BOSTON — The Bruins didn’t play particularly well at home last season, but they started the 2016-17 home slate on a positive note with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
B’s center Patrice Bergeron, who was making his return to the lineup after missing the previous three games with a lower body injury, scored the game-winning goal with 1:15 remaining in regulation, sending the TD Garden crowd into a frenzy.
Boston improved its record to 3-1-0, while New Jersey fell to 1-2-1.
Here’s a recap of of Bruins-Devils.
The Bruins dominated the action after Devils forward Kyle Palmieri opened the scoring at 4:14 of the third period. They tallied 14 straight shot attempts after New Jersey’s goal, and the 14th shot was an incredible wrister from Bruins winger Brad Marchand that evened the score. It was his third goal of the season and eighth point in four games.
STANDING TALL IN NET
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and Devils netminder Cory Schneider are two of the best players at their position, so it’s no surprise this was a low-scoring game.
Rask continued his good start to the season by making 28 saves on 29 shots. Schneider stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced. The Devils goalie hasn’t enjoyed too much success against his hometown Bruins. He entered this game with a 1-3-2 record, a .918 save percentage and a 2.81 goals against average in his career versus Boston.
The Bruins had nearly four minutes of power-play time in the second period, including a brief 14-second 5-on-3 advantage, but they registered only one shot on goal during that entire stretch. The B’s also had a two-minute power play shortly after Palmieri’s go-ahead goal in the third period, but they couldn’t beat Schneider despite firing three shots at his net. Another third-period power play also yielded no goals.
Boston hasn’t been able to capitalize with the man advantage this season, converting on just one of 14 attempts through four games. The B’s had the seventh-best power play last season with a 20.5 percent success rate.
NIGHT OF DEBUTS
Bergeron’s much-anticipated season debut couldn’t have gone any better. In addition to his game-winning goal, he also tallied two shots and won 13 of 24 faceoffs in 16:45 of ice time.
Joe Morrow also saw his first action of the season. The young defenseman featured on the second pairing with Torey Krug. This duo was mostly sheltered, evidenced by it starting all of its even-strength shifts in the attacking zone.
Forwards David Backes, Riley Nash and Dominic Moore made their home debuts for the B’s. All three were acquired in the offseason.
The Bruins will host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night at TD Garden for the latest chapter in hockey’s best rivalry.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images