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Devils Net Comeback Victory in OT Against Bruins  | GAME STORY

Devils Net Comeback Victory in OT Against Bruins  | GAME STORY

The Devils pulled off a comeback win in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Boston Bruins Wednesday night at Prudential Center.

Jack Hughes scored the overtime winner, while Dawson Mercer’s third-period tally tied the game at 1-1.

Goalie Vitek Vanecek, who assisted on the OT winner, stopped 24-of-25 shots to help the Devils record their fourth win in the past five games.

“He only gave up one and stood on his head tonight,” Hughes said. “V played a great game tonight. He deserves to have the crowd on his side, as they should be.”

The victory, which snapped a six-game winning streak for the Bruins against the Devils, was head coach Lindy Ruff’s 849th career win behind the bench. That ties him with Ken Hitchcock for fourth place all-time in NHL history.

Morgan Geekie scored the lone Boston goal.

Here are some observations from the game:

• Hughes was on the ice for 1:57 minutes of the 2:47 overtime session before he ended the game with the winning goal. 

Ruff: “We gave him about 20 seconds off. 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. The opportunity was there and he put it in the back of the net for us.”

• The Devils and Bruins played a very tight, competitive defensive game. Neither side surrendered much. The Bruins played their typical collapsing style, taking away shot lanes, keeping play the perimeter and owning the slot to deny rebound chances. The Devils were quick to get back, staying above the puck and avoiding odd-man rushes. And when each side had breakdowns, the goaltenders were on point.  

Ruff: “We knew we were playing a good team. Chances were going to be limited. … It was a tight game. It was a hard-fought game by both teams.”

• Mercer didn’t play baseball growing up, in fact, he said he was a soccer player in the summers. But Mercer has now scored two goals by batting the puck out of the air, and in consecutive home games. Alexander Holtz made a great play to grab a puck from the air behind the net and pass it through his legs to Erik Haula at the side of the net. Haula’s shot hit the post and popped into the air. Mercer swatted the puck out of the air and into the net.

Mercer: “I never played baseball growing up. I’ll keep trying to swing at them. If it’s working I’ll try to get as many as I can.”

• Goaltender Vitek Vanecek acquitted himself well between the pipes. He made timeliest of timely saves in the final minute of the second period. The Devils were trailing 1-0 to Boston when David Pastrnak, a former 61-goal scorer, carried the puck 1-on-1 with rookie 19-year-old Simon Nemec. The veteran Pastrnak easily juked Nemec to get in all alone on goal but Vanecek reached out his pad to make the save and keep it just 1-0. If the Bruins score there to make it 2-0 in the final minute of the period, the momentum is all in Boston’s favor.

Ruff: “That was the type of save that gives you a chance to win the hockey game. That was a huge save by V.” 

• The Devils power play entered the game having gone scoreless in the last three games, going 0 for 9 in that span. New Jersey’s power play looked very good against the Bruins, doing everything except scoring – going 0 for 2. They moved the puck well, creating Grade A scoring chances and created momentum. Despite not connecting on a goal, if the Devils keep doing that they will be rewarded.

• The Devils’ Erik Haula returned to the lineup after missing the previous game (Sunday at Edmonton) with an upper-body injury. The club also had forward Curtis Lazar, who missed half of yesterday’s practice after taking a puck to the face. Though Lazar was sporting a nasty cut on his nose.

New Jersey did not end up facing former teammate Pavel Zacha, who missed the game. The Bruins were also without their top defenseman in Charlie McAvoy.

Credit: https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/devils-vs-bruins-12-13-23-game-story

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By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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