If you appreciate goals, high-paced action, or really just about any of the things that make hockey an enjoyable sport for so many, Sunday’s meeting between the Bruins and Devils was not for you.
In fact, a Kyle Palmieri goal (originally credited to Pavel Zacha) with just 4:37 left in the third period was all the scoring this game had, as the Devils took this one by a 1-0 final.
Given the way this game was played, that would be the goal that won this game.
But this one was really one on the back of New Jersey netminder Scott Wedgewood, who made 40 saves, including eight in the final 1:45 of regulation, by the night’s end for his second victory of the season.
“I think he made some good saves, obviously, especially in the third period,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We just didn’t finish anything. You’re not gonna win if you don’t put some goals on the board.”
Cassidy also harped on some of the team’s offensive players having quieter nights, which is not something he expected given their ability to attack their N.J. defense. That seems especially true upon noticing that Boston’s 40-shot evening included 15 from Pastrnak (10) and Bergeron (5), and 25 total from the other 16 skaters. The Bruins are used to their stars carrying them, sure, but asking for a little more pop from the supporting cast in this contest was never supposed to be a monumental ask.
“I don’t think we attacked their defense enough,” Cassidy said. “With the Devils this year, we haven’t scored. We just haven’t scored against them. For whatever reason, we haven’t had a lot of puck-luck against them, but we need more will.”
At the other end, Rask stopped 24-of-25 for his fourth loss of the season. The loss also means that Rask remains on the hunt for the 300th victory of his NHL career.
The Devils’ victory also gave them their second straight regulation win at TD Garden, which hasn’t happened since back-to-back regulation wins for Jersey back on Apr. 11, 1998 and Jan. 28, 1999.
With Brandon Carlo out week-to-week after taking a cheap shot from the Caps’ Tom Wilson, Urho Vaakanainen stepped back into the Boston lineup and on the right side of a third pairing with Jarred Tinordi. The Bruins opted to keep the Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy pairing together, too, which left the club with a second pairing that featured Jakub Zboril on the left and Connor Clifton to the right.
In addition to Carlo, the Bruins remained without defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and Kevan Miller, as well as winger Ondrej Kase. The Bruins remain hopeful that Miller will be on the ice for practice at some point this week.
Up next, the Bruins will head to Uniondale for a meeting with the Islanders. The Bruins are 0-3-0 against the Isles this season, with all three of those losses coming at Nassau Coliseum.