21-7-6. First place in the Atlantic Division and second place in the Eastern Conference. On the night of Georgii Merkulov's debut, the Boston Bruins took care of business and defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday night, winning their second straight game after taking care of business against the Buffalo Sabres a few days before.
There were plenty of contributions up and down the lineup to go with a solid night in goal from Linus Ullmark. These three players stood out from the rest, and that's what makes them the three stars of the game.
3 stars of the game from Boston's win over the Devils
Another game, another David Pastrnak talent showcase. With the Bruins trailing 2-1 midway through the second period, Pastrnak took matters into his own hands with a two-goal showing, one on the power play, to reach 22 goals on the season. He also added an assist later in the game.
The first goal for Pastrnak tied the game 2-2 with a put-in from a Brandon Carlo pass in front of the net. The second one came on the power play as Pastrnak showed off his dangles to put the Bruins ahead for good.
Signed this offseason to a one-year contract, the former BU Terrier potted two goals of his own, number three and four of the season. Like Pastrnak, one came at even strength and one on the power play. His first goal gave him 100 on his career, and his second one came on a pretty feed from Brad Marchand. It was a good night for Shattenkirk.
While Marchand and Charlie Coyle each had two assists, DeBrusk had a multi-point game as well, chipping in a goal and an assist to bring his season line to five goals and 10 assists. Simply put, DeBrusk needed a game like this one.
After a two assist game against the Sabres that led to Jim Montgomery calling him the best forward on the ice that game, DeBrusk broke a 12 game goal drought with his second period goal. He also assisted on Pastrnak's eventual game-winning power play goal later in the period.
In the last two games, DeBrusk has a goal and three assists. If he can start to figure it out and produce points more frequently, it'll only make the Bruins a deadlier team down the stretch and into what we hope will be a deep playoff run.
The Bruins have a New Year's Eve matinee game up next to wrap up 2023. They take on a division rival and original six foe in the Detroit Red Wings, with Jeremy Swayman set to get the start as they go for three wins in a row.