BOSTON (AP) — Ryan Spooner scored midway through the third period to lift the Boston Bruins over the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Saturday night for their eighth victory in 10 games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy.
Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug also scored for the Bruins, and backup goalie Anton Khudobin stopped 15 shots. Cassidy took over for fired coach Claude Julien on Feb. 7.
Kyle Palmieri and Devante Smith-Pelly had goals for the Devils, who dropped their sixth straight (0-4-2) as their playoff hopes continue to fade. Cory Schneider made 37 saves.
Spooner one-timed newcomer Drew Stafford’s pass from the right circle for the winner 8:18 into the period.
Stafford, acquired from Winnipeg for a conditional sixth-round pick on Wednesday, nearly had a goal in his Bruins debut midway into the second when he poked a loose puck under Schneider, but it was overturned after a review due to goaltender interference.
The horn went off inadvertently twice early in the third, stopping play both times. Palmieri’s goal tied it seconds after the first stoppage when he converted a 2-on-1 with Taylor Hall.
Carlo’s goal broke a 1-1 tie late second period. The 20-year-old rookie defenseman fired a shot that deflected off the stick of New Jersey wing Nick Lappin, popped into the air and past the stick of Schneider.
Krug had given Boston a 1-0 lead 7:06 into the second when he one-timed a shot inside the left post from the slot for a power-play goal.
The Devils didn’t get their first shot on goal in the second until nearly nine minutes into the period.
Just under two minutes later, after Stafford’s goal was overturned, Smith-Pelly skated in on a clean breakaway and shifted before putting a backhander past Khudobin to tie it.
The game started with two whistles in the initial 14 seconds before the teams went end-to-end for about the next six minutes. Boston had the best scoring chance when rookie Peter Cehlarik fired a wrist shot off the left post.
The Bruins outshot New Jersey 16-5 in the opening period.
NOTES: New Jersey captain Andy Greene was out for personal reasons. Lappin was called up from Albany of the AHL on Saturday. … Defenseman Dalton Prout, acquired from Columbus for defenseman Kyle Quincey on Wednesday, played his first game with the Devils. … It was the teams’ final regular season meeting. … Vegas GM George McPhee was in the press box.
Devils: Host Columbus on Sunday.
Bruins: At Ottawa in a key divisional matchup on Monday.
(Copyright (c) 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)