Blackwood brilliant as New Jersey Devils down struggling Vancouver Canucks 5-2

VANCOUVER — Yegor Sharangovich and Jack Hughes each scored and notched an assist and the New Jersey Devils dumped the Canucks 5-2 in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Nico Hischier, Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer also had goals for the Devils (7-3-0), who won their fourth game in a row for the first time since October 2018.

Bo Horvat replied for the Canucks (2-6-2) with a pair of power-play goals. J.T. Miller contributed helpers on both tallies.

New Jersey netminder Mackenzie Blackwood made 21 saves and improved his career record against Vancouver to 5-0-0.

Thatcher Demko stopped 32-of-36 shots for Vancouver.

The result snapped a two-game win streak for the Canucks, who lost seven in a row to start the season.

Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau pulled his goalie with less than two minutes to go and Hughes scored on the empty net.

Vancouver made a late push, pulling Demko in favour of an extra attacker after New Jersey's Ryan Graves was called for holding with 3:34 left on the game clock.

The move paid off when Horvat buried his second of the night with a one-timer from the high hash marks at the 17:12 mark, cutting the deficit to 4-2.

The home side bit into New Jersey's advantage with a power-play tally after Brendan Smith was called for interference 16:15 into the second.

Eight seconds in, Miller put the puck on Horvat's tape and Vancouver's captain sent a slap shot past Blackwood to make it 4-1.

The Canucks went 2-for-5 on the power play and the Devils were quick to capitalize on their lone chance with the man advantage.

Vancouver struggled earlier in the second, giving up two goals in two minutes and 12 seconds.

The first came after Wood dropped the gloves with defenceman Luke Schenn. Schenn and fellow Canuck Dakota Joshua were both handed majors for the skirmish and tossed from the game, leaving Vancouver with a shortened bench.

Wood was handed a minor for instigating and with five seconds left in the man advantage, Canucks blue liner Oliver Ekman-Larsson allowed Sharangovich and Mercer to get away on a short-handed two-on-one. Mercer put a puck in behind Demko to make it 3-0 at the 9:25 mark.

Just over two minutes later, New Jersey broke into the Vancouver zone with yet another two-on-one, this time with Sharangovich finishing.

New Jersey took a 2-0 lead into the second thanks to McLeod's first goal of the season.

Miles Wood's shot hit Demko and the goalie couldn't hang on to the rebound, with the puck popping loose to McLeod, who shot it into the net 18:04 into the frame.

An offensive-zone penalty proved costly for the Canucks early in the first. Tanner Pearson was called for hooking 4:28 into the game and eight seconds later, the Devils were on the board.

Stationed at the top of the faceoff circle, Jesper Bratt blasted a pass to Hischier back door and New Jersey's captain tipped it in for his fifth goal of the season.

Bratt was credited with an assist, extending his point streak to 10 games (four goals, 12 assists). He also matched Tim Higgins' franchise record for longest streak to open a season, set in 1984-85.


Defenceman Ethan Bear and centre Jack Studnicka made their debuts for Vancouver after being acquired in separate trades last week. Star blue liner Quinn Hughes returned to the lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury.


The Canucks wore their new navy blue "Johnny Canuck" reverse retro jerseys. The sweaters pay homage to the team's namesake, a lumberjack-looking character called Johnny Canuck, which served as the team's logo when it entered the Western Hockey League in 1945.


The Canucks continue a four-game homestand Thursday when they host the Anaheim Ducks. The Devils take on the Oilers in Edmonton the same night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2022.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press