bruins made it 2-0 during a mad scramble in front almost five minutes into the period. Sean Kuraly backhanded the puck through the crease where it went in off the skate of Joakim Nordstrom to double the Bruins lead.
"Resiliency," said Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine when asked what made the difference in this one. "We were down 2-0 against a really good team and we stuck with it. One goal at a time. If you look at the game, the first 10 minutes not our best but the last 50 we carried the play."
Near the period's midway point, the Devils started to control the play and it resulted in a big goal. Blake Coleman and Nikita Gusev finished a give-and-go that ended with Coleman one-timing a shot from the slot past Halak to draw the Devils back within a goal with 11:02 to play.
"I tell him put it on the stick and get open. He's got that vision," said Coleman of Gusev. "Sees the game differently and has a unique talent. If he knows you're there, he's going to try and make the play."
Devils nearly tied it a few minutes later as Halak made a pair of great saves on Gusev, who was all alone in front of the net.
A minute after that, Wayne Simmonds tipped a blast from Vatanen off the post.
After two, shots on goal were 23-21 for the Bruins.
With 6:49 to go, P.K. Subban faked a blast and then wristed the puck through a crowd that redirected off Jesper Bratt who was setting up a screen in front of Halak to tie the game.
Shots in the third period were 19-5 for the Devils; 41-28 for the Devils overall.
"You can feel the energy. Guys believed. Eventually we got the end result that we wanted," Nasreddine said.