Nico Hischier and the New Jersey Devils will look to keep their successful restart rolling when they visit Charlie McAvoy and the resurgent Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
Hischier scored twice, including the game-winning goal 2:56 into overtime, to lift the Devils in a 4-3 win at the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
The win was New Jersey’s third in a row coming out of the NHL’s COVID-19 scheduled pause. Prior to the break, the Devils had lost a season-high six straight games.
“It feels good,” Hischier said. “After (the) Edmonton game (Friday), we were talking about the restart — and that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re playing with confidence and we’ve just got to keep it rolling.”
The Devils were 6-5 winners in overtime versus the Oilers and edged Buffalo 4-3 on the road last Wednesday in their first game back after three consecutive postponements.
On Sunday, Yegor Sharangovich opened the scoring at 7:15 of the first period and Damon Severson scored again one minute, 14 seconds later as New Jersey carried a 2-1 lead into the second.
Hischier scored his first of the night 22 seconds into the middle period before Mackenzie Blackwood (27 saves) allowed two third-period goals to force overtime.
Blackwood has started all three of the Devils’ games since the restart. Despite winning all three outings, Blackwood has allowed 11 goals while posting an .876 save percentage.
Against the Bruins, Blackwood is 6-2-2 with a .936 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average across 10 career appearances.
Boston also has yet to lose since resuming its schedule in the wake of a COVID outbreak that led to six consecutive postponements, outscoring its two opponents 9-4 in its two victories.
On Sunday, the Bruins scored three times in the third period on the way to a 5-1 rout at the Detroit Red Wings. It was Boston’s second game in as many days after Charlie Coyle scored 34 seconds into overtime to lift the Bruins over Buffalo 4-3 on Saturday.
Boston had lost two straight and four of six games total prior to its COVID pause.
In an effort to give his team a spark, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy broke up his team’s so-called “Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak for a second straight game. Boston elevated Craig Smith to the first line right wing while dropping Pastrnak to the second line.
“When they are together, everyone leans on them a little bit,” Cassidy said. “When you split that up, there’s a little more oxygen in the room for the secondary guys.”
The result paid off again against the Red Wings as five different Bruins scored in the victory.
Bergeron scored late in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. Erik Haula netted the eventual winner early in the second before McAvoy and Trent Frederic lit the lamp early in the third. Tomas Nosek scored near the midway point of the third to cap the scoring.
McAvoy finished with a goal and an assist after logging three assists against Buffalo.
“We’ve had a good couple of days,” Cassidy said. “Right now we’re gonna enjoy it and get ready for New Jersey.”
Bruins rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman recorded 23 saves against Detroit. Swayman recorded 27 saves on 29 shots in his only career appearance versus New Jersey, a 5-2 Bruins victory on Nov. 13.
–Field Level Media