NEWARK, N.J. (AP) When the New Jersey Devils head into overtime, Jack Hughes takes over.

Hughes scored with 2:13 to play in overtime and the Devils rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Wednesday night despite an outstanding 34-save effort by Jeremy Swayman.

The goal was Hughes’ sixth career overtime winner, and second this season. He came into the overtime without a shot on goal in the game and had five in the 2:47 of play. He played 1:57 of the extra session.

“I think we gave him about 20 seconds off,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. "He’s got incredible glide in his skating so he can recover in a short period of time. He had a couple breathers but we knew he was ready to go. And the opportunity was there and he put it in the back of the net for us.”

On the game winner, Hughes took a pass from Jesper Bratt and ripped a shot behind Swayman for his 11th goal.

“Me and Bratter play so well together," Hughes said. “We read off each other. We have not played together much in the last month or two, but when we play together, it’s like right back together, you know, it’s like peanut butter and jelly.”

Dawson Mercer tied the game in the third period and Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves as the Devils won for the seventh time in nine games.

Morgan Geekie scored for the Bruins, who are now 13-1-3 when leading after two periods. The Bruins have won four of their last six.

Mercer tied the game 1-all early in the third period, batting a rebound of Erik Haula's shot that hit off the goalpost out of the air and past Swayman.

“He was playing a big game," Mercer said of Swayman, who fell to 9-1-3. "Obviously, when you keep a shutout for two periods, we got to make sure we get one past him. It was nice to get that at the start of the third period just for us to keep battling. But whenever you get a goalie hot on their head, making big saves, just try to get some pucks on net, get some greasy goals.”

Geekie had given the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 16:51 of the first period after Boston had a hard-working shift deep in the Devils zone. Vanecek got a glove on a shot from the slot by James van Riemsdyk but Geekie got the rebound and slid the puck into an open net for his third goal of the season.

Vanecek kept New Jersey close late in the second period, with a pad save on David Pastrnak after the Bruins leading scorer made a spectacular move in close.

"Its’ the type of save that gives you a chance to win a hockey game,” Ruff said.

“I thought it was a good hockey game,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “Their goalie played well, our goalie played well.”

The Bruins played without defenseman Charlie McAvoy for the second straight game and top-line center Pavel Zacha because of upper-body injuries.

“I think we played a solid 60 and a little bit extra,” Geekie said. “Just something to build off of and continue to take the momentum with us.”


Bruins: Head across the Hudson River to face the Islanders on Friday night.

Devils: At Columbus on Saturday.



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