The Bruins took the ice for the first of 41 games at Boston Garden for the 2019-2020 season. They hosted the New Jersey Devils for this Saturday night tilt. Boston played a very solid hockey game and came away with the 2 points after a 3-0 win over New Jersey.
Tuukka Rask was brilliant, keeping all 31 shots he faced out of the back of the net. Rask delivered when he needed to. The Devils were 0-4 on the power play and could not muster a score on during the 2nd period when they dictated play and out shot the Bruins 15-9.
It also needs to be mentioned how good of a start Rask has gotten off to. The notoriously slow starter, look no further than last year, has come out of the gate strong. In the three games he has played, his goals against average is at an astounding 1.33. His save percentage is an impressive .957. His start is also noteworthy since his two of his three wins have come against playoff teams last year, Dallas and Las Vegas, looking to contend again.
The three goals scored this evening came from the sticks of Brad Marchand, Joakim Nordstrom, and Patrice Bergeron. Marchand got on the board early. Just 3:33 into the game, Marhchand gained the line, took a bump from old buddy P.K. Subban, and snapped a shot passed Devils’ goalie Cory Schneider. The puck appeared to have deflected off of New Jersey defenseman Damon Severson. However, I am sure Marchand does not care about that detail.
Nordstrom potted his first of the year from right above the crease. Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner caused confusion in front of Schneider before Nordstrom fired the loose puck by him. The fourth line, who head coach Bruce Cassidy joked that they do not like being called that, had their fingerprints all over this game.
The Bruins lone power play goal came from Bergeron late in the second period. A rebound from a Marchand shot was at Jake Debrusk skates. With Debrusk grinding it out at the top of the crease, Bergeron was able to sneak a backhand past Schneider. Debrusk earned his first point of the year since the replay booth took away both a goal and an assist Thursday in Colorado.
While the Bruins have definitely played well as a unit so far, there are some players who need to find their groove. The second line of David Krejci centering Karson Kuhlman and Debrusk have only managed two points through five games. (Krejci and Debrusk both have one assist each.) While yes a few points were taken back from overturned goals against the Avalanche, this highlights a bigger problem for the Bruins.
Boston has struggled to find a productive three player second line since 2014. Krejci and Debrusk clearly were effective last year. Krejci tied a career high 73 points and Debrusk clebreated 27 goals. It is still unknown if Kuhlman can be this line’s consistent right wing. I would definitely keep an eye on this line for the next couple of weeks to see if they can find their offensive game.
The Bruins are off to a good start at 4-1. Boston’s next game will be against the Anaheim Ducks for a 1 o’clock matinee Monday.
Story by Chad Jones
Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones