By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Krejci – Smith
Ritchie – Kuraly – Coyle
Frederic – Lazar – DeBrusk
Lauzon – McAvoy
Grzelcyk – Carlo
Reilly – Clifton
New Jersey’s Lineup
Kuokkanen – Hughes – Sharangovich
Zacha – Hischier – Bratt
Studenič – Boqvist – Merkley
Wood – McLeod – Bastian
Murray – Severson
Butcher – Carrick
Bahl – Tennyson
The Devils were granted the first power play of the game after Matt Grzelcyk went off for interference at the 15:44 mark. Miles Wood nearly got the goal scoring on a chance with space, but rang the post. Shortly after the conclusion of the power play, Yegor Sharangovich found himself with a high danger scoring chance with speed, but was stopped by Jaroslav Halak.
The Bruins weren’t at even strength for long following killing off the Grzelcyk penalty, though. Connor Clifton sat for two for slashing at the 13:18 mark. It seemed as if the Bruins were going to go back to even strength, but Charlie McAvoy took a tripping penalty with three seconds left in the Clifton penalty.
It didn’t take the Devils long to take advantage of the very brief 5-on-3, as Pavel Zacha buried one, ironically enough, three seconds later. A review followed to determine the time in which the goal was scored and figure out the situation with the penalties moving forward. It was eventually determined that the goal came at 5-on-4, and even strength play resumed as a result.
Nathan Bastian went off for hooking, giving the Bruins their first power play with 8:33 remaining. About halfway into the power play, Charlie Coyle and MacKenzie Blackwood went down to the ice following Coyle inadvertently catching Blackwood up high with his stick while falling. No one was seriously hurt on the play.
The Bruins couldn’t convert on their only power play of the period, as well as late in the period, so the first 20 minutes concluded at 1-0 in favor of the Devils. Shots on goal were 15 to nine in favor of the Bruins.
Score: 1-0 New Jersey
Nick Merkley took an early hooking penalty at the 16:24 mark, and Patrice Bergeron made it hurt exactly halfway through the power play. A perfectly-placed turnaround shot served as his 21st goal of the season. David Pastrnak (25) and Matt Grzelcyk (13) had the assists on the goal.
Pastrnak took a hooking penalty of his own a bit later, at the 12:11 mark. The most noteworthy event to take place within those two minutes was a scary fall for Brad Marchand. Not too much later, the Bruins killed off the penalty.
A shot from Grzelcyk that deflected off of Taylor Hall in wacky fashion and beat Blackwood to give the Bruins the lead. Grzelcyk’s second assist of the game and the period was his 14th of the season, while David Krejci’s assist was his 30th at the 5:58 mark. Devils head coach Lindy Ruff did not win the coach’s challenge, and Jesper Boqvist served the unsuccessful challenge penalty.
Jack Hughes went hard into the boards hard along with Mike Reilly following a shot attempt that took him off his feet. Hughes left the ice in visible discomfort after the fact. It was a nice bounce-back period for the Bruins, and they held the advantage in shots on goal once again at 12 to four this time. Shots on goal through 40 minutes were 27 to 13 in their favor.
Score: 2-1 Boston
Fortunately, not too long after the collision into the boards, Hughes was on the ice when both teams returned from intermission. Halak made a spinning save to prevent the puck from squeaking through him on a shot attempt. One of the more unorthodox ways you’ll ever see a goalie make a save, but a smart method.
Boqvist tied the game up on a loose puck in close proximity to Halak to tie the game back up, knotting it up at two at the 10:50 mark. Sean Kuraly didn’t let the game stay tied for long, as he potted his fourth of the season a minute and 32 seconds after the Bogvist goal.
Driving hard towards the net worked out well as Kuraly redirected a pass from Pastrnak past Blackwood to regain the lead with 9:18 to go. Pastrnak’s assist was his second of the game and 26th of the season, and ironically enough, Reilly’s secondary assist on the goal was his 26th of the season as well.
A scoring chance that snuck through Halak and somehow didn’t cross the goal line was later overshadowed by the equalizer goal off the stick of Sharangovich. It was 3-3 with 7:19 to go. The game took a somewhat unexpected uptick in tempo in a short span of the third period. Shots on goal in the third period were nine to six in favor of the Bruins, bringing the regulation total to 36 to 19.
The Bruins failed to record a shot on goal in overtime. Zacha eventually ended it with his second of the game with 2:18 remaining and Halak was visibly upset as a result. Tough way to end what turned out to be a pretty eventful game in the third period especially.
Luckily for the Bruins, they already have a playoff spot locked up, but I’m sure they would have liked to secure the win. Unfortunately for the Bruins, on the other hand, Charlie Coyle was hurt after taking a shot from Brandon Carlo late in the second period. He only played one shift in the third. The final shots on goal in this one were 36 to 21 in favor of the Bruins. With the loss, they move to 31-14-7 on the season.
Final Score: 4-3 New Jersey