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GAME STORY: Devils 3, Bruins 2

Kyle Palmieri nets two and Pavel Zacha adds one to give the Devils a 3-2 win over the top team in the East Division.

by Catherine Bogart catherinebogart /

BOSTON, MA. - The Devils picked up their third straight win, a 3-1 victory, over the Boston Bruins Thursday night. This is the Devils second win over the top team in the East division.

"We found a way to come in here and get the two points and to do it in regulation," said Kyle Palmieri on the win tonight. "We know they're a team that can play from behind an dcome back in just about every game so it's a big confidence boosting win for us."

Kyle Palmieri scored his first and second goals of the season, the second of which was shorthanded. Palmieri, who led the team in goals last season, has six points in the 2020-21 campaign so far (2-4, 6). Pavel Zacha extended his points streak to four games with a second-period goal during 4-on-4 play.

"These last couple of games is the type of player we need," said Devils Head Coach Lindy Ruff on Zacha's play recently. "He's winning battles, he's involved in the 50/50 puck situations where he's coming up with them. He's better on draws and he's an important piece when he plays like that for us."

Video: POST-GAME REPORT | Confidence Boosting Win





New Jersey returns home as they host the Sabres Saturday. You can watch on MSG+ and listen on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at Puck drop is 12:30 p.m. ET.

Mackenzie Blackwood had his second straight start in net and stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced. Blackwood picked up his fourth straight win. Blackwood praised his team especially with their ability to limit Boston's second chances throughout the game.

"The guys played really good and tried to play fast, play hard," said Blackwood. "Really defensive minded and took their opportunities when they were there so they let me see the first shot and kept the secondary stuff to a minimum and it was a great game all around by everyone."

"Everytime he goes on the ice and performs like that it's great," said Zacha on Blackwood's performance. "Coming back like this and showing in the same form as he was at the start of the season, it's great for us and a big reason why we're winning the games."

The Devils saw a strong first period where they had extended periods of time in the offensive zone. At one point, the Devils top line of Andreas Johnsson, Jack Hughes, and Jesper Bratt had over a minute in the zone, putting a lot of pressure on the Bruins defense.

New Jersey had their first power play of the night halfway through the period but were unable to score. The Bruins penalty kill, which is 2nd in the league and successful 88% of the time, had some offensive zone time shorthanded.

After 20 minutes, both teams were scoreless and each had seven shots on net. The Devils did find some strong possession time against a top Bruins team.

Unlike the first period, the second period was full of goals. The Devils added three second period goals and the Bruins added one themselves. 

Devils Forward Kyle Palmieri found the back of the net for the first time this season to open the scoring for the Devils. Palmieri received a transition pass from Jack Hughes and scored off the rush with a wrist shot.

"It's nice to kind of get the monkey off your back there," said Palmieri on his first goal of the season. "Jack made a great play and it's just nice to contribute in that way."

Following the Devils goal, both teams received minor penalties for roughing and the game went to 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes. However, neither team was able to score and Blackwood continued to stop the Bruins shots on goal.

Eight minutes in to the second period, the Devils went back on the power play. However, a minute in, P.K. Subban was called for high sticking and sent to the box for four minutes. Palmieri scored his second of the night, this time shorthanded to give New Jersey at 2-0 lead. 

However, in the final 30 seconds of the Bruins power play, Jake DeBrusk scored to cut the Devils lead in half. 

Both teams received roughing penalties again, sending them back to 4-on-4 play for two minutes. 30 seconds in, Pavel Zacha scored to give the Devils a 3-1 lead. Zacha's goal extended his points streak to four straight games.

The Devils outshot the Bruins 11-8 in the second period and held a 18-15 shot advantage after forty minutes.

Andreas Johnsson had two opportunities early in the third period but was stopped by Bruins Goaltender Jaraslov Halak. Seven minutes in Kyle Palmieri was close to his third goal of the night but was stopped by Halak. However, the Bruins were called for tripping on Palmieri and the Devils went back on the power play.

Less than a minute into the power play, the Bruins are called for another penalty, giving the Devils a 5-on-3 advantage. Although the Devils were unable to increase their lead during the power play, they had several close chances on net. It was arguably the team's best power play of the night against the second-best penalty kill in the NHL.

Later in the third period, the Bruins found more offensive possession, however the Devils pushed hard to keep Boston from sustained time in the offensive zone.

With just over two minutes left in the game, Ty Smith was called for delay of game and the Bruins went back to the power play. The Bruins pulled their goalie to give them a 6-on-4 advantage against the Devils. However, the Devils won the opening faceoff and were able to clear the puck twice which killed off the first thirty seconds of the penalty. The Bruins score their second power play goal of the night to make it a 3-2 game with 1:06 left in regulation. 

In the final minute of the game, the Bruins continued with a pulled goalie to push for a tying goal. However, the Devils held strong against a late Bruins push and won 3-2. 

"In the end you know we really wanted to win," said Pavel Zacha after the game. "The blocked shots and the last shift and all that did show that we're really committed defensively and I think we did a good job today."

"What I liked was the desperation," said Ruff about the team's play in the final minute of the game. "I like the fact that P.K. Subban laid himself out to block a shot or the desperation to get in front of pucks...I like the fact that the desperation was there to win the game."

The Devils return home to host the Buffalo Sabres at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday before a quick road trip to Washington D.C. for a Sunday night matchup.

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