By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88
It was a season sweep for the Boston Bruins as they defeated the New Jersey Devils 8-1 in a lopsided victory. Tonight also marked a special occasion as the home crowd welcomed back Bruins’ long-tenured goaltender Tuukka Rask who dropped the ceremonial puck. Rask announced his retirement this season after undergoing hip surgery which unfortunately harbored his return to performing at a high level in between the net. The 35-year-old goaltender has racked up impressive stats throughout his 15 NHL seasons with Boston:
Matt Grzelcyk got things started for the Bruins scoring 57 seconds into the first as he wristed one in past New Jersey’s goaltender Nico Daws. Much throughout the period, the penalty box was quite busy as both teams chucked some knucks. Newly minted Bruins’ player Josh Brown made a good first impression in front of a loud TD Garden crowd as he traded fists with Mason Geertsen.
A hard hit by the Devils’ Miles Wood against Charlie McAvoy drew the ire of Mike Reilly, earning both players roughing penalties. Reilly would get a four-minute penalty while Wood received two minutes.
Jack Hughes had the Devils’ lone goal of the night, scoring off an impossible angle and sending the puck short side of Linus Ullmark. The B’s regained the lead as Jake DeBRusk nabbed his 18th goal of the season making it 2-1.
END OF THE FRIST PERIOD SCORE: BOS-2, NJD-1
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-12, NJD-7
Boston makes it 3-1 when Erik Haula scored off a rebound initiated by David Pastrnak a little over two minutes into the second period. Brad Marchand made it 4-1 after snapping the puck in at 6:33.
The B’s would be on the man-advantage as Jesper Boqvist was called for a face-off violation and Boston took full advantage. Patrice Bergeron made it 5-1 after the puck deflected off his skate from a Pastrnak shot during the power play. Jon Gillies would take over netminding duties for the Devils.
A little over a minute after the power-play goal, Brad Marchand nabbed his second of the night, scoring his 30th goal of the season, making it 6-1.
Making his NHL debut tonight with the Boston Bruins’ Marc McLaughin would also score his first NHL career goal, making it 7-1.
Boston continued to take advantage of their opponent’s mistakes and makes it 8-1 after a two-on-one between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. Hall would tip the puck in, nabbing his 16th goal of the season.
What seemed like the Bruins’ ninth goal of the night and a Marchand hat-trick was ruled off-side. Boston ends the second with an 8-1 lead.
END OF SECOND PERIOD SCORE: BOS-8, NJD-1
SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS; 16, NJD-10
The final stanza of the game was less dramatic as the Bruins were less intense with their gameplay. While the Devils attempted to muster some shots on goal the game was seemingly lost as the home team won a decisive game 8-1.
TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BOS-40, NJD 26
Boston is now 42-20-5 and trail the Tampa Bay Lightning by one point in a tight Atlantic Divison. The Devils have now been eliminted from Playoff contention.
NEXT GAME: Boston Bruins versus Columbus Blue Jacket at TD Garden with puck drop after 7: 00 PM