Here are Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden, the second straight game where the Devils have shut them out.
GOLD STAR: Once again Mackenzie Blackwood had all the answers for the New Jersey Devils when it comes to the Boston Bruins. The Devils netminder stopped all 40 shots that he faced with a couple of assists from the NHL Situation Room in the closing minutes of the third period, when a goaltender inference overturned one B’s goal and a video review kept another close call off the scoreboard. Truthfully, though, Blackwood didn’t need any help as he was outstanding for New Jersey against a Bruins team that generated traffic around the net and threw 17 shots at the Devils goalie in the final period. He stood up to each and every one of the shots and made the key stop when he put a glove on top of a rebounded loose puck in the crease before David Krejci could pry it loose for the Patrice Bergeron goal that was overturned. That was the play of the game and it earned two points for the Devils.
BLACK EYE: The Bruins power play continues to fail to deliver when the B’s really need it this season. It’s a departure for a Boston Bruins group that has struggled in 5-on-5 play for years, but always had the top-ranked power play to bail them out. This season it’s been much more inconsistent and isn’t a top-5 unit anymore and the power play was kept off the board in four tries on Sunday afternoon. The biggest failure was when the Bruins got a four minute PP in the third period after Charlie McAvoy caught a high stick. They managed to get three shots on net during the extended power play possession, but they didn’t score and couldn’t tie up the game. Certainly missing Brad Marchand missing this weekend has hurt the man advantage, but this goes way beyond missing No. 63. This is about Torey Krug leaving in free agency and the Bruins not being the same anymore on the man advantage.
TURNING POINT: Obviously, it was the final 90 seconds when the Bruins appeared to score a pair of goals with Jaroslav Halak pulled that ended up necessitating video reviews from the NHL Situation Room. The first was a goaltender interference challenge on Patrice Bergeron’s game-tying goal that ended up getting the score wiped off the board, and the second was a Nick Ritchie near-goal that ultimately didn’t cross over the goal line. So instead of the Boston Bruins tying the game or even winning based on the two near-scores, the Bruins ended up losing a 1-0 shutout that was “close but no cigar” when it comes to offense. It was the ultimate bummer ending for the Black and Gold.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Bruins got another up-close view of a player that could help them as Kyle Palmieri scored the game’s only goal to beat the Bruins. Palmieri has four goals in five games against the Bruins this season, and this was done the old-fashioned way with a Ty Smith point shot bouncing off Palmieri’s knee before shooting past Jaroslav Halak. Palmieri finished with three shots on net and a goal along with a plus-1 rating in 13:58 of ice time this season. The seven goals and 16 points this season for Palmieri wouldn’t exactly be game-changing for the Bruins, but he’s done most of his damage during even-strength play. And that’s something the Bruins could use along with his willingness to go to the front of the net and manufacture offense.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – the number of shutout losses for the Bruins this season, including a pair of 1-0 losses to the Devils where the New Jersey goalie put up 40 saves. Last time it was Scott Wedgewood and this time it was Mackenzie Blackwood. The Bruins have been shut out three times in 31 games this season after getting shut out once in 70 games all of last season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Offensively, we’re not built to outscore teams.” –Bruce Cassidy, with the understatement of the year after the Bruins are shut out for the third time and can’t score a single goal against the New Jersey Devils.