Bruins edge Devils in shootout
NEWARK, N.J. — Goalie controversy?
What goalie controversy?
“My role is the same,” said Anton Khudobin, who made 40 saves to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Wednesday night.
Jake DeBrusk and Patrice Bergeron scored in the first period, and Charlie McAvoy scored the game-winner in the 11-round shootout for Boston (9-7-4). The Bruins have won three in a row behind Khudobin.
“He was great,” Bergeron said of Khudobin. “Everything he sees — and doesn’t see — right now, he’s stopping.”
Even though the Devils outshot Boston 42-29, New Jersey dropped to 12-5-4.
Cory Schneider made 27 saves, and Jesper Bratt and Brian Gibbons scored for the Devils.
“We played well enough to win,” New Jersey coach John Hynes said.
The Bruins went into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, thanks to DeBrusk and Bergeron.
DeBrusk opened the scoring with his fifth of the season at 1:25. Boston’s lead doubled 9:37 later when Bergeron finished a two-on-one with David Pastrnak by one-timing a feed from the left circle past a diving Schneider.
Bratt’s power-play goal at 17:10 got the Devils on the board. The goal was his sixth of the season.
“We were playing but we weren’t digging in and attached to the game,” Hynes said. “We didn’t respond as well as we needed to in the first.”
Neither team scored in the second, even though Boston had three power plays. Blake Coleman had the best scoring chance with a short-handed breakaway, but Khudobin stoned New Jersey’s rookie center.
“We’re playing with our heart right now,” Khudobin said. “We put everything into one game and focus on that game.”
New Jersey killed all four Boston power plays.
The Devils spent the third period pressuring the Bruins, and it paid off when Gibbons redirected Damon Severson’s shot at 15:16 to force overtime.
“We talked about (how to) close games,” Bergeron said. “It took us way longer than we wanted but we found a way and we need more of that.”
McAvoy snapped a quick backhander in the 11th round of the shootout, after New Jersey’s Taylor Hall and Boston’s Pastrnak scored in the first and second rounds, respectively.
“When you get that deep into a shootout it’s a bit of a crapshoot,” Schneider said. “Unfortunately they came out on top.”
NOTES: Boston C Ryan Spooner played for the first time after sustaining a torn right adductor against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 15. Even with the addition of Spooner, the Bruins were short-handed as LW Anders Bjork (undisclosed), LW Brad Marchand (upper-body injury), RW David Backes (colon surgery) and D Adam McQuaid (broken right fibula) did not dress. Boston also scratched LW Matt Beleskey, D Torey Krug and D Paul Postma. ... New Jersey placed RW Kyle Palmieri on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 20 with a broken right foot. The team announced he is expected to miss four to six weeks. ... New Jersey scratched D Dalton Prout and RW Stefan Noesen. ... New Jersey’s game Friday against Vancouver will dovetail with the shared NHL and NHLPA program Hockey Fights Cancer. Devils C Brian Boyle announced during training camp he had been diagnosed with leukemia. Boyle has a goal and an assist for two points in the 10 games this season.