The Boston Bruins fell to the New Jersey Devils for a third time this season in a 1-0 loss Sunday at TD Garden.
The two teams have played four times this season, with Boston winning its season-opener against the Devils and losing three straight.
The Bruins, who entered Sunday’s contest having scored an average of three goals per game, have been outscored 6-3 in those three losses to the Devils.
It’s a pretty clear indication of what hasn’t gone well against the Eastern Conference foe, as noted by head coach Bruce Cassidy.
“I don’t think we attacked their (defense) enough,” Cassidy told reporters of Sunday’s verdict. “We got some guys in our lineup that, if they look back, they probably didn’t have real strong offensive games that they could have with this (defensive) core. And with the Devils this year, we haven’t scored.
“We just haven’t scored against them. I know the first game up there (3-2 win) I thought we had enough offense to score three, four, five goals. I think the next night (2-1 loss) we lose the game, one gets called back. So, for whatever reason, we haven’t had a lot of puck luck against them. We need a little more will and the goaltending has been good against us. At the end of the day, we’ve defended well against them, just haven’t done the part on offense.”
The Bruins out-shot the Devils 40-25 during Sunday’s loss. They had two third-period power plays with plenty of offensive scoring chances. Boston had more shots than New Jersey during each of the first (12-10), second (10-9) and third (18-6) periods.
Boston hadn’t been shutout since Jan. 18, the third game of the season against the New York Islanders.
Here’s some more notes from Bruins-Devils:
— As Cassidy mentioned prior to Sunday’s puck drop, the Bruins were coming off such an emotional win over the Washington Capitals on Friday. He was aware there could be a bit of a drop-off in intensity as a result.
Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork offered their thoughts on the issue after the game.
“It’s our job to get up, come ready to play and bring our energy for this one — especially against a team who, yeah they’re not up there in the standings, but they’ve had our number this year,” Coyle told reporters. “There’s been a few games against them and for some reason or another we’re not ready from the start, I guess. And we have to be. We have to play like some thing big is on the line,” … That’s what we do. We got to learn from these ones and do what we need to come back and play like we need to play.”
“I don’t think we took a larger step back or anything,” Bjork said, “but our focus moving forward is to build off that because that was an emotional game and we want to play that way with that emotion every night and make it a habit to play that way.”
— Jake DeBrusk recorded one assist during that game against the Capitals but has just one point in the last five games. DeBrusk hasn’t scored in the last seven games.
Cassidy explained what he’s looking for from the winger, who he hopes will get back to giving the Bruins another key offensive threat.
“… There’s a little bit of that that is missing in Jake’s game where he could create some turnovers off the forecheck and some second-effort around pucks to strip people around loose pucks,” Cassidy said. “Weâve seen it. His foot speed is second to nobody. We’ve seen him have a good release, we’ve seen him have a good second-effort on pucks and get inside. Just got to put it together every night.”
— The 13-6-3 Bruins will return to action against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.