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42 Save Effort by Mackenzie Blackwood Leads Binghamton Devils 2-1 Win

Remarkable performance from the 21 year-old goalie as he came up with 23 third period saves to help the Binghamton Devils in their 2-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies

NHL: Preseason-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

With perhaps his best performance in nearly two seasons, Binghamton netminder Mackenzie Blackwood made 42 saves in Binghamton Devils 2-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies at Coca-Cola Coliseum on Saturday. The Devils played a good, crisp road game as they shut down the potent high powered Toronto offense to bounce back from Wednesday’s loss at Syracuse.

Binghamton (8-7-2-0) came out flying in the opening period and was rewarded early as Blake Pietila re-directed a shot from defenseman Colton White past Marlies’ netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo for a power play goal that put the Devils ahead 1-0. While the BDevils skated hard, they had momentum as well heading into the second.

Nick Lappin was determined to land on the score-sheet with ample opportunities that finally paid off, as his wrister from the slot sailed by the blocker of Kaskisuo for his team-leading ninth of the season. Blackwood would shine as he made several point blank saves and stood on his head, but the best would come from the third-year pro in the final 20 minutes.

As the Devils were mucking around with ill-advised penalties, it finally caught up to them as they found themselves at the expense of an unfortunate 5v3 Marlies advantage. And it paid off as forward Sam Gagner’s snap shot from high in the slot eluded Blackwood to ruin the shutout bid and more importantly, cut the deficit to one with 10:22 remaining.

But surprisingly, the Devils regained momentum and the defense tightened up behind the solid play of their goaltender to break a three game losing streak on the road. Toronto poured it on with a total of 24 shots in the period, and ended up with a 43-25 advantage.

Line-Up, Game #17

Forwards: Quenneville - Schmelzer - Studenic, Pietila - Rooney - Lappin, Baddock - McLeod - Bastian, Gignac - Speers - Gabriel

Defensemen: Kapla - Wkite, Sissons - Ramage, Hammond - Jacobs

In Goal: Mackenzie Blackwood, Eddie Lack

Scratches: Eric Tangradi, Brian Strait both out injured. Healthy, Yegor Sharangovich

Post Game Notes

  • Ramage and Rooney with the A’s. Eric Gryba was called up earlier on Saturday
  • Blackwood (3-2-1-0, 2.26 GAA, 0.930 SV%) looks to have finally turned the corner with his best outing I’ve seen from him to date. You see the confidence level and his puck control is much improved over last season. I would confidently say he is back on the radar map.
  • Lappin was a man on a mission and it paid off with a crisp shot from the lane for his 9th of the season.
  • Quenneville had his point streak end at 8 games. Brandon Gignac and Michael McLeod both were noticeable and skated hard.
  • Penalties were lopsided with the Devils 7 calls vs 3 for Toronto. I rarely divert attention away from the game to blame officiating, but there was no way John Quenneville deserved a double-roughing call after receiving several punches by Jeremy Bracco in a corner scrum.
  • It wasn’t a 60 minute effort as penalties were a factor, but sometimes you need your goaltender to help out when needed. Let’s see what the rematch will bring on Sunday as Eddie Lack should be in goal.
  • McLeod and Blackwood both had friends and family in attendance, as many saw McLeod for the first time in his brief pro career.

Three Stars

#1. Mackenzie Blackwood (42 saves), #2. Nick Lappin (1g), #3. Sam Gagner (1g)

Video Highlights

Upcoming Games

The second game of the double-header is set for a Sunday matinee in Toronto.