NEWARK, N.J. — Every point will matter for the Bruins in their bid to be a playoff team.

That’s why Coach Bruce Cassidy opted Wednesday night to keep riding his hot hand in goal, Anton Khudobin, who made his third straight start.

The decision paid off handsomely, as Khudobin delivered a brilliant 40-save performance, plus 10 more stops in the 11-round shootout, to give Boston a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

“He’s played well and deserves to start games,” Cassidy said before the game.

“Whether they’re all consecutively or not, that’s the decisions we’re making. We’ll see how it goes, and we’ll worry about the next game (Friday at home against Pittsburgh). But right now, the guys are playing well in front of him, and he looks confident and composed. He’s playing good hockey for us.

“I’ve talked to Tuukka (Rask) about this. He’s not happy, but he gets it. We’re creating competition while we’re getting good goaltending out of Anton. Hopefully it makes Tuukka a better goaltender down the road. It makes our team better, certainly, when your backup is giving you those quality starts.”

After staying on the ice with the extra skaters Wednesday morning, Rask (3-7-2, 2.89 goals-against average, .897 save percentage) talked about sitting out again.

“Obviously it’s disappointing,” he said. “The only thing I can really do is practice hard, prepare like I was playing and get ready. (Khudobin) has been playing great. So yeah, it’s obviously disappointing. I’ll play when I play.

“It’s adversity. Like I’ve said all year long, I’ve felt good about my game. It’s not like I’ve had to work on certain things. The results haven’t been there. When the results aren’t there, the other guy is playing. And you keep working and wait for your turn. That’s all it really is. … I don’t want to overthink it and get too mad about the situation. You just keep working hard and believe that good things will happen.”

It’s likely Khudobin (6-0-2) will be back in net tomorrow against Pittsburgh.

And Rask will simply wait.

“Every time I play, I try to be at my best,” Rask said. “I’m not going to change that. Sitting out a week or two weeks, I don’t think it’s going to help me if I go out there and try to be super-hyped (to) prove that I’m a good goalie. I’ve been feeling good about my game. Whenever I play, I’ll just try to be my normal self and hope that the results will follow.”

BRUINS FORWARD Ryan Spooner returned to the lineup Wednesday and played 10:17 after missing 14 games because of a torn groin muscle. He skated as a winger on the third line with Noel Acciari and Riley Nash and played on the power play, which was 0 for 4.

Rookie defenseman Matt Grzelcyk played his second NHL game this season, paired with Kevan Miller.

Forward Matt Beleskey and defenseman Paul Postma were scratched. Brad Marchand missed his fourth game because of a concussion.

Forward Jordan Swarz was returned to AHL Providence.

THE MONTREAL Canadiens traded forward Torrey Mitchell to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday for a 2018 fifth-round conditional draft pick.

If Los Angeles makes the postseason, the Canadiens receive their own 2018 fourth-round pick in 2018 back. It was traded away in the Dwight King deal at last season’s trade deadline.

Should the Kings miss the playoffs, Montreal receives a fifth-round selection.

The 32-year-old Mitchell was scoreless in 11 games this season for the Canadiens. He had eight goals and nine assists in 78 games last season, and has 61 goals and 80 assists in 617 regular-season games in 10 seasons with San Jose, Minnesota, Buffalo and Montreal.