Mackenzie Blackwood has 36 saves, Devils beat Sharks 2-1

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) The New Jersey Devils finally have found a winning formula. Just put Mackenzie Blackwood in goal.

Blackwood made 36 saves in winning his fifth straight start and the Devils beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in a matchup of struggling franchises on Thursday night.

Blackwood downplays the success, saying his teammates are playing well and he had benefited working with goaltending coach Rollie Melanson.

''He's pretty technically great, so he's helped me out a lot,'' said Blackwood, who is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts. ''Helped me with my game and I think as of late, I've been fortunate that we've been getting the results, so I don't think anything will change.''

During his winning streak, Blackwood has allowed five goals and posted two shutouts.

''Blackie made some big saves when it was 1-0 (San Jose) to keep it tight,'' Devils interim coach Alain Nasreddine said.

Jesper Bratt tied the game 1-all late in the second period and defenseman P.K. Subban scored the winner on a power play early in the third period.

''I'm happy to contribute in a way that helps our team win,'' said Subban, who has struggled in his first season with the Devils. ''I've never been a guy in my career that just looks at the numbers. I want meaningful points and to produce when the game's on the line. Today. I was in that position to shoot a puck and it went in for me.''

Defenseman Tim Heed scored for San Jose in the opener of its four-game trip. Martin Jones had 23 saves, including a fantastic stop with the shaft of his stick on Nikita Gusev when the Sharks were playing two men short in the second period.

Gusev assistded on both Devils' goals.

While the Sharks outshot the Devils, their lineup was missing Evander Kane (suspension), Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson (injuries).

''Those are the games where you sort of see the lack of offense , that lack of skill that is out of our lineup,'' Sharks interim coach Bob Boughner said. ''You can get by some nights with it, get a power play goal or get a couple of bounces and you get some puck luck.''

The way Blackwood was playing, the Sharks needed more talent.

Subban's seventh goal of the season came on a shot from above the right circle that beat a screened Jones and broke a 1-all tie at 2:56. It came with the league's best penalty kill unit just 10 seconds away from killing off its fifth straight penalty.

''I think we made some key saves and he gave us a chance to win,'' Boughner said of Jones. ''He looks big and confident in there. I am happy to see that. I think his game has turned the corner.''

Blackwood preserved the win with stops on Radim Simek and Patrick Marleau in close in the waning minutes. He has a 20-12-7 record for a team that has 23 wins.

The Devils tied the game 1-all late in the second period on a breakaway goal by Bratt. The Swede took a pass from Pavel Zacha behind the defense and beat Jones with a neat backhand-forehand move at 16:15.

Heed had given the Shark the lead 7:22 after the opening faceoff with his first goal of the season and first in 44 games dating to almost a year ago. Devils forward Kevin Rooney appeared to tip the point shot past Blackwood.

NOTES: Devils scratched D Will Butcher (lower body) and F Nicholas Merkley (eye). They were hurt against the Blues on Tuesday. ... G Cory Schneider and D Dakota Mermis were recalled from Binghamton (AHL). ... Kane finished his three-game suspension. ... Sharks and Devils will play again in San Jose next Thursday.

UP NEXT:

Sharks: At Rangers on Saturday in second-game of a trip through the New York City metropolitan area and Philadelphia.

Devils: Host Alex Ovechkin and Capitals on Saturday afternoon before starting a five-game trip. Ovechkin is a goal shy of 700.

