Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:
The good news: The Bruins at least took home a point on Tuesday night and still sit in third place in the East Division.
The even better news? The Bruins will not have to play either the Devils or the Sabres for the remainder of this 2021 season.
And now — the bad news: Despite entering Tuesday's contest with a 20-0-2 record when leading after two periods, the B's weren't able to seal the deal against the cellar-dwelling Devils, as Boston relinquished a pair of third-period leads en route to an eventual 4-3 overtime loss at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall and Sean Kuraly scored for the Bruins, while Jaroslav Halak — making his first start since April 3 — stopped 17 of the 21 shots that came his way in the loss.
Despite outshooting New Jersey by a 36-21 margin, the Bruins let things get away from them over the final 20 minutes of regulation, with defensive breakdowns giving the rebuilding (but skilled and speedy) Devils plenty of chances for counter-rushes and Grade-A looks. Boston's 2-1 lead — generated off of second-period tallies from Bergeron and Hall — dissipated after Jesper Boqvist potted a rebound at 9:10 in the final frame.
Kuraly gave Boston the lead again just 1:32 later after knocking home a nice feed from David Pastrnak (two assists), but Boston once again failed to clamp things down against New Jersey, with Yegor Sharangovich knotting the contest up at 3-3 just minutes later to force overtime. After Kuraly was whistled for a penalty in the extra frame, Pavel Zacha cashed in on the Devils' 4-on-3 opportunity, roofing a puck past Halak to send Boston home with three out of a possible four points down in Newark.
With the OT loss, Boston still sits in third place in the East with 69 points on the year, aided by the fact that the Islanders also lost in a shootout to the Sabres.
Coyle limited in third period
There are many things still left on Boston's to-do list ahead of the postseason — but staying healthy and resting key cogs on this roster should take precedence over things such as seeding at this point in the schedule. Look no further than what transpired in the closing minutes of the second period — in which a suddenly revitalized Charlie Coyle was struck by a shot from teammate Brandon Carlo and only logged one shift in the third period.
Postgame, Cassidy had no update on Coyle — who has thrived on that new-look third line ever since he was shifted over to wing and Kuraly was bumped up from the fourth line. With that fourth line still a bit out of whack when it comes to finding the proper pieces to slot next to Curtis Lazar, Boston has to hope that Coyle isn't out for an extended stretch, because this recent play of that third line has been a godsend in an otherwise frustrating year in which Boston's bottom-six unit has failed to gain much traction.