New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood is on quite the tear. The native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has recorded back-to-back shutouts for the Devils in wins over the Carolina Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks.
On Saturday, Blackwood made 37 saves in a 2-0 Devils win over the Hurricanes. He made 13 saves in the first period, 13 saves in the second period and 11 saves in the third period. Pavel Zacha led the Devils in scoring with one goal and one assist for two points, while Devils captain Andy Greene scored the other goal for New Jersey. It was Blackwood’s first career National Hockey League shutout and second career NHL win. His first NHL win came in a 5-2 Devils win over the Boston Bruins on December 27.
Then on New Year’s Eve, Blackwood made 25 saves in a 4-0 Devils win over the Canucks. He made 12 saves in the first period, nine saves in the second period and only four saves in the third period. Sami Vatanen and Miles Wood led the Devils in scoring with one goal and one assist each for two points.
With Cory Schneider out with an abdomen injury and Keith Kinkaid struggling, there might be an opportunity here for Blackwood to be the Devils starting goaltender. There is no doubt that Blackwood has put up sensational numbers in his first six games. He has a record of three wins, one loss, two shutouts, a goals against average of 1.25, two shutouts, and a save percentage of .963.
The Devils are on a three game winning streak, but have some work to do if they hope to make the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are currently nine points back of the New York Islanders for a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.