By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
For the first time in the 2019-2020 season, the Boston Bruins are playing in the TD Garden for a regular-season game. Boston finished their four-game road trip that started the year with a record of 3-1-0, losing their last game to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 4-2. The Bruins scored two goals that were disallowed (goaltender interference, offside), halting any and all momentum they had.
The New Jersey Devils have had a rough time so far this season, especially when considering the large expectations placed on them from their successful off-season that saw them land first-overall selection Jack Hughes, defenceman P.K. Subban, forward Wayne Simmonds, and forward Nikita Gusev to join superstar forward Taylor Hall and former first-overall pick in 2017, Nico Hischier.
Following New Jersey’s first four games of the year, they hold a 0-2-2 record with losses coming to the Winnipeg Jets (5-4 OT), Buffalo Sabres (7-2), Philadelphia Flyers (4-0), and Edmonton Oilers (4-3 SO).
BOS: Tuukka Rask 2-0-0 2.00 GAA .937 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 4-3 win vs VGK
NJD: Corey Schneider 0-1-0 3.50 GAA .891 SV% Last Game: 30 Saves in 4-0 Loss vs PHI
Brad Marchand is the best player right now on the Boston Bruins in terms of point production and is arguably a threat every time he steps foot on the ice. In the opening four games of 2019-20, Marchand has scored three goals and added two assists for five points – leading the Bruins in points. Marchand had one assist in Thursday’s loss to the Avalanche along with three shots on goal.
Kyle Palmieri is not necessarily known for his offensive numbers, especially considering that his career-high in points in 57 that was reached in the 2015-16 regular season with the Devils. The 26th-overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft has 2-1-3 numbers in four games so far this year, scoring a goal in his last game against the Oilers.
Brad Marchand has the most points in on the Boston Bruins right now – tied with David Pastrnak. Pastrnak, however, has assisted on more goals while Marchand is the one with more goals himself. The 23-year-old winger has five points on the season – all of which coming in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Avalanche. Boston’s first-line of Pastrnak, Marchand, and Bergeron has been firing on all cylinders and will look to do so again in the home-opener tonight.
Corey Schneider is confirmed to be the starting goaltender in between the pipes for the Devils tonight, but his story over the last few seasons has not been something to write home about. The 33-year-old goalie has started in two games this season but was pulled in the season-opener against the Winnipeg Jets due to an apparent injury but was able to start on October 9th against the Flyers where he allowed four goals on 34 shots against. Schneider went 6-13-4 in the net for New Jersey last season and is not looking too hot to start this season either.
Brett Ritchie will enter the lineup again for the Bruins after being deemed a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game. The free-agent signing has only one goal in three games for the B’s and has seen his ice-time decrease in each game he has played. Standing a 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 220-pounds, Ritchie is expected to be a big, strong player on Boston’s bottom-six, but he has not quite lived up to the expectations thus far.
He is a rookie in the NHL, but first-overall pick Jack Hughes has still failed to score his first career NHL point in four games and is currently rated as a -3 rating. The second-overall selection, Kaapo Kaako, has already scored his first goal in the league, beating out Jack. Reminder, he is still extremely young and there shouldn’t be too much to worry about here if you are a Devils fan. Hughes is starting tonight’s game as the third-line center with Pavel Zacha and Wayne Simmonds on his wings as he looks to finally get on the scoresheet with Devils.
- F Brad Marchand is one assist away (299) from 300 career NHL assists
- F Patrice Bergeron is five assists away (495) from 500 career NHL assists
- F Patrice Bergeron is two assists away (495) from passing Rick Middleton (496) for 6th-most assists in Bruins history
New Jersey Devils:
- F Jack Hughes has the chance to score his first career NHL goal, assist, or point.
- D P.K. Subban is two goals away (98) from 100 career NHL goals
- F Kyle Palmieri is four points away (296) from 300 career NHL points
- F Travis Zajac is one power-play goal away (52) from tying Pat Verbeek (53) for 4th-most power-play goals in Devils history
Bruins vs Devils Outlook:
Throughout their franchise, the Boston Bruins have had good success over the Devils. In 158 total games during the regular season against the Metropolitan team, the Bruins have an 87-42-19-10 record while outscoring New Jersey 524-to-417. In 2018-2019, Boston won the season series 2-1-0, defeating the Devils on March 2nd (1-0) and on March 21st (5-1).
In 2019-2020, the Devils are the fifth-worst team in the league at this moment in time with an overall record of 0-2-2. New Jersey has only nine goals and allowed 18 goals – third-most across the NHL. Specialty teams have not been too great for Jersey either, starting the campaign 0-for-11 on the man-advantage alongside a 46.15% success rate on the penalty-kill – the worst in the National Hockey League.
For Boston, they as well have only nine goals for to their credit – five of them between Marchand and Pastrnak alone. Only two other forwards, (Ritchie and Heinen) have scored a goal for the B’s while captain Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug are the only defensemen with a tally in 2019-20. On the defensive side, Tuukka Rask has been solid for Boston as well as Jaroslav Halak as the Bruins rank sixth for the least goals allowed so far.
The fans will be loud and in attendance for the first game in the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts of the 2019-2020 NHL regular season. The Bruins have been victorious in each of their last three home-opening games of a new season and will look to extend that streak to four tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST.