Devils Hang on By Skin of Their Teeth for 1-0 win Boston

Now that was a good game!

The Devils hung on in a thriller as Mackenzie Blackwood earned his first shutout of the season with a 1-0 win in Boston against the Bruins as the Devils continued their perplexing dominance of the B’s.

The Bruins are devastated right now with injuries and COVID. They were missing imcluding Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask.

The Devils had Will Butcher, Aaron Dell and Nikita Gusev as their scratches.

In net, the Devils were pitching Blackwood who stopped all forty shots he faced. He was 3-for-3 on Bruins shorthanded shots and 6-for-6 on the power play. He was 31-for-31 at even strength.

Facing him, with Rask out was Jaroslav Halak who stopped 28-of-29 Devils shots for a .966 save percentage. He stopped the Devils lone shorthanded shot and all seven of their power play shots.

Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play.

The lone goal of the game came at 16:37 of the first. Ty Smith shot from the point and it kind of hit a Bruin in front, was tipped by Kyle Palmieri and lobbed over Halak. Palmieri got credit for the goal and Jesper Bratt had the secondary assist.

The Devils had chances to extend the lead in the second. Nick Merkley hit the post early in the frame.

And things were pretty smooth from there. Until the last minutes of the third that is.

Halak was pulled with about 1:40 to go in regulation. The Bruins seemingly tied things up shortly after when Patrice Bergeron scored seemingly with 1:10 to go.

The Bruins seemed to score on a goal mouth scramble, and the call on the ice was good goal. However Devils coach Lindy Ruff challenged for goaltender interference, alleging that Blackwood’s glove was moved to free the puck after he had trapped it already.

The replay showed this was true and the call on the ice was overturned. No goal.

More than a minute later with 1.1 seconds to go, Blackwood made a miraculous save when he got his right pad across the crease to stop the puck at the goal line. This one was reviewed to see if the puck went over the line by Toronto. It did not, and with 1.1 seconds, the Bruins had a draw in the Devils’ zone because of an icing.

That puck was dropped and the siren sounded. Game over. Devils win.

The Devils were outshot 40-29 and Boston won 64-percnet of the game’s faceoffs. Boston also outhit the Devils 23-18. The Devils did have more blocked shots at 14-10 and more turnovers at 12 to the Bruins’ five.

PK Subban led the Devils in ice time with 22:42 while Pavel Zacha led the forwards with 18:30. Ty Smith led in power play time with 4:13.

Michael McLeod again led in faceoff winning percentage with a 56-percent clip. Subban led in shots on goal with a whopping six. Hits were led by Zacha and Merkley with three each. Blocks were led by Ryan Murray with three. Andreas Johnsson, McLeod, Jack Hughes, Jesper Boqvist, Murray, Damon Severson and Dmitry Kulilov led in takeaways with one apiece.

Next up, the Devils face these same Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday. Puck drop is at 7 PM on MSG+ 2.

We will have coverage for you right here.

Until then, stay safe everyone!

NHL Puts Devils Season on Pause

Chris Wescott of the Inside the Devils Blog today said that the Devils’ season will be put on pause with all games postponed through at least Saturday, February 6.

The reason? You guessed it, COVID.

The Devils added four more players to the COVID Protocol today.

Mackenzie Blackwood, Connor Carrick, Aaron Dell, Andreas Johnsson, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Pavel Zacha and Travis Zajac now reside on that list and the NHL has announced that the Devils will not play until February 6 at the earliest.

Wescott said that “as a precaution, the Devils facilities are closed to all players on the active roster, effective immediately, and it will remain that way until further notice.” He also said that he NHL “is reviewing and revising the team’s regular-season schedule.”

This is reality in 2021. It is not ideal, but we (and the team) will get through it. It should be noted too, that not all of the players on the list are necessarily there due to concerns that they have the virus.

Vatanen is in quarantine after coming over from Finland, Carrick’s wife just gave birth and Dell came in from Winnipeg, so they are just clearing things up. That does not mean that they do not have the virus, it is just running through necessary procedures that keep them out of action even just in case.

The Devils’ official channels should keep us updated and we will pass things along as they get reported.