Bruins Post-Game Recap: New Jersey at Boston: 10/12/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

The Boston Bruins are home again, finally, and host the New Jersey Devils in the first home game of the 2019-2020 NHL season. Boston is 3-1-0 heading into tonight’s contest with a loss against the Colorado Avalanche in their last time out. For New Jersey, they have started the season on a 0-2-2 stretch and look to earn their first win tonight.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (3-1-0)

Away: New Jersey Devils (0-2-2)

Bruins Last Game: 4-2 Loss vs COL

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Forward Brett Ritchie is back in the lineup after being a scratch in Thursday’s game while forwards David Backes and Par Lindholm are the scratches for Boston tonight.

First Period:

The opening first couple minutes of the game saw both teams going back and forth down the ice with a few shots on goal here and there. Bruins defenceman Connor Clifton had the first highlight of the game with a massive hip check on Wayne Simmonds as he skated into the Bruins zone.

Less than four minutes into the game, Boston scores first. Brad Marchand brings the puck into New Jersey’s zone but is met by P.K. Subban. Subban forces Marchand to turn around, which he does, allowing Marchand to get a little bit of room for a blistering wrist shot from the point area, beating Schneider for the game’s first goal. 1-0 Bruins.

In the first half of this first period of hockey, the Bruins have done a solid job stopping chances from the Devils including a couple great defensive plays by captain Zdeno Chara with his large reach that brought the oncoming rush to an immediate halt. B’s looking good all-around eight minutes in.

There has not been a line on the forward core that has looked bad as we get through the opening frame and that is shown in the second goal of the game. The Devils iced the puck after a long time in their own zone, dealing with the pressure of the Bruins. On the ensuing faceoff in New Jersey’s zone, the fourth-line of Wagner, Kuraly and Nordstrom battle around the slot area until the puck eventually deflects off of Nordstrom’s stick and into the net – his first of the season – 2-0 Bruins.

It has been a good period for Boston, good control in both zones as well as the neutral zone and for the most part, has been controlling the game and the pace at which it is played at. However, with 4:36 remaining in the frame, Sean Kuraly is sent to the box on a hooking penalty. Boston to the penalty-kill for the first time tonight.

Immediately on the PK, the B’s are aggressive on a pair of shorthanded opportunities by the duo of Bergeron and Marchand but Schneider makes the saves. The Devils do get a chance late on the power-play, but Rask makes a great save while scrambling in his crease to rob Nikita Gusev. Only seconds later, a shot hits Marchand in the skates – leading to a shorthanded breakaway that gets stopped by Schneider. Fantastic penalty-kill by Boston, back to five-on-five hockey.

As it seems like the first period is about to end, Charlie Coyle does a good job bringing the puck from his own zone to the depths of the Devils’ zone. In the meantime, he draws a hooking penalty on Mirco Mueller with 16.4 seconds remaining. Bruins will begin the second-period with 1:44 of power-play time.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 15 NJD: 10

Score: 2-0 Bruins – Goals: Marchand (4) Assists: Pastrnak (4); Nordstrom (1) Assists: Wagner (1), Kuraly (2)

Second Period:

Unable to bury one on the power-play, the Bruins are now 0-for-1 on the man-advantage. With the extra man, the B’s get a couple fairly-decent opportunities to extend the lead to three goals, including a wide-open Pastrnak one-timer that missed the net by almost a mile-wide. Pastrnak’s reaction following said it all. Back to even-strength.

Karson Kuhlman had himself another solid shift later on in the period. The speedster has done a great job so far this season in driving hard to the net and getting valuable zone entries and that was on display again. 6:12 into the second period, Kuhlman draws a tripping penalty as he tried to spin the puck around while skating backward right in front of Schneider, getting tripped up by a defender laying down. Boston to their second power-play of the night. Bruins fail to convert on that man-advantage as well – falling to 0-for-2 on the game.

In a game largely controlled by Boston, the Devils nearly cut the lead in half off of a Brandon Carlo turnover behind Tuukka Rask that gives Jack Hughes a chance right in front of Rask that rings off the post and stays out. Hughes draws a hooking penalty on the play and New Jersey off to the power-play. On the penalty-kill, Brad Marchand controlled it himself – bringing it into the zone and single-handling killing off Carlo’s penalty. Great effort from the Bruins – back to even-strength.

Tuukka Rask has had to make some really good saves – the biggest coming on a shot from Miles Wood and his own rebound shot as well. The Devils have slowly gained some momentum offensively and Rask has had to meet that with stellar play in net. Not long after that, David Pastrnak is assessed a minor penalty for a faceoff violation, (using the hand) and Boston heads back to the penalty-kill, where they successfully kill it off – improving to 3-for-3 on the night. New Jersey now 0-for-14 on the power-play this season.

