New Jersey Devils goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood hasn’t just shined in net; he also nearly broke a brilliant Martin Brodeur record.
NEWARK, NJ—While a Detroit Red Wings vs. New Jersey Devils game no longer entails the same reputation, fans in attendance at the Prudential Center on Thursday night almost witnessed history.
Goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood entered the contest riding a two-game shutout streak, which earned him an opportunity to tie the Devils’ all-time regular-season record.
The team’s longest shutout streak is owned by no other than the great Martin Brodeur, which was set during the 1996-97 campaign. The Hockey Hall of Famer’s streak started after Brodeur shutout the New York Rangers on March 27, 1997, and the third and final shutout was recorded against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 4.
During a season when there have been minimal highlights for the Devils and less to cheer for, Blackwood has been one of, if not the, brightest star for New Jersey. After recording back-to-back shutouts over the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings, Blackwood blanked the Red Wings for almost two periods on Thursday.
#NJDevils Mackenzie Blackwood lets in his first goal in 116 shots against.
— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) February 14, 2020
One-hundred-and-sixteen-straight saves later, Blackwood’s impressive streak ended when Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou scored late in the second period on the power-play (16:34).
The third period belonged all to the Devils and their star goaltender when Blackwood again shut the door on an opponent. The 23-year-old finished night with 25 saves on 26 shots, while the Devils recorded four unanswered goals to earn two points in the standings.
It’s ironic that the youngster and the greatest goaltender of all-time share the same initials while Blackwood could also take home the 2019-20 Calder Trophy for rookie of the year. Keep in mind that Brodeur earned the Calder in 1993-94, but that Devils team was also a Stanley Cup contender.
Blackwood’s team is in the basement for the standings while he stands out and is arguably this season’s team MVP. His recent play between the pipes is only a green light for what’s to come in net for New Jersey and its fanbase.