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game recap

Devils' Wedgewood gets first NHL victory

Goalie makes 27 saves; New Jersey gets first win vs. Columbus this season

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / staff writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils got another good look at what is turning out to be a promising future when goaltender Scott Wedgewood made 27 saves in his NHL debut in a 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center on Sunday.

Wedgewood, a third-round pick (No. 84) in the 2010 NHL Draft, made 13 saves in the second period and six in the third when the Blue Jackets were scoreless on two power-play opportunities.

Devante Smith-Pelly and Reid Boucher scored for the Devils (35-31-7), who defeated the Blue Jackets for the first time in five tries this season.

"Over the years you don't want to think too much about [when this day would happen]," Wedgewood said. "You're always positive, and I'm a positive guy. I realized [Martin Brodeur] was good for a long time, and [Cory Schneider] has been doing amazing, and [Keith Kinkaid] was playing so well."

Video: CBJ@NJD: Wedgewood denies Prout in his NHL debut

Wedgewood got word he was being recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League on the bus after a 21-save, 5-1 win against Utica on Saturday. He drove to Newark on Sunday morning.

"There haven't been too many injuries to [goalies] and I had a frustrating year in Albany with a couple injuries so there was a little lack of opportunity, I would say," Wedgewood said. "Obviously this year I was doing the best I could when given the chance to play and when I got the call, that was something I was waiting for."

Smith-Pelly's go-ahead goal came one shift after he was stopped on a breakaway 5:55 into the third.

"I was a little upset I couldn't capitalize on the breakaway attempt so I was happy to redeem myself a shift later," Smith-Pelly said. "I wanted to make sure I cashed in."

Video: CBJ@NJD: Boucher's quick wrister opens scoring

In nine games since joining the Devils in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 29, Smith-Pelly has seven goals and 10 points. His goal gave the Devils a 2-1 lead at 8:38. After knocking Nick Foligno off the puck behind the net, Smith-Pelly skated to the slot and attempted a backhand that went off the right pad of goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. He poked the rebound over the goal line.

"I just got in front and realized I had a little time and I think it hit my leg and laid on the line so I dove and pushed it in," Smith-Pelly said. "For a guy like myself, that's how I'm going to have to score."

Jared Boll scored his first goal of the season and Korpisalo made 20 saves for the Blue Jackets (29-35-8).

"They're a tight team to play against," Boll said. "They do a good job of shutting down the middle and it's tough to get shots through and get chances. We had our chances and their goalie played well. That's what happens when you only get one goal."

Video: CBJ@NJD: Boll ends 47 game goal drought

Columbus coach John Tortorella pulled Korpisalo for an extra attacker with 1:35 left in the third, but Wedgewood made two more saves.

"I thought [Korpisalo] played great because New Jersey came out fast but he held us in there in the first and made some huge saves," Boll said. "That's all you could ask for from your goalie. He played great and their goalie played good too."

Boll, a healthy scratch the past two games, scored 2:43 into the second for a 1-1 tie. Dalton Prout took the initial shot from the right circle that was deflected by Boll past Wedgewood. Boll, who replaced Alexander Wennberg, scored for the first time since Feb. 13, 2015, a drought of 47 games.

Prout almost gave the Blue Jackets the lead at 11:59 but his breakaway attempt after stepping out of the penalty box was knocked away with a poke-check by Wedgewood.

Video: CBJ@NJD: Smith-Pelly gives Devils the lead

"A huge save at that point," Boucher said. "That was unbelievable. It's his first game, it's exciting, and he came out and played great. He's got to be on cloud nine right now and thrilled about that effort."

The Blue Jackets denied the Devils on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:11 with Prout (roughing) and David Savard (slashing) in the box. Korpisalo made two saves and Matt Calvert, William Karlsson and Fedor Tyutin did a solid job keeping shooters to the perimeter during the Devils two-man advantage.

Boucher gave the Devils their first lead against the Blue Jackets this season 4:32 into the first when he controlled a loose puck in the high slot and scored from the left hash.

"We've struggled against them [this season] but found a way to win [Sunday], so it was a great way to end the season series -- with a win."

Video: CBJ@NJD: Korpisalo gets a piece of Smith-Pelly's shot

Kyle Palmieri, who had the primary assist on Boucher's seventh goal, has four goals and 10 points in the past nine games.

Devils defenseman David Warsofsky replaced John Moore (lower body) in the lineup. Moore needed to be helped off the ice after blocking a shot by David Savard with 5:06 remaining in the third period at Columbus on Saturday. Devils defenseman Vojtech Mozik made his NHL debut.

Devils left wing Tyler Kennedy sustained a lower-body injury in the second period.

Video: Wedgewood earns win in first NHL game

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