Bruins Defeat Devils in Prospect Challenge, 4-3

Coming off of their thrashing of the Sabres prospects on Saturday at the 2016 Prospect Challenge, the Devils prospects came into their game against the prospects of the Boston Bruins on Sunday looking to build on what they did against the Sabres.

Kevin Zalaznik of reported on the game, played at HarborCenter in Buffalo, and said that Blake Speers scored two goals and Brandon Gignac had the third for the Devils as they fell to Boston. Zalaznik quoted Devils’ coach Rick Kowalsky as saying “I thought Boston had pretty good jump. For two periods, they won more battles. I thought their speed game was a little different than Buffalo last night. They made some plays. We were really chasing.”

Zalaznik said that the Bruins went on an offensive bonanza in the second period, scoring shorthanded at 9:55 of the second when Anton Blidh beat Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood (who made 22 saves in his two periods of work – Evan Cormier played the first period and made 22 saves as well). The Bruins then went on a 5-on-3 power play late in the period and Jake DeBrusk converted during that advantage.

After Gignac scored to make it 3-2 in the third, Zalaznik said that the Bruins’ Rob O’Gara scored about twenty seconds later to make it 4-2. Speers’ second goal made it 4-3 late in the third

According to Zalaznik, the Bruins, who outshot the Devils 39-25 for the game, had a 12-1 shot advantage to begin the game.

Speers got his first goal in the first period when he and Boston’s Colton Hargrove exchanged goals. The Devils’ goal came on a 5-on-3 power play.

The Devils prospects came away from this mini tournament 1-1, with a win against the Sabres and a loss to the Bruins. Training camp begins later this week, and most of the players will be in New Jersey for that, according to Zalaznik.

Devils Prospects Come Up Big Against Buffalo at Prospects Challenge

The New Jersey Devils prospects defeated the Buffalo Sabres prospects 6-3 on Saturday, which included a four goal in five minute outburst.

John Quenneville, Blake Speers, Nathan Bastian, Blake Coleman and Brandon Gignac each had goals, including two from Gignac to lead the Devils over the Sabres at HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York.

According to Kevin Zalaznik of, Speers and Coleman also had assists for a multiple point night and Miles Wood and Kevin Rooney had two assists each, giving them multi point performances.

Evan Cormier started between the pipes and posted a shutout on nine shots. Ken Appleby replaced him in the second, according to Zalaznik, and he made 18 saves. Appleby got the win.

According to Zalaznik, the Devils were down 1-0 and then 2-1 until Speers scored at 17:53 of the second period, followed by Bastian at 19:41 of that frame. In the third, Coleman scored at 2:28 and Gignac scored at 2:48.

Zalaznik reports that all three Buffalo goals came off the stick of Nicholas Baptiste, who had a hat trick. Gignac scored into an empty net to ice the game.

Zalaznik interviewed Albany Devils coach Rick Kowalsky, who has had coaching duties for this mini tournament and he said “I thought all four line contributed and had some good shifts down low and controlled the puck. I thought the defense got better as the game went on defending and moving the puck. That’s what you want to see. Overall I thought it was certainly a solid first game.”

The Devils next (and final) game in the 2016 Prospect Challenge comes tonight at 7 PM against the prospects of the Boston Bruins.