Pavel Zacha nets OT winner as Devils slip past Bruins

Pavel Zacha scored his second goal of the game at 2:42 of overtime and the New Jersey Devils snapped the Boston Bruins’ four-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night at Prudential Center.

Jesper Boqvist and Yegor Sharangovich scored for New Jersey, which finished its home season with a 7-18-3 record. Mackenzie Blackwood had 33 saves in winning his fourth straight game.

“This is what we wanted,” Zacha said of finishing on a winning note at home. “We were working until the end and happy we won at home. I think we never stopped playing the whole game, even when they scored the goals, we kept it going.”

Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall and Sean Kuraly scored for the Bruins, who blew two one-goal third-period leads. Jaroslov Halak made 17 saves in his first start in more than a month as Boston fell to 10-2-1 in its past 13.

“We need to close out better, plain and simple stuff, stuff we typically do better, we didn’t tonight,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said his team dropped points for only the third time (22-0-3) when leading after two periods.

Pavel Zacha #37 of the New Jersey Devils (R) celebrates his game winning goal at 2:42 of overtime.
Pavel Zacha celebrates his game-winner against the Bruins.
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Zacha’s winner came with the officials waiting to call a delayed penalty against Boston. The Devils got the extra skater on the ice, controlled the puck for about 30 seconds before Zacha beat Halak with a backhand in close for his career-high 15th goal.

The third period was wild with the Devils twice rallying from one-goal deficits to tie the game.

Sharangovich tied the game 3-all at 12:41 of the period with a shot from the right circle after eluding Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly at the blueline.

Kuraly had put Boston ahead 3-2 when David Pastrnak’s pass deflected off his skate into the net. His goal came a little more than a minute after Boqvist tied the game at 2-all with a rebound in close at 9:10.

“We wanted to give the fans something good and I mentioned after the second period it’d be great to put a win together,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “It starts by getting more pucks to the net and I thought we did a better job with that.”

Bergeron, who has goals in three straight games, and Hall, who was a league MVP with New Jersey before being traded in December 2019, had wiped out a 1-0 deficit with second-period goals. Zacha had scored on a power play after Boston took three straight first-period penalties.

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