Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the New Jersey Devils

GAME STORY: Devils 6, Canadiens 4

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped a career-high 44 shots and Blake Coleman had four points to lead the Devils over the Canadiens in a wild affair

by Marc Ciampa /

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped a career-high 44 shots and Blake Coleman had four points to lead the Devils over the Canadiens in the NHL's only game on the slate on Thanksgiving Day. 

Nikita Gusev also had three assists and Travis Zajac had a goal and two helpers to contribute to the big win. 

Video: POST-GAME REPORT | Devils at Canadiens





New Jersey returns home after the game where they'll face the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon. The game can be seen on MSG+ and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at Puck drop is 1:08 p.m. ET.

Only a minute into the game, Nick Cousins slid into Mackenzie Blackwood and it looked to have shaken up the Devils goaltender but he stayed in the game and stopped 17 of 18 shots in the opening period. 

"I went to move the puck and he lost his edge and fell into me. It was a tough way to start the game. It hurt for sure. I was trying to play through it. Basically, I fell on my tailbone and it was pretty painful," Blackwood said after the game. 

Montreal had 48 shots and a total of 90 shot attempts on the night which kept Blackwood busy. 

"They're tenacious. They always throw pucks at the net through bad angles and are heavy on rebounds," he said. "They work you hard and make you stay sharp throughout the game."

New Jersey wasn't able to score on their first power play but a few minutes later they connected to open the scoring. Nikita Gusev made a great pass on a two-on-one over to Blake Coleman who tapped it into the wide-open net, putting the Devils on the board.

"There's nobody I'd rather be on a two-on-one with in the League, I think," Coleman laughed. "He's one of the most dangerous guys in the League coming in over the red line. I thought as a line we were pretty solid."

Twenty-two seconds after the Coleman goal, Brendan Gallagher tipped a shot that snuck through the legs of Blackwood. It then went in off the skate of the Devils netminder, tying the game up.

Devils didn't allow that goal to let them sag. They came right back 36 seconds later to regain the lead. Gusev chipped the puck over to Travis Zajac who batted the bouncing puck past Habs netminder Carey Price to put the Devils back in front.

"Travis is such an underrated player. Whoever he plays with tends to find their game and play well," noted Taylor Hall. "You see that with Coleman and Gusev."

Video: Coleman notches 2 goals in Devils' 6-4 victory

After one, shots on goal were 18-11 for Montreal. 

Jesper Kotkaniemi received a pass in close quarters, turned and rifled it from the right face-off circle to tie the game up 1:40 into the middle frame but once again Devils responded quickly.

Less than three minutes later, Miles Wood received a long feed from Pavel Zacha in the neutral zone and used his speed to break in all alone. He shot five-hole past Price to put the Devils back in front and 3:54 after that, Joel Armia tied the game for a third time for Montreal. 

After Price made a nice save on a redirection in front by Hall, the play went back the other way where Armia rifled a shot from the left circle past Blackwood for the goal.

The fast goals kept coming. 2:26 after Montreal's tying goal, Jesper Boqvist scored his second of the season and his career, pouncing on a Nico Hischier rebound in the slot and firing it past Price to give the Devils their fourth lead of the night.

After two, shots on goal were 35-22 for Montreal. 

Damon Severson gave the Devils a cushion just over eight minutes into the third. He skated into the Canadiens zone and rifled home a shot from the right circle to put the visitors up by a pair.

Sixteen seconds later, Artturi Lehkonen stormed the Devils net and put the puck home to make it a one-goal game again at 5-4. 

Coleman added an empty-net goal to ice the outcome. 

"They came hard all night. It felt like a bit of a track meet at times. Mackenzie was strong. He's been great for us and it was no difference tonight," said Coleman.  "When you get those big saves, you build confidence for the team. He deserves a ton of credit for the win."

Devils head coach John Hynes said another big reason for the win was the team's ability to make plays in the face of a difficult Montreal defense. 

"We made some good plays .They were coming hard. We were fortunate to make some plays to beat the pressure but there were other times that they had pretty good sustained pressure. But it was well-played with good passes when we had those opportunities."

View More