Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 40 shots for his first NHL victory, Blake Coleman scored twice and the New Jersey Devils beat the Bruins 5-2 on Thursday night, winning in Boston for the first time in five years.
Damon Severson scored 25 seconds into the game and Kyle Palmieri added his team-high 19th goal for the Devils (13-16-7), who won on the road for just the fourth time this season.
Nico Hirschier had a goal and an assist and Andy Greene had a pair of assists for New Jersey, who didn’t arrive in Boston for the game until midday. Forced off the ice because of the NHL’s mandatory Christmas break, the team held its morning skate at home before flying north.
Patrice Bergeron and Chris Wagner scored for the Bruins (20-14-4), and Jaroslav Halak had 28 saves in his first home loss of the season after eight wins.
The day wasn’t a total loss for the hosts, who got back a trio of key parts led by Zdeno Chara, who played 19:13 in his first action after missing 19 games with an MCL injury in his left knee.
Fellow defenseman Kevan Miller skated for 16:50 in his return after 13 games with a cartilage injury to his larnyx suffered Nov. 26 in Toronto, and right wing Jake DeBrusk had an assist on the second line. He was out with a concussion and played for the first time since Dec. 6.
DeBrusk’s return pushed David Pastrnak back to the top line.
Severson’s early goal on a wrist shot from the right circle gave the rookie Blackwood a lead the Devils never relinquished.
Blackwood, who was making his second career start and just his fourth NHL appearance, stopped 18 of 19 shots in the second period to help stave off the Bruins.
Boston got its first goal with 4:53 left in the second on Wagner’s one-timer from the slot off a pass from John Moore, cutting New Jersey’s lead to 2-1.
Coleman got the two-goal lead back for the Devils after he blocked a slap shot by Torey Krug at the blue line and outraced Brandon Carlo to the rebound for a breakaway, getting Halak — who posted a .961 save percentage in winning his three prior starts — with a backhand 4:15 into the third.
Hischier scored 12:43 into the third and Coleman scored into an empty net with 46 seconds remaining.
The Devils went up 2-0 with 4:35 left in the first on a power-play goal by Palmieri, whose slap shot from the right point bounced off Halak and hit Carlo, then bounced back over Halak into the net.