Blackwood makes 52 saves, Devils beat Blue Jackets 4-3 in SO

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) While there has been a lot written about No. 1 overall draft selections Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes being the New Jersey Devils' future, there is no doubt rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood is the club's best player.

Blackwood made a career-high 52 saves and stopped six of seven attempts in the shootout to lead the Devils over the scuffling Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 Sunday night.

''We had over 30 scoring chances,'' Columbus coach John Tortorella said after his club lost its fifth straight (0-2-3). ''Blackwood was the story of the game. We had more Grade As tonight than we had in three or four weeks in our offensive attack.''

The win was Blackwood's 19th of the season, and he has all but three of New Jersey's victories. He is 5-0-1 in his last six starts, a span that includes consecutive shutouts.

''I take it one shot at a time and today was a perfect example of when it was not going good for me at the start, I just tried to take it one stop at a time,'' Blackwood said.

Nikita Gusev and Jesper Bratt scored in the tiebreaker for New Jersey, which beat the Blue Jackets for the first time in 10 meetings. The previous Devils victory over Columbus came in December 2017.

Pierre-Luc Dubois had the only shootout goal for the Blue Jackets.

Joey Anderson, Nicholas Merkley and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils in regulation.

''We had some lines going,'' veteran center Travis Zajac said. ''Merk and Joey, that got it started and played with energy. Good to get us back in it and get some positive energy going. Blackie was there to shut the door, though.''

Andrew Peeke, Zach Werenski and Kevin Stenlund provided the goals for the Blue Jackets. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 23 shots in losing his second straight.

''I need to be careful,'' Tortorella said. ''You can't get frustrated. I thought for a big part of that game we developed our offense and had good checking. We just have to stay with it.''

Merzlikins stopped Damon Severson and Hughes twice in close in the opening 1:26 of overtime.

The game was played a little more than two hours after the Devils announced they had traded defenseman and captain Andy Greene to the New York Islanders for a prospect and a second-round draft pick in 2021.

In the third period, the Devils announced they sent 21-goal scorer Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning for junior hockey prospect Nolan Foote and a first-round pick this year.

''It's really kind of an emotional day for all of us,'' Blackwood said. ''We lost two big parts to our team - especially Andy. He's been a leader in the room ever since I've been here.''

Stenlund tied it at 3, beating Blackwood in close after a New Jersey turnover at its blue line.

After a listless first period, the Devils scored three times in the second to take a 3-2 lead.

Anderson scored his second of the season on a shot from the right circle at 1:20. Merkley, acquired from Arizona in the Taylor Hall deal this season, got his first NHL goal on a rebound less than three minutes later to tie it.

Palmieri put New Jersey in front with his team-high 22nd goal. It came on a counterattack on a shot from inside the right circle.

Blackwood was at his best in the second period when he stopped 20 shots, including at least a half-dozen Grade-A chances in close.

Columbus was by far the best team in the first period, taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Peeke and Werenski.

Peeke's goal on a rebound was his first in the NHL. Werenski got his 18th - tops among defensemen this season - on a shot from above the left circle.

NOTES: Mirco Mueller took over Greene's spot on the top defensive pairing with P.K. Subban. ... Hischier returned to the lineup after missing six games with a lower-body injury. ... Pierre-Luc Dubois kicked a puck into the net seconds after Anderson's goal. It was quickly waved off. ... The 55 shots allowed were the most by the Devils this season.

UP NEXT

Blue Jackets: At Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Devils: At St. Louis on Tuesday.

