Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 3-0 win over the Devils in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
For the fifth straight season — and the 12th time in the last 14 years — the Bruins have punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boston took care of business on Monday night to secure the fourth and final playoff spot in the competitive East Division, besting the Devils, 3-0, at Prudential Center off of a complete team effort. Nick Ritchie, Patrice Bergeron and Matt Grzelcyk all lit the lamp for Boston in the victory, while Tuukka Rask stopped all 20 shots that came his way en route to his second shutout of the season.
In what has been an all-too-familiar narrative this season, the Bruins struggled to generate much in terms of points on the board against New Jersey goalie Scott Wedgewood during the first period —with both teams returning to their respective locker rooms during the first intermission stuck in a 0-0 deadlock. Frustrating, to say the least, considering Boston entered the break with commanding leads in...
Shot attempts: 27-9
Shots on goal: 17-4
Scoring chances: 19-6
High-danger scoring chances: 5-0
But in the second period, the dam finally broke against Wedgewood and the Devils — with Ritchie rifling home a one-timer at 9:08 in the second to give Boston a lead it would not relinquish. Bergeron cashed in with his 20th goal of the season at 17:54 in the frame, while Grzelcyk added another goal for good measure with 2:43 left in regulation.
With the win, now only did the Bruins secure a playoff berth — but they also leapfrogged the Islanders in the standings and took third place after New York fell to the Sabres on Monday. With the Penguins also losing, the Bruins now sit one point ahead of the Islanders and three points behind both the Pens and Capitals. With five games left on the docket ahead of the playoffs, Boston still has plenty of time to move up in the standings, especially with the B's still having games in hand against Pittsburgh (two games) and both Washington/New York (one game).