Bruins rebound with 5-2 win over Devils
It took until his 21st shot of the season, and on a sequence with some totally new linemates, but Erik Haula finally got rid of the donut next to his name and opened the scoring in a 5-2 victory over the Devils at Newark’s Prudential Center.
Erik Haula finally gets on the board.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 13, 2021
He knocks home the rebound off of a shot from Karson Kuhlman.
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/V7YQv93YMG
It was a goal that was beyond overdue, and it came amid some obvious questions beginning to linger around Haula after he logged a season-low 9:16 in his previous outing. With the Bruins looking for answers — and with a frustrated Bruce Cassidy saying that his message was ‘falling on deaf ears’ — it was worth wondering if Haula was going to be one of the first to take a seat in the press box as a healthy scratch should Cassidy feel the need to resort to message-sending measures.
That goal, however, can make a world of difference both for the Bruins and Haula’s confidence.
And while Haula’s goal held up as the only goal of the first period, Brad Marchand quickly pushed the Bruins out to a two-goal edge in the second period, and the Devils’ Dawson Mercer answered just 28 seconds later. It was the third time in two games that the Bruins had allowed a response goal less than 45 seconds after scoring a goal of their own.
Marchand didn’t wait long to build off his strong second-period start, however, and scored his second goal in 2:42 to put the B’s back on top by a pair, though a late-period goal from Jesper Bratt (and with help from the ref’s skate) halved that lead again.
Bostons’ third-period hunt for another two-goal edge featured a double-doink shot from Charlie Coyle that beat the Devils’ Jonathan Bernier but not the post behind him, and finally came with a net-front drive by David Pastrnak put the puck right on the New Jersey goal line, and for Patrice Bergeron to collect the garbage for his sixth goal of the season.
The Bruins then capped their two-point effort with an empty-net marker from Jake DeBrusk.
In net, Jeremy Swayman stopped 27 of 29 shots for his third straight victory and fourth of the season. The 22-year-old had his best work of the day come early, too, with a breakaway save on the Devils’ Pavel Zacha in the first period. The 27-save performance bumped Swayman’s season save percentage up from .906 to .911.
The Bruins played this game without winger Craig Smith. In addition to battling an undisclosed injury this season, the shoot-first winger has opened his season with zero points and a minus-7 rating through nine games played. With Smith out, Karson Kuhlman returned to the Boston lineup and finished with an assist in 9:31 of action.
The Bruins will return home for a Sunday night showdown with the Montreal Canadiens. It will be the first meeting between the Bruins and Canadiens since Feb. 12, 2020. The Bruins have won 11 of their last 14 meetings with Montreal.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.