In one of the craziest games of the season, the Boston Bruins finished with a 3-2 victory to extend their point streak to 17 games. Boston is 13-0-4 in this span. It was a weird game because it featured some abnormal activity usually not seen at a hockey game.
Pucks were going in from different angles, the penalty clocks was moving up, which caused a massive delay, one of the linesmen was injured and Tuukka Rask was as active between the pipes than he's been in a long time (more on that later). In the end, the Bruins received goals from Riley Nash, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand en route to victory.
Bergeron became the third Bruins player to reach the 30-goal mark this season, joining Marchand and David Pastrnak, who have 21 and 20 respectively. It's the ninth, 20-goal season for Bergeron. Boston is the first team in the NHL this season with three, 20-goal scorers.
The fast-paced Devils forced Rask to play a little more erratic than normal, but he held his ground and finished with 37 saves. He had a handful of timely saves in the waning minutes of regulation.
After missing three games -- two due to illness and one as a healthy scratch -- defenseman Kevan Miller returns to the lineup against the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night at TD Garden. Miller is having the best season of his pro career and he'll be reunited with rookie defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.
Masked man: Tuukka Rask will start against the Devils tonight, and it’s possible he’ll get the nod on Thursday against the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa since the All-Star break is this weekend. He’s riding a career-best 16-game point streak with a 14-0-2 record in this span. In his last 20 games, he has a 1.61 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. He’s 5-4-2 with a 1.56 GAA and a .944 SP in 12 career games against the Devils.
Here are more pregame notes and update on Charlie McAvoy.
Observations from the third period
- Devin Berg is back on the ice after exiting due to injury.
- This has been one of the more active games for Rask. He's been having to scramble a lot in this game.
- This is one of the craziest games I've seen in awhile. A lot of weird stuff going on.
- Berg has gone to the locker room. He was injured on a collision with Torey Krug. So, it's all hands on deck for the on-ice officials.
- Grzelcyk controls the puck so well under pressure.
- Ken Appleby is now playing net for the Devils.
- Bruins need to put it away quickly.
Observations from the second period
- The Devils managed only seven shots in the period for a total of 27.
- Brad Marchand scores with 32.9 seconds remaining in the period to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead. Nifty move for his 21st of the season.
- Nothing like stifling momentum. Bruce Cassidy has to be upset with this mess.
- Massive delay as the officials are trying to figure out time remaining on the rest of New Jersey's penalties
- Boston still has a power play for 3:24 too. Wait, that can't be right.
- Bruins capitalize and tie the game at 2-2 on Patrice Bergeron's power-play goal. It's his 20th of the season.
- Bruins get a 5-on-3 for 2:00.
- I'll have to look at the replay on the Devils' second goal, but I believe that was bad backcheck coverage by David Pastrnak.
- Jake DeBrusk is getting stronger on the puck every game.
- Some puck luck for the Bruins and the game is tied at 1-1. Riley Nash will get credit for the goal. Another example of what can happen when you put the puck on net from any angle.
- Bruins finally have a decent shift in the O-zone and force the Devils to ice it.
- Breakouts have been an issue too.
- Too many neutral-zone turnovers by the Bruins.
- Strong shot by Will Butcher and Miles Wood redirects past Rask to give NJ a 1-0 lead.
- Bruins had six blocked shots in the first.
Observations from the first period
- Devils did not play the first period like they had a game last night. Great pace by New Jersey. Rask was key for the Bruins in the opening 20 minutes and finished with 20 saves to keep this game in a stalemate.
- Never mind. That lasted 12 seconds as Matt Grzelcyk is called for a high stick.
- With the pace the Devils are sustaining, a power-play goal by the Bruins is important right here.
- Five minutes remaining in the period and the Devils already have 17 shots.
- As a team, the Devils haven't played this quick in a decade or more.
- Devils are buzzing around Boston's net.
- DeBrusk has learned how to play the wing with David Krejci. The rookie understands sometimes by slowing down the play could result in a quality scoring chance.
- Rask is going to see a ton of traffic in this game.
- Brandon Carlo goes to the box for high-sticking. Bad call. He never touched him.
- A strong opening shift by Miller. Moving his feet and playing the body.
- I expect a physical game from Noel Acciari tonight. He needs it.
Here are the Bruins’ projected line combinations and defensive pairings vs. Devils.