December 31, 2018 / 9:00 PM / 19 days ago

Devils rookie Blackwood posts 2nd straight shutout

Mackenzie Blackwood continued the stellar start to his career Monday afternoon when he made 25 saves and became the first rookie goaltender in team history to record consecutive shutouts as the New Jersey Devils recorded a 4-0 victory over the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Monday afternoon.

Brian Boyle and Miles Wood scored about six minutes apart in the first period as the Devils won their third straight game and head into a four-game road trip on their first three-game winning streak since starting the season 4-0. Defenseman Sami Vatanen added a power-play tally early in the third before Pavel Zacha scored nearly two minutes later.

Blackwood helped the Devils beat the Canucks for the eighth straight time by producing his second career shutout in just four starts. He was especially sharp in the second period when the Canucks spent most of the period in the Devils’ defensive zone.

Two weeks after joining the Devils when Cory Schneider went on injured reserve, Blackwood became the first New Jersey goaltender to record consecutive shutouts since Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur on April 3-6, 2010. He ran his shutout streak to 122:50 since allowing a goal to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday and also became the first rookie to post consecutive shutouts since Anaheim’s John Gibson on Dec. 29-31, 2015.

He made a point-blank save on Markus Granlund early in the second, stopped Bo Horvat on an odd-man rush a few minutes later and then made a kick save on Granlund late in the period to protect a two-goal advantage.

The Devils also won despite missing Taylor Hall for a third straight game with a lower-body injury.

The Canucks fell to 2-1 on a six-game road trip necessitated by the World Junior Championships being contested in Vancouver. The Canucks also fell to 8-3-1 in their last 12 games and were handed their first regulation road loss in seven games (had gone 5-0-1 in previous six).

Backup goaltender Anders Nilsson made 19 saves and absorbed his ninth straight loss.

Boyle opened the scoring with 7:57 remaining in the first period by heading in front of the net and tipping a shot from Drew Stafford under Nilsson.

The Devils made it 2-0 late in the period during their first power play when Wood scored his fourth, lifting a wrist shot from the middle of the right faceoff circle over Nilsson’s stick after getting a slick cross-ice feed from Vatanen.

After Blackwood kept the lead, the Devils finished it off early in the third when Vatanen and Zacha put slap shots by Nilsson.

—Field Level Media

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