---

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123OTSOT
CLB30-18-12
201003
NJ22-26-10
030014
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
E. Bemstrom RW00050/0015:410
O. Bjorkstrand RW01-140/0019:521
P. Dubois C01039/5018:520
N. Foligno LW00040/0019:513
V. Gavrikov D00-200/0024:022
N. Gerbe LW00020/1015:471
S. Harrington D00200/0014:140
B. Jenner C000613/6018:140
J. Lilja LW00110/0009:331
S. Milano LW01020/0016:110
R. Nash C00113/4011:200
M. Nutivaara D01140/0021:071
G. Nyquist LW01-140/0019:590
A. Peeke D10110/0013:561
E. Robinson RW01121/0010:200
D. Savard D00-260/0020:381
K. Stenlund RW10-135/10018:290
Z. Werenski D10070/0026:540
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
J. Anderson RW11230/0013:141
J. Bratt LW01020/0015:520
W. Butcher D00010/0022:080
C. Carrick D00-110/0015:390
N. Gusev RW00-110/0014:331
N. Hischier C01005/10017:481
J. Hughes C00-142/0015:480
N. Merkley RW10120/0012:384
M. Mueller D00110/0022:081
K. Palmieri RW11120/0016:341
K. Rooney C02227/5014:345
D. Severson D00020/0224:022
W. Simmonds RW00-100/2014:343
P. Subban D00100/0025:161
C. White D00-110/0015:531
M. Wood LW00-120/0016:314
P. Zacha LW00-122/3215:440
T. Zajac C00-1010/11018:041
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
E. Merzlikins (L)263230.88565:00
GOALIESSA
E. Merzlikins (L)26
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
M. Blackwood (W)553520.94565:00
GOALIESSA
M. Blackwood (W)55
GOAL Jesper Bratt (Shootout shot)
CLB:GoalsShots
NJ:GoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
  • SHOOTOUT
    • NJ
      05:00GOAL Jesper Bratt (Shootout shot)
    • NJ
      05:00GOAL Nikita Gusev (Shootout shot)
    • CLB
      05:00GOAL Pierre-Luc Dubois (Shootout shot)
    • 3RD PERIOD
      • CLB
        08:45GOAL Kevin Stenlund (Snap shot), Assists: Oliver Bjorkstrand and Gustav Nyquist
    • 2ND PERIOD
      • NJ
        11:55GOAL Kyle Palmieri (Snap shot), Assists: Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt
      • NJ
        03:51GOAL Nick Merkley (Wrist shot), Assists: Kevin Rooney and Joey Anderson
      • NJ
        01:20GOAL Joey Anderson (Snap shot), Assists: Kevin Rooney and Kyle Palmieri
    • 1ST PERIOD
      • CLB
        06:19GOAL Zach Werenski (Snap shot), Assists: Eric Robinson and Markus Nutivaara
      • CLB
        02:28GOAL Andrew Peeke (Wrist shot), Assists: Sonny Milano and Pierre-Luc Dubois
    PENALTIES
          • 2ND PERIOD
            • NJ
              05:34Pavel Zacha penalty Hooking - 2 min.
          • 1ST PERIOD
            • NJ
              13:13Damon Severson penalty Holding - 2 min.
          TEAM STATS
          CLB
          NJ
          Shots on Goal5526
          Goals in Power Play00
          Faceoff Wins3126
          Penalties02
          Major Penalties00
          Minor Penalties02
          Misconducts00
          TEAM STATS
          CLB
          Shots on Goal55
          Goals in Power Play0
          Faceoff Wins31
          Penalties0
          Major Penalties0
          Minor Penalties0
          Misconducts0
          123OTSOT
          CLB30-18-12
          201003
          NJ22-26-10
          030014
          STARS OF THE GAME
          5.5 %SHOT %11.5 %
          0.885 %SAVE %0.945 %
          SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
          E. Bemstrom RW00050/0015:410
          O. Bjorkstrand RW01-140/0019:521
          P. Dubois C01039/5018:520
          N. Foligno LW00040/0019:513
          V. Gavrikov D00-200/0024:022
          N. Gerbe LW00020/1015:471
          S. Harrington D00200/0014:140
          B. Jenner C000613/6018:140
          J. Lilja LW00110/0009:331
          S. Milano LW01020/0016:110
          R. Nash C00113/4011:200
          M. Nutivaara D01140/0021:071
          G. Nyquist LW01-140/0019:590
          A. Peeke D10110/0013:561
          E. Robinson RW01121/0010:200
          D. Savard D00-260/0020:381
          K. Stenlund RW10-135/10018:290
