Blackwood makes 30 saves, Devils top Canucks for 11th straight time

Blackwood makes 30 saves, Devils top Canucks for 11th straight time

VANCOUVERMackenzie Blackwood made 30 saves to help the New Jersey Devils defeat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 at Rogers Arena on Sunday.

Blackwood, who also made 25 saves in a 1-0 win against Vancouver on Oct. 19, improved to 4-0-0 with two shutouts and a .972 save percentage in his career against the Canucks. 

The Devils have won 11 straight against Vancouver dating back to Nov. 25, 2014, with Blackwood in goal for the past four.

[WATCH: All Devils vs. Canucks highlights]

“I’m not really sure what it is but I’ll take it,” Blackwood said. “I’m not going to overthink it too much. I just play like any other game and just so happens that we’ve been pretty successful against this team. I’m not going to think about it too much, just going to play them the same way every time and hopefully get the result we want every time.”

Wayne Simmonds and Jesper Bratt scored 22 seconds apart in the first period for the Devils (5-7-4), who won for the first time in three games.

“We should play them every day if [Blackwood] is going to play,” Simmonds said. “He’s a good goaltender, big, athletic and stays square to the shooter and he made it look pretty easy tonight. He did a great a job because the Canucks have some good offensive firepower.”

New Jersey is 5-3-2 in its past eight games after starting the season 0-4-2.

“We’re trying to gain some traction now as we started off slow,” Blackwood said.

Brock Boeser scored and Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves for the Canucks (9-6-3), who are winless in their past four (0-3-1) and are 1-3-2 the past six games after going 8-1-1 in the previous 10.

Video: NJD@VAN: Boeser snaps home power-play goal

“It seems like he is standing on his head every time he plays us,” Canucks forward Bo Horvat said of Blackwood. “I don’t know if we’re his favorite team to play against, or what, but you have to give him credit. He made some great saves out there. It’s no excuse for us, we have to find ways to score again.”

Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes had one assist in the rematch with younger brother Jack Hughes, who was held without a point. Jack Hughes, an 18-year-old center selected No. 1 by the Devils in the 2019 NHL Draft, scored his first NHL goal in New Jersey’s 1-0 home win against the Canucks on Oct. 19, the first NHL game between the brothers.

Quinn Hughes, selected by Vancouver with the No. 7 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, assisted on Boeser’s goal but can expect to hear about losing both games this season.

“That should be pretty big bragging rights come summer time,” Jack Hughes said, adding the first result already came up when the brothers went out for dinner with their parents on Saturday night.

“Obviously, it’s a lot of fun to play Quinn but at the same time it’s the second time so it’s a little different. Still a lot of fun, 2-0 against him now, that’s pretty exciting.”

The Devils went ahead 1-0 on the power play at 11:48 of the first period after Taylor Hall‘s cross-ice pass deflected off Kyle Palmieri, catching Markstrom moving the wrong way and leaving Simmonds with an empty net. It was New Jersey’s second power play goal in eight road games this season and ended a 0-for-10 slump over their previous three games.

Video: NJD@VAN: Simmonds opens scoring with power-play goal

“You guys talk about it more than we do to be honest,” Simmonds said of the power play. “We have been getting some pretty good looks, but we haven’t been able to put the puck in the net and tonight we did.”

Bratt tipped a Damon Severson point shot past a screened Markstrom at 12:10 to make it 2-0.

Markstrom stopped Hall on a breakaway at 8:50 of the second period and Boeser made it 2-1 with a low-blocker wrist shot from the right faceoff dot on a power play rush at 12:40.

Vancouver had nine shots in the third period but couldn’t solve Blackwood.

“We did everything we could tonight but score,” coach Travis Green said.

They said it

“Two really good ones at the beginning, and then two clunkers in the middle and I thought the guys showed some good character to pull out the two points today.” — Devils forward Wayne Simmonds on finishing a five-game road trip 3-2-0 

“There’s not a magic recipe for scoring or you’d never get into a rut where you don’t score. You have to stay with it. Our game looks very similar to when we were scoring. It’s just not crossing the line.” — Canucks coach Travis Green after being held to two goals or fewer for the fourth straight game after scoring five or more in five of the previous six

Need to know

Sami Vatanen, who leads Devils defensemen with eight points (four goals, four assists) in 15 games, missed the game after sustaining an upper-body injury on a hit against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

What’s next

Devils: Host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, TVAS, MSG, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Blackwood, Devils hold off Canucks