Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils | Game Preview

After a successful road trip during which the Bruins started the 2019-2020 season with a 3-1 record, it’s finally time to play at home. The team plays its home opener tonight at TD Garden against the New Jersey Devils.

Unfortunately, the Bruins headed back east after losing its first game of the season Thursday night to the red-hot Colorado Avalanche. Although Boston blew an early 2-0 lead, two goals were also overturned. After falling to the Avs 4-2, some home-cooking may help the Bruins get back in the win column.

Escaping the Desert

Goalie Tuukka Rask played, and won, two of the four games on the road trip. However, it remains to be seen if he is back to 100 percent after being helped off the ice at the end of his last start in Las Vegas.

In postgame interviews, the team’s top netminder blamed the issue on the heat. In addition, coach Bruce Cassidy said following that game that Rask was either dealing with a pulled muscle or dehydration. Whatever the issue, Cassidy did not seem to think it was anything serious. As expected, Rask sat out Thursday’s game in Denver.

Rask was listed as the top goalie after the morning skate Saturday, meaning Jaroslav Halak will not need to make his second consecutive start in goal. Although Halak took the loss Thursday, but still made numerous big saves in both games he’s played so far.

Ritchie Returns

It appears Brett Ritchie will return to the lineup tonight in the third-line right wing position. David Backes replaced Ritchie in that role in Thursday night’s loss in Colorado. But, based on Saturday’s morning rushes, Backes will likely be a healthy scratch against New Jersey. Fans will recall Ritchie scored the very first goal of the season for the Bruins, and his first in the Spoked-B, early in the opening game in Dallas.

Shining Stars

Good news, Bruins fans. It seems like the “Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand is once again gelling into an elite trio. Although they looked as if they still had some work to do in the first game, the line returned to form in the next three. Marchand and Pastrnak especially found the scoring touch against Vegas and Colorado.

In addition, it seems as though Karson Kuhlman just might be the answer to the second-line right wing woes that plagued the team all last season. The goals overturned in Thursday’s game came from Kulhman and linemate Jake DeBrusk. Despite that disappointment, Kuhlman showed off his speed, and the line has been playing well.

It’s Official

After a year-long search to find a permanent replacement for retired Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt, the team officially announced just before the season started that Todd Angilly had won the job.

Angilly sings the National Anthem at events all around the Boston area. He also regularly performed at the Garden last season. Angilly also works as a bartender in one of the Garden lounges during the games and is a probation officer.

Projected Bruins Lineup

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Heinen – Coyle – Ritchie

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Rask

Halak

Projected New Jersey Devils Lineup

Taylor Hall – Nico Hischier – Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood – Travis Zajac – Blake Coleman

Pavel Zacha – Jack Hughes – Wayne Simmonds

Nikita Gusev – Kevin Rooney – Jesper Bratt

Damon Severson – P.K. Subban

Will Butcher – Sami Vatanen

Mirco Mueller – Connor Carrick

Cory Schneider

Mackenzie Blackwood

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with Puck Drop at 7 p.m.

WHERE TO WATCH: ESPN+, NESN, MSG

Follow me on Twitter @nittgrl73

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