By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins successfully forced overtime by way of a last-minute game-tying strike from Jack Studnicka, but a Jack Hughes takeover quickly ended things in Boston’s preseason opener, as the 2019 No. 1 overall pick scored to put New Jersey over the Bruins by a 4-3 overtime final on Monday night.
Jack Hughes and Nikita Gusev for the win ????????????— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) September 17, 2019
After a scoreless first period headlined by a number of strong saves from B’s netminder Kyle Keyser, the Bruins opened the game’s scoring behind Oskar Steen’s strike shortly into the middle frame. The goal was essentially Steen turning nothing into something, as he worked around three N.J. skaters on a shot that appeared to beat the Devils’ Cory Schneider rather easily.
The 5-foot-9 Steen, a 2016 sixth-round pick who has played pro hockey in Sweden since 2015, is coming off a strong showing at the 2019 Prospects Challenge, and could be a darkhorse candidate for potential midseason call-ups in the event that the Bruins are once again looking for some internal middle-six scoring pop this season.
But the Devils responded by way of a Hughes power-play goal that had the Bruins and goaltender Daniel Vladar spinning, tying things up at 1-1. The Devils then jumped out to a one-goal edge behind a Jesper Bratt tally pushed by Vladar.
But Chris Wagner, skating in his first game since breaking his wrist in Game 3 of the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, knotted things up at 2-2 early in the third period on a net-front bury helped by Anton Blidh’s effort around the Devils’ net.
Down by one on a Connor Carrick goal scored 13 minutes into the third period, the Bruins entered the final two minutes of the third period in search of a goal, and found one off a great Paul Carey to Studnicka feed that beat the Devils with 50 seconds left in regulation. It was a solid capper to what was an otherwise quiet night from the B’s top prospect.
Keyser finished the night with stops on all 17 shots thrown his way, while Vladar surrendered all four goals against, and finished with a 9-for-13 night in the Boston crease.
The Bruins will get back to work Thursday night against the Flyers.