By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Garden may have looked drastically different, but the Bruins looked like the same group that grabbed three wins in their first four games of the season, beating the Devils down in a 3-0 final in a Saturday night home opener at TD Garden.
It was a quick start for the Bruins in their return to Garden ice, too, as Brad Marchand came through with a three-point range goal that beat the Devils' Cory Schneider at the 3:33 mark of the first period. The goal was good for Marchand's fourth in as many games, and also came with David Pastrnak's fourth helper of the season.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 12, 2019
Boston would add a second goal in the opening frame, and off a net-front finish from Joakim Nordstrom, and with assists to Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly on Nordstrom's first goal of the year (and in just his second game back from the foot injury that kept him on the shelf for the first three games of the new season).
Tuukka Rask was also on point in the opening 20, with a huge power-play stop on Nikita Gusev after Gusev nearly faked him out on a slapshot-pump, and a stop on a Taylor Hall wraparound attempt in the final two minutes of the frame.
Simply having their way with New Jersey, the Devils used a couple of second-period power-play opportunities to finally get some chances on Rask and the Bruins, but No. 40 stayed strong in the Boston net, with stops on all 16 shots faced in the middle frame, and with a perfect 26-for-26 mark through the first 40 minutes of action.
The Bruins rewarded Rask's strong play with a last-minute power-play goal from Patrice Bergeron, too, scored with just 45 seconds remaining in the middle frame, and just 12 seconds into the penalty against Kyle Palmieri. It was a milestone goal of sorts, too, as Marchand picked up the secondary helper on the goal, good for the 300th assist of his NHL career.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 13, 2019
Holding a 3-0 edge through 40, the Bruins held the fort in their own zone in the third period, as Rask finished with a perfect 31-for-31 mark in the Boston net for his shutout of the season and the team's second in five games this year.
The Bruins also killed off all four Devil power-play opportunities, improving to 10-for-14 on the kill this year.
With Brett Ritchie back in the lineup, David Backes jumped back in the press box, joining forward Par Lindholm and defenseman Steven Kampfer as the Black and Gold's healthy scratches.
The Bruins will get back to work Monday afternoon against the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks come to Boston with wins in four of their first five games out of the gate this year, and off a 2-1 loss to the Penguins on Friday night.