Boston Bruins Steal Points from the New Jersey Devils

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 23: Brad Marchand
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 23: Brad Marchand /

The Boston Bruins returned to the Garden trying to extend their 16 game point streak in a dance with the Devils.

The Boston Bruins were riding high after racking up nine points in five games last week. This was before word spread that the Bs would be without their best puckmoving defenseman and second highest minute eater (behind Zdeona Chara) for two weeks. The Bruins and their fans were still grappling with the news that their defensive phenom, Charlie McAvoy, underwent a procedure to treat an abnormal heart beat on Monday when the Devils came to town on Tuesday. Suddenly, uncertainty surrounded the Bs. Plus their ability to beat a hard working Devils team that stands at second in the highly competitive Metropolitan Division.

Period 1

The Bruins got off to another slow start as the defense struggled to adjust to the new pairs. The absence of Charlie McAvoy hit the Bs hard. They struggled to exit their zone and took two penalties trying to fight off the Devils’ attack. The Bruins gave up 20 shots in the first, which is the most they’ve allowed in a single period all season. The Bs only submitted 9 shots of their own. They were lucky to get out of the period without burn marks from the Devils’ heat.

Period 2

The start to the middle period brought more of the same from both teams. The Devils finally got on the board when Miles Wood tipped a shot from the point past Tuukka Rask 2:05 into the second. The Bruins went back to the drawing board and simplified their play after going down. Their grinding approach paid off when the third line got the puck deep and Riley Nash bounced a bad angle shot by Cory Schneider to tie the game at 12:57 of the second. However, the Devils responded exactly two minutes later when Damon Severson capitalized on a 3 on 2 break to take the lead back with 10:57 left in the period, 2-1 Devils. Then the Devils lost their composure on the powerplay when Miles Wood took a double minor for interference and Marcus Johansson followed him to the box 33 seconds later.

Turning the Tables

The Bruins had some good looks to start the two man advantage but came up empty. After a few failed attempts, Bergeron had seen enough and fired a feed from Marchand past Schneider to pull the Bs even with 7:07 left in the second. The powerplay goal gave the Bruins a boost and they dominated the rest of the period. But, Brad Marchand wasn’t content with an even score to end the second, so he slowed down the play on a 2 on 1 and showed some silky smooth skill to dangle the bait until Schneider bit.

After a poor first half, the Bruins went to the dressing room with a 3-2 lead, though still being outshot 27-20 by the Devils.

Period 3

Corey Schneider was injured at the end of the second period and was replaced in the third by Ken Appleby. However, the Bs didn’t test the new netminder. The Bruins were satisfied with a dump and chase game to protect their lead. Fortunately, the Bs’ turtle shell didn’t crack. Tuukka Rask, shut the door on the Devils in the third.

Score: Bruins 3, Devils 2.

Shots: Devils 39, Bruins 24.


The Bruins extended their point streak to 17 games. This is the team’s best point streak in 35 years. Though it was far from the Bs’ best performance this year, they tallied two more points on the season. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Tuukka Rask stole the game. Tuukka stopped 37 of 39 shots. This is a .949 save percentage. The Devils generated quality chances with shots through traffic and on odd man rushes, so the numbers don’t lie. Tuukka Rask is back and may be playing the best hockey of his career after a rocky start to the season.

The MBP line lead the way again. Tuukka stole the game, but the top trio supplied the points. Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist (21 goals, 29 assists). Patrice Bergeron potted a goal (20 goals, 20 assists). David Pastrnak submitted an assist (20 goals, 26 assists). This line gets it done night in and night out for the Bs and tonight was no different.

Next: McAvoy out for the next two weeks

Bruins missed Charlie McAvoy. The Bruins’ defense was noticeably less efficient moving the puck to the forwards. It may take time for the defenseman to adjust to the new lineup and the dynamic that comes with the new pairs. However, McAvoy’s poise and calmness absolutely adds another dimension to the Bs’ blue line that was noticeably absent from the erratic effort displayed tonight. Wishing McAvoy the best in his recovery and moving forward in his career. Boston needs him on the backend.