Larson Propels Devils to OT Victory in Prospects Challenge Finale

The Devils faced off with Boston Bruins in a 9:30 AM tilt this morning to finish off their 2019 Prospects Challenge slate.

Jack Hughes was back in the lineup for New Jersey, refreshed after his healthy scratch in Saturday’s game.

The Devils would get on the board early on a 5-on-3 man advantage when Nathan Bastian scored to make it 1-0.

But true to the way the Devils had been playing in this tournament, they gave up an equalizer to Dante Hannoun late in the first frame. Hannoun beat goaltender Evan Cormier after Cormier made the initial save, but gave up a rebound in front. That knotted the game at one apiece.

A scary moment involving a Hughes early in the second. Breathe easy Devils fans, it was not Jack, but rather the Bruins’ Cameron Hughes, who got clipped by a skate or puck during a tie-up along the boards and left the game bloodied.

The B’s would take the 2-1 lead before the second period was up when Scott Conway redirected a shot by Cormier in front. This goal also came on the power play.

Boston now had the lead going into what was promising to be a tight final period of the tournament for both teams.

It began with a scrap involving Bastian and the Bruins’ Wiley Sherman. This came after Jack Hughes was bumped from behind and went down, necessitating Bastian to step in and protect the young Devil. Bastian would also draw an extra two minutes for cross checking leading to a brief Bruins power play. The Devils were already on the man advantage so there was some brief 4-on-4 play.

That was killed off, but the power play would lead directly to the Devils tying up the game. The Devils had a power play with just about two minutes remaining in the game and pulled goaltender Cormier for the 6-on-4 advantage. This is a risky move because the penalty negates icing, resulting in the Bruins being able to open fire on the empty goal cage.

But the Devils kept it out and with less than a minute to go, Ludvig Larson scored to tie things up at two apiece.

Larson would win it with another goal in the overtime period, beating goaltender Taylot Gauthier with about two minutes to go, giving the Devils the 3-2 win.

So that wraps up the Prospects Challenge from the Harborcenter in Buffalo. Next up, training camp starts on Thursday for the Devils and then preseason as we will have those games for you here.

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