Boyle’s 100th career goal helps Devils defeat Stars
NEWARK, N.J. — Brian Boyle made his 100th career goal a memorable one Friday night as the New Jersey Devils beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 at the Prudential Center.
Boyle scored the game-winning goal and sparked his teammates with an emotional display that resulted in a three-point performance that equaled his career high.
“We talk so much about (Boyle’s) intangibles and presence, but he’s a player,” said Devils goalie Cory Schneider, who made 28 saves in the victory. “He can score. He can play the game. Sometimes, I think people lose sight of that. He’s an important guy for us.”
Steven Santini, Blake Coleman and Nick Lappin also scored for New Jersey (18-9-5) and Brian Gibbons added a pair of assists.
The Stars (18-14-1), who lost for the first time on their four-game road trip after beating the Rangers and Islanders, received goals from Martin Hanzal and Alexander Radulov. The loss kept Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock from becoming only the third coach in NHL history to win 800 games as he remains stuck at 799.
“They are a good team,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said of the Devils. “They are fast. We had our chances, but didn’t execute.”
Boyle scored his milestone goal at 16:39 of the second period to snap a 2-2 tie. Camped in front of the net, Boyle overpowered Klingberg to bury a rebound of Will Butcher’s power-play shot while falling to the ice.
When he rose, Boyle jawed at Klingberg, who six minutes prior was penalized for cross-checking Boyle into the boards. That set off a scuffle between the Devils center and Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn, ultimately landing Boyle a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct. Pateryn received a two-minute minor.
“I went over the line, it was disrespectful the way I celebrated the goal,” Boyle admitted. “They had a right to come after me after that. I was excited to get the power-play goal — it was pretty awful power play to that point — but again, you play between the whistles and I went too far and I paid for it. That’s 10 minutes. It’s selfish. I’m almost 33 years old, I should know better.”
Boyle explained that Klingberg accused him of diving and that had him extra emotional after he scored the go-ahead goal.
“I told (Boyle) he’s 100 pounds heavier than me and I think he fell easy there,” offered Klingberg. “I don’t think it’s a cross-check. And then after he scored the goal, he celebrated in my face and I didn’t think that was respectful. But he said he was sorry, so let’s move on.”
After serving his penalties, Boyle added to his big night with a secondary assist on Lappin’s first goal of the season at 12:57 of the third period that provided New Jersey a two-goal cushion, 4-2. Boyle then capped it off with an empty-net goal, his eighth of the season, at 18 minutes of the third.
“You could see his emotion after he scores that (first) goal and after that he’s fired up,” said Lappin following his second game since being called up from the minors this week. “Coming out in the third period, I thought we built off that momentum and that sparked us and we were able to come out on top.”
Santini’s goal at 4:28 of the first period gave the home team an early lead, but Hanzal answered for the Stars less than two minutes later, banking a pass off the leg of Devils defenseman Andy Greene and into the net.
Coleman cashed in on a rebound to make it 2-1 Devils at 19:06 of the first, and New Jersey nearly made it 3-1 moments later, but Pavel Zacha’s shot into the net failed to beat the clock.
Dallas pulled even again at 8:09 of the second when Radulov scored his 11th goal by powering past Butcher and beating Schneider five-hole.
New Jersey killed off a pair of penalties to open the third period, including 53 seconds of a two-man disadvantage, with Schneider standing out. He stopped all 13 shots he faced in the third, including an incredible diving glove save to rob Jamie Benn with 3:30 remaining in the game.
“It was just pure desperation, and fortunately I was able to get a glove on it,” explained Schneider.
Added Stars center Tyler Seguin, “We had some pretty good opportunities. We just didn’t finish. We just have to get ready for (Saturday).”
The Stars close out their road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers on the second-leg of this back-to-back set while the Devils are off the next two days.
NOTES: Devils coach John Hynes said before the game that injured LW Taylor Hall, RW Kyle Palmieri and LW Marcus Johansson all skated Friday morning on their own, and the plan is for all three to take part in a full team practice Sunday and possibly be available to play Monday against the Anaheim Ducks. ... The Devils scratched Hall (knee), D Dalton Prout and D Ben Lovejoy, while Palmieri (broken foot) and Johansson (ankle) remain on injured reserve. ... Stars LW Antoine Roussel returned to the lineup after missing two games with an elbow injury. ... The Stars scratched C Jason Dickinson, D Jamie Oleksiak and C Gemel Smith.