          Z. Werenski D10070/0026:540
          SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
          J. Anderson RW11230/0013:141
          J. Bratt LW01020/0015:520
          W. Butcher D00010/0022:080
          C. Carrick D00-110/0015:390
          N. Gusev RW00-110/0014:331
          N. Hischier C01005/10017:481
          J. Hughes C00-142/0015:480
          N. Merkley RW10120/0012:384
          M. Mueller D00110/0022:081
          K. Palmieri RW11120/0016:341
          K. Rooney C02227/5014:345
          D. Severson D00020/0224:022
          W. Simmonds RW00-100/2014:343
          P. Subban D00100/0025:161
          C. White D00-110/0015:531
          M. Wood LW00-120/0016:314
          P. Zacha LW00-122/3215:440
          T. Zajac C00-1010/11018:041
          GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
          E. Merzlikins (L)263230.88565:00
          GOALIESSA
          E. Merzlikins (L)26
          GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
          M. Blackwood (W)553520.94565:00
          GOALIESSA
          M. Blackwood (W)55
          STARS OF THE GAME
          123OTSOT
          CLB30-18-12
          201003
          NJ22-26-10
          030014
          SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
          E. Bemstrom RW00050/0015:410
          O. Bjorkstrand RW01-140/0019:521
          P. Dubois C01039/5018:520
          N. Foligno LW00040/0019:513
          V. Gavrikov D00-200/0024:022
          N. Gerbe LW00020/1015:471
          S. Harrington D00200/0014:140
          B. Jenner C000613/6018:140
          J. Lilja LW00110/0009:331
          S. Milano LW01020/0016:110
          R. Nash C00113/4011:200
          M. Nutivaara D01140/0021:071
          G. Nyquist LW01-140/0019:590
          A. Peeke D10110/0013:561
          E. Robinson RW01121/0010:200
          D. Savard D00-260/0020:381
          K. Stenlund RW10-135/10018:290
          Z. Werenski D10070/0026:540
          Total3605531/260-11
          SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
          J. Anderson RW11230/0013:141
          J. Bratt LW01020/0015:520
          W. Butcher D00010/0022:080
          C. Carrick D00-110/0015:390
          N. Gusev RW00-110/0014:331
          N. Hischier C01005/10017:481
          J. Hughes C00-142/0015:480
          N. Merkley RW10120/0012:384
          M. Mueller D00110/0022:081
          K. Palmieri RW11120/0016:341
          K. Rooney C02227/5014:345
          D. Severson D00020/0224:022
          W. Simmonds RW00-100/2014:343
          P. Subban D00100/0025:161
          C. White D00-110/0015:531
          M. Wood LW00-120/0016:314
          P. Zacha LW00-122/3215:440
          T. Zajac C00-1010/11018:041
          Total3602626/314-26
          GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
          E. Merzlikins (L)263230.88565:00
          GOALIESSA
          E. Merzlikins (L)26
          GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
          M. Blackwood (W)553520.94565:00
          GOALIESSA
          M. Blackwood (W)55
          GOALS
          • SHOOTOUT
            • 3RD PERIOD
            • 2ND PERIOD
            • 1ST PERIOD
            PENALTIES
                  • 2ND PERIOD
                  • 1ST PERIOD
                  • SHOOTOUT
                  • OVERTIME
                  • 3RD PERIOD
                  • 2ND PERIOD
                  • 1ST PERIOD

                  123OTSOT
                  CLB30-18-12
                  201003
                  NJ22-26-10
                  030014
                  TEAM STATS
                  3.17
                  GF AVG
                  3.00
                  GA AVG
                  .56
                  Power Play
                  3.23
                  GF AVG
                  4.06
                  GA AVG
                  .67
                  Power Play
                  All times are US/Eastern.