December 29, 2018 / 9:19 PM / 2 months ago

Blackwood records first shutout as Devils blank Hurricanes

EditorsNote: resent with minor tweaks

MacKenzie Blackwood authored his first NHL shutout Saturday afternoon, when he stopped all 37 shots he faced as the host New Jersey Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0.

Blackwood’s shutout came in just his third career start and in the game immediately after he notched his first NHL win Thursday, when the Devils beat the Boston Bruins 5-2.

Pavel Zacha scored a short-handed goal in the final minute of the second period and Andy Greene added an empty-netter with 32.9 seconds left as the Devils won their second straight. It is New Jersey’s first winning streak since it won two straight from Nov. 13-15.

Goalie Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who have lost two straight and four of five.

Carolina had the potential game-tying goal by Teuvo Teravainen with 1:58 left waved off due to goalie interference on Justin Williams, who bumped into Blackwood’s stick moments before Teravainen’s shot bounced off the crossbar and into the net.

Zacha broke the scoreless tie with 36 seconds left in the second with his second short-handed goal of the season. With the teams vying for the puck along the boards near center ice, the Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov tried passing to Justin Faulk.

But Zacha intercepted the pass and raced up the ice with Faulk in tow, Keeping the puck ahead of him, Zacha bore in on McElhinney and fired a shot that McElhinney deflected. But Zacha corralled the rebound to the left of the net and sent another shot that bounced off the crossbar and behind McElhinney to give New Jersey the lead with two seconds left in a penalty kill created when John Quenneville was whistled for tripping

The teams traded prime scoring chances shortly before the midway point of the third. The Hurricanes nearly tied it twice in a span of a few seconds, first when Sebastian Aho fired wide of the net on a breakaway and then when Teravainen couldn’t bat home a loose puck in the crease.

The Devils almost doubled the lead on a power play generated when Clark Bishop drew a high-sticking call. New Jersey won a faceoff deep in the Carolina zone, but Travis Zajac missed a pair of chances to put home a rebound of a shot by Zacha.

—Field Level Media

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