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Khudobin 'feels great' after stopping Devils

Boston Herald
February 12. 2018 10:25PM

Anton Khudobin got exactly what he expected from the New Jersey Devils in Sunday night’s 5-3 win at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The backup goalie for the Bruins stymied the Devils’ attack with 35 saves that included a clean breakaway and a penalty shot when the game was scoreless in the first period. Khudobin improved to 12-3-4.

“I felt great and it always feels great when you win,” said Khudobin. “It is a really tough building to play and they were desperate too because (we both lost Saturday night).

“They were desperate and I was expecting that. It was hot and I felt it and I got a couple of saves when we needed it.”

Khudobin was tested early and responded with some incredible stops. Sniper Taylor Hall got a bounce pass off the sidewall and broke in clean at 3:15 but Khudobin made a blocker save on Hall’s high bid to the near side. Khudobin made a spectacular glove save on Miles Wood’s open wrist shot from the slot and later used the right pad to deny Travis Zajac on a penalty shot at 6:06.

“On the second one it was a little bit different because I had time to think about it,” said Khudobin. “You try to think what he is going to do and he (Zajac) was right-handed and that was my mindset.”

Khudobin got a little puck luck when Hall, who had a goal and an assist, had his uncontested shot from the right of the crease hit the post at 5:04 of the second.

“The puck was (bouncing) and I call them remote-control pucks because they can do whatever like in a video game,” said Khudobin. “I went down and lost the puck and it was right on his blade and luckily it hit the post.”

Back with a bang

Rugged center Noel Acciari returned after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. Acciari was back on the fourth line with Merrimack, N.H.’s Tim Schaller and Sean Kuraly. Acciari (6-1-7) brings a physical presence to the Bruins lineup and he made that presence felt on his first shift. Acciari was on the ice for about five seconds when he poleaxed Devils center Pavel Zacha with a clean hit at center ice. Acciari skated 22 shifts, logged 13:30 minutes and had two hits.

“I felt good, a lot better than I thought I would feel,” said Acciari. “I told myself I wanted to deal a good hit to get into the game and it happened to be the first shift and it worked out well.”

Black hat Marchand

Brad Marchand drew a vitriolic response from the New Jersey fan base and took a heavy hit from Damon Severson just before Patrice Bergeron potted the clinching empty-net goal.

Marchand served a five-game suspension after delivering an elbow to the head of Devils forward Marcus Johansson in a 3-2 win at the TD Garden on Jan. 23.

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