NEWARK, N.J. — Brian Boyle scored one of the most meaningful goals of his career to help the New Jersey Devils beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Friday night.
The Devils were marking "Hockey Fights Cancer Night," a battle especially meaningful to Boyle, who was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia during training camp and missed the first 10 games of the season while undergoing treatment.
The Prudential Center erupted with cheers when Boyle, set up by a beautiful drop pass from Will Butcher, scored at 10:17 of the second period to snap a 1-1 tie.
Taylor Hall got the second assist as part of his big night. The Devils' leading scorer had a goal and two assists as the Devils picked up points in a third straight game (2-0-1).
Damon Severson also scored for New Jersey and Cory Schneider made 23 saves to improve to 6-1-2 against the team that made him a first-round draft pick in 2004.
The win gave the Devils a sweep of the two-game season series, having beaten the Canucks 2-0 in Vancouver on Nov. 1.
Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat scored for Vancouver, one of the NHL's top road teams. The loss ended the Canucks three-game road winning streak, including victories in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to start their current six-game trip.
The Devils had a 10-9 shot advantage in the opening period that lacked quality scoring chances for both sides. Each team had a good opportunity late in the period. Jacob Markstrom denied Blake Coleman's drive from the right wing to keep the Devils off the scoreboard, then Schneider squeezed the pads tightly to stop Christopher Tanev's wrister from the slot.
Hall opened the scoring at 2:15 of the second period, ripping a shot from the bottom of the left circle over Markstrom's shoulder.
Daniel Sedin knotted the game at 5:36, setting the stage for Boyle's power-play goal.
Severson cleaned up the rebound after Hall hit the post to put New Jersey ahead 3-1.
In the third, the Canucks provided some late suspense as Horvat, set up by Daniel Sedin, got a power-play scorer at 10:37.
NOTES: The Devils donned lavender jerseys with "Boyle Strong 11" patches for the warmup skate. Boyle took part in the ceremonial faceoff, where he was joined by his family. . Canucks D Eric Gudbranson suffered an upper-body injury Wednesday against the Penguins and did not dress against the Devils.
Canucks: At New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon
Devils: At Detroit on Saturday