---

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123T
SJ26-30-4
1001
NJ23-27-10
0112
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
B. Burns D00040/0025:230
M. Ferraro D00010/0222:585
D. Gambrell RW00135/2211:501
B. Goodrow C00051/15021:411
N. Gregor LW00120/1009:433
T. Heed D10030/0015:410
M. Karlsson LW00010/0208:300
J. Kellman C00009/2012:430
K. Labanc RW00-130/0017:150
P. Marleau RW00022/0015:510
T. Meier RW00-140/1017:440
J. Middleton D01020/0711:460
S. Noesen RW00010/0213:521
R. Simek D00030/0019:132
M. Sorensen RW00000/0016:080
J. Thornton C00-106/4017:140
A. True C01132/3210:341
M. Vlasic D00000/0020:400
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
J. Anderson RW00-110/0013:060
J. Bratt LW10151/0015:200
C. Carrick D00-100/0014:311
N. Gusev RW02110/0015:290
J. Hayden RW00-110/0509:331
N. Hischier C00018/5018:270
J. Hughes C00020/0018:280
D. Mermis D00130/0017:440
M. Mueller D00010/0217:404
K. Palmieri RW00010/0017:171
K. Rooney C00-113/6011:080
D. Severson D00110/0027:120
W. Simmonds RW00000/0214:281
P. Subban D10020/0222:301
C. White D00-100/0012:021
M. Wood LW00030/0015:430
P. Zacha LW01119/8018:562
T. Zajac C00017/6014:350
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
M. Jones (L)252230.92059:00
GOALIESSA
M. Jones (L)25
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
M. Blackwood (W)371360.97360:00
GOALIESSA
M. Blackwood (W)37
Patrick Marleau shot on goal (Wrist shot)
SJ:GoalsShots
NJ:GoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • NJ
      02:56(PP) GOAL P.K. Subban (Snap shot), Assist: Nikita Gusev
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • NJ
      16:15GOAL Jesper Bratt (Wrist shot), Assists: Pavel Zacha and Nikita Gusev
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • SJ
      07:22GOAL Tim Heed (Slap shot), Assists: Jacob Middleton and Alexander True
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • SJ
      16:56Alexander True penalty Interference with Goaltender - 2 min.
    • SJ
      01:06Mario Ferraro penalty Delay of Game - 2 min.
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • NJ
      18:31Mirco Mueller penalty Interference - 2 min.
    • SJ
      11:09Melker Karlsson penalty Delay of Game - 2 min.
    • SJ
      09:55Dylan Gambrell penalty Interference - 2 min.
    • NJ
      07:11P.K. Subban penalty Interference - 2 min.
    • NJ
      47.0Wayne Simmonds penalty Interference - 2 min.
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • SJ
      19:46Stefan Noesen penalty Tripping - 2 min.
    • SJ
      07:26Jacob Middleton penalty Fighting - 5 min.
    • SJ
      07:26Jacob Middleton penalty Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min., served by Noah Gregor
    • NJ
      07:26John Hayden penalty Fighting - 5 min.
TEAM STATS
SJ
NJ
Shots on Goal3725
Goals in Power Play01
Faceoff Wins2528
Penalties74
Major Penalties11
Minor Penalties63
Misconducts00
TEAM STATS
SJ
Shots on Goal37
Goals in Power Play0
Faceoff Wins25
Penalties7
Major Penalties1
Minor Penalties6
Misconducts0
123T
SJ26-30-4
1001
NJ23-27-10
0112
STARS OF THE GAME
2.7 %SHOT %8.0 %
0.920 %SAVE %0.973 %
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
B. Burns D00040/0025:230
M. Ferraro D00010/0222:585
D. Gambrell RW00135/2211:501
B. Goodrow C00051/15021:411
N. Gregor LW00120/1009:433
T. Heed D10030/0015:410
M. Karlsson LW00010/0208:300
J. Kellman C00009/2012:430
K. Labanc RW00-130/0017:150
P. Marleau RW00022/0015:510
T. Meier RW00-140/1017:440
J. Middleton D01020/0711:460
S. Noesen RW00010/0213:521
R. Simek D00030/0019:132
M. Sorensen RW00000/0016:080
J. Thornton C00-106/4017:140
A. True C01132/3210:341
M. Vlasic D00000/0020:400
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
J. Anderson RW00-110/0013:060
J. Bratt LW10151/0015:200
C. Carrick D00-100/0014:311
N. Gusev RW02110/0015:290
J. Hayden RW00-110/0509:331
N. Hischier C00018/5018:270
J. Hughes C00020/0018:280
D. Mermis D00130/0017:440
M. Mueller D00010/0217:404
K. Palmieri RW00010/0017:171
K. Rooney C00-113/6011:080
D. Severson D00110/0027:120
W. Simmonds RW00000/0214:281
P. Subban D10020/0222:301
C. White D00-100/0012:021
M. Wood LW00030/0015:430
P. Zacha LW01119/8018:562
T. Zajac C00017/6014:350
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
M. Jones (L)252230.92059:00
GOALIESSA
M. Jones (L)25
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
M. Blackwood (W)371360.97360:00
GOALIESSA
M. Blackwood (W)37
STARS OF THE GAME
123T
SJ26-30-4
1001
NJ23-27-10
0112
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
B. Burns D00040/0025:230
M. Ferraro D00010/0222:585
D. Gambrell RW00135/2211:501
B. Goodrow C00051/15021:411
N. Gregor LW00120/1009:433
T. Heed D10030/0015:410
M. Karlsson LW00010/0208:300
J. Kellman C00009/2012:430
K. Labanc RW00-130/0017:150
P. Marleau RW00022/0015:510
T. Meier RW00-140/1017:440
J. Middleton D01020/0711:460
S. Noesen RW00010/0213:521
R. Simek D00030/0019:132
M. Sorensen RW00000/0016:080
J. Thornton C00-106/4017:140
A. True C01132/3210:341
M. Vlasic D00000/0020:400
Total1203725/2817-14
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
J. Anderson RW00-110/0013:060
J. Bratt LW10151/0015:200
C. Carrick D00-100/0014:311
N. Gusev RW02110/0015:290
J. Hayden RW00-110/0509:331
N. Hischier C00018/5018:270
J. Hughes C00020/0018:280
D. Mermis D00130/0017:440
M. Mueller D00010/0217:404
K. Palmieri RW00010/0017:171
K. Rooney C00-113/6011:080
D. Severson D00110/0027:120
W. Simmonds RW00000/0214:281
P. Subban D10020/0222:301
C. White D00-100/0012:021
M. Wood LW00030/0015:430
P. Zacha LW01119/8018:562
T. Zajac C00017/6014:350
Total2302528/2511-12
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
M. Jones (L)252230.92059:00
GOALIESSA
M. Jones (L)25
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
M. Blackwood (W)371360.97360:00
GOALIESSA
M. Blackwood (W)37
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD

123T
SJ26-30-4
1001
NJ23-27-10
0112
TEAM STATS
2.73
GF AVG
3.45
GA AVG
.46
Power Play
3.16
GF AVG
4.02
GA AVG
.64
Power Play
All times are US/Eastern.