Here’s the BHN Talking Points in the Boston Bruins 3-2 shootout win over the Devils:
GOLD STAR: Tuukka Rask was brilliant for the Boston Bruins just as he’ll likely have to be for the first few weeks of the season as the B’s sort things out with their lineup and endure through some injuries. Rask stopped 20-of-22 shots but was at his best when he was tested at some critical points during the game. Rask stoned Pavel Zacha on a nifty move at the end of the second period after he’d wheeled around a sliding Charlie McAvoy, and then he stuffed Kyle Palmieri on a wide-open breakaway in overtime to get Boston to the shootout. It wasn’t a huge number of saves for Rask on the night, but it was also a game where he was crashed multiple times by Miles Wood and had the Devils really putting the pressure on him around the net. If Rask can get off to a hot start this season it could go a long way toward getting the Boston Bruins off to a good-to-great start despite some issues they are clearly working through.
BLACK EYE: Miles Wood was a goal-scorer for the Devils, and he was active with five shots on net, but he also really hurt the Devils with his two goalie interference penalties. The first led to Brad Marchand scoring on the power play in the first period and then he took another one late in the third period that led to Boston’s second goal. It’s a “live by the sword, die by the sword” kind of thing for Wood and New Jersey because that’s kind of the way he plays with speedy, reckless abandon, but it hurt perhaps even more than it helped the Devils in this game. All that being said, it was a pretty good effort from a New Jersey Devils team that’s going to be scraping for points
TURNING POINT: Once it was up to Brad Marchand in the shootout, it felt like it was going to be all over for the New Jersey Devils. Marchand wheeled it to the net and then slid a puck through the Mackenzie Blackwood five hole for the game-winner. Marchand hadn’t really been lighting it up in the shootout the last season or two and had the incident where he fanned on the puck in the shootout in Philly last season, so it must have felt good for him to score the winner after Charlie Coyle and Ondrej Kase hadn’t been able to as the first couple of shooters.
HONORABLE MENTION: There was some question as to whether Brad Marchand would be ready to start the season coming off sports hernia surgery, but he certainly looked good in the season opener four months after the offseason work. Marchand scored the first goal of the game on a power play tap-in at the net and then scored the game-winner in the shootout on a nice five-hole attempt. For good measure he also fed the puck to Nick Ritchie at the doorstep for the other PP goal as the B’s coaching staff made an adjustment on the power play formation. Marchand finished with over 22 minutes of ice time, two points and the shootout game-winner for an all-around excellent game. With David Pastrnak still out and Craig Smith out with injury right now, it’s imperative that Marchand be at his best like he was against the Devils.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of goaltender interference calls on Miles Wood, with the Bruins scoring power play goals on each of them with Wood in the penalty box.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Clearly that will be talked about tomorrow. That’s not something we want to be a trend and we have plenty of guys in our lineup that can take business in that regard.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on the Devils crashing Tuukka Rask hard at the net.