VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Mackenzie Blackwood had some more fan at the Vancouver Canucks’ expense.
Blackwood made 30 saves, Wayne Simmonds and Jesper Bratt scored 22 seconds apart in the first period and the New Jersey Devils beat the Canucks 2-1 on Sunday.
“It seems like he is standing on his head every time he plays us,” Vancouver captain Bo Horvat said. “I don’t know if we’re his favorite team to play against, but you have to give him credit. He made some great saves out there.”
Blackwood is 4-0 against Vancouver with a 972 save percentage.
“I’m not really sure what it is, but I’ll take it,” Blackwood said. “I’m not going to over-think it too much. “I just play like any other game and it just so happens that we’ve been pretty successful against this team. I’m just going to play them the same way every time and just hopefully get the results that we want every time.”
Coach John Hynes praised Blackwood.
“He gave us saves when we needed them and that’s what you need,” said Hynes. “He looks good. He’s finding ways to win games and that’s exactly what you need from a goaltender.”
Brock Boeser had a power-play goal for Vancouver. The Canucks are 0-3-1 in their last four games.
“Sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “We’re in a little rut right now. I know the last (few) games we haven’t scored. Our games look very similar. Analytically we haven’t tailed off in a lot of areas.
“When you are scoring you think you’ve got all the answers and you don’t. There’s not a magic recipe for scoring or you’d never get into a rut where you don’t score.”
Simmonds opened the scoring on a power play with 8:12 left in the first period. Taylor Hall sent a pass into the Canucks’ zone that Kyle Palmieri directed to Simmonds. He put it past goalie Jacob Markstrom for the Devils’ second road power-play goal of the season.
Bratt quickly made it 2-0 at 12:10 when he deflected Damon Severson’s point shot.
Boeser scored with 7:20 left in the second. He took J.T. Miller’s pass, used his speed to skate into the Devil’s zone, then beat Blackwood with a low shot to the far corner.
It was the second head-to-head brother clash between Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes, the 20-year-old defenseman picked seventh overall in the 2018 draft, and Jack Hughes, the 18-year-old center picked No. 1 by the Devils this year. In an Oct. 19 meeting, Jack Hughes scored his first NHL goal in the Devils’ 1-0 win over the Canucks. On Sunday, Quinn Hughes earned an assist on Boeser’s goal while Jack was kept off the scoresheet.
NOTES: Vancouver’s Brandon Sutter played in his 701st career game. He’s the sixth member of the Sutter family to play 700 or more games. … The Devils are 8-0-3 in their last 11 games against Vancouver. … Markstrom stopped 25 shots.
Devils: Host Ottawa on Wednesday night.
Canucks: Host Nashville on Tuesday night.