Only 1:01 remaining in the second frame, Kyle Palmieri gets his leg behind Charlie McAvoy’s leg, causing him to fall. The officials see it and send him to the box for tripping. Not wasting any time, the Bruins score only fifteen seconds into the man-advantage. Patrice Bergeron pushes home a loose puck that was right by the pad of Schneider and the Bruins take a 3-0 lead with less than a minute to go in the middle period.

Not as good as the first period for the Boston Bruins, but was far from a bad period. Numerous successful penalty-kills, good defensive stops and the power-play goal to end the period. Continuation of this play should lead to a win for Boston after the final twenty minutes of regulation time.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 24 NJD: 26

Score: 3-0 Bruins – Goals: Bergeron (1) PPG Assists: DeBrusk (1), Marchand (3)

Third Period:

Kuhlman’s strong game and start to the season as a whole is continuing into the third period tonight, picking off a breakout pass and getting a quick shot on Schneider who makes the chest save. Kuhlman has shown his speed, skill, and even defensive side of his game in the first five games, but just lacks the finishing ability right now.

The third period was great entertainment-wise, not much happened worth mentioning until the 8:45 mark of the frame when Zdeno Chara gets called on a two-minute holding penalty. Just a case of being a bigger, (much bigger), player than Nico Hischier. Boston to the penalty-kill once again. Without any true issues or concerns, Boston makes the kill yet again.

That essentially is all she wrote – Bruins win 3-0.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 32 NJD: 31

Final Score: 3-0 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS G Tuukka Rask – 31 Saves, 46th career shutout

2nd Star: BOS F Brad Marchand – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 18:30 TOI, Game-Winning Goal

3rd Star: BOS F Patrice Bergeron – 1 Goal, 2 Shots, 2 Takeaways, 67% Faceoffs, 16:10 TOI

Boston’s record improves to 4-1-0 and now looks ahead to Monday’s matinee game against the Anaheim Ducks in Boston. Puck drop is scheduled for 1:00pm EST.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Game 5 Preview: New Jersey Devils

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Michael Dwyer / AP)

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).

Starting Goaltenders:

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

Who’s Hot

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.

Who’s Not

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.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • 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.

Projected Lines:

New Jersey Devils:

Boston Bruins:

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 148 that we recorded on 10-6-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

Bruins Sean Kuraly Leaves Game With Apparent Hand Injury

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Yahoo Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

Boston Bruins forward Sean Kuraly left Thursday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils and only returned for a brief time before leaving for the tunnel once again for the remainder of the third period.

Kuraly’s injury came almost immediately off of the opening faceoff to begin the third period of play. The Devils had early zone control to begin the frame, feeding the puck around the zone before defenseman Steven Santini bombs a one-timer slapshot towards Tuukka Rask, however, it rockets off of what looks to be Sean Kuraly’s right hand.

The puck bounced off of Kuraly and fell right to Danton Heinen’s stick. Heinen, catching the Devils off guard, bolted down the ice towards New Jersey goaltender Corey Schneider, ripping a clean wrist shot past the 33-year-old netminder for his tenth goal of the 2018-19 season. In the process, Kuraly picks up his 13th assist on the season, but not in the way he or management wants.

Sean Kuraly has been one of the most surprising players for the Boston Bruins this year, which is why I had him on my list for possible players to win the Bruins’ annual 7th Player Award for the 2018-2019 regular season. Him, alongside linemates Noel Acciari and Chris Wagner have come from being considered a normal fourth line to a threat for all opposing teams.

For more games than originally expected before the season started back in October, Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has started the line against the best lines that teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs have to offer. Kuraly, often in the middle of the best scoring chances and rushes, has the hard-working, never-give-up mentality that truly makes a player succeed when they don’t have the skill as a Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak may have.

Kuraly has eight goals and thirteen assists, breaking his previous career-high of six goals and eight assists that he hit in four more games in last season, the 2017-18 campaign. Within those eight goals scored, Kuraly has three game-winning goals including the winning goal late in the third period to secure a Winter Classic victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on January 1st, 2019.

The 26-year-old forward has been solid on the faceoff dot as well, winning 282 of the 524 faceoffs he took prior to tonight’s game versus the Devils, a 54% winning percentage. That alone is a big asset and value to a team. Winning faceoffs may not seem like a big deal, but Bergeron will be proof that it is needed for a good team.

As the weeks and days close in on the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins need guys like Sean Kuraly in the lineup for the often gruelling seven-game series against the Maple Leafs. He may not be a massive goal scorer or point producer, but his non-stop energy brings something to this Bruins roster, (yes, the one that now has 99 points on the season), that is different from anyone else.

At this current moment, no word has been made on Kuraly’s injury suffered tonight. For a brief time following the blocked shot, he returned to the ice but went back down the tunnel. Kuraly missed time earlier in the year due to concussion protocol and a nose procedure that caused him to wear his infamous “fishbowl”.

Stay locked on the blackngoldhockey.com for any updates and news on Sean Kuraly’s injury as we know more. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj for updates as well. We will most likely here of something once Bruce Cassidy has his post-game interviews.

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