The secondary scoring boost remained in effect for the Bruins on Tuesday night against the Devils.
And this was the wackiest effort from that grouping yet, all things considered, as the Bruins scored three downright loopy goals against New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood. But it was a much-needed, slump-busting goal from the Bruins’ David Pastrnak that ultimately made the difference by the night’s end in a 5-3 win over the Devils at TD Garden.
David Pastrnak finally breaks through.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 5, 2022
4-3 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/xdvIriq15g
The goal was Pastrnak’s first since Nov. 30, and was created by some downright gritty work from No. 88.
“It was a good shift all around. Got the puck deep, second effort on the forecheck,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s been going to the net a lot without [the puck]. But he had it, made a high-end play, and got rewarded for it.”
Pastrnak’s game-winning strike was first helped by the continuation of bottom-six scoring help from the Bruins, with goals from Curtis Lazar, Oskar Steen, and Trent Frederic on the way to a 3-2 lead through two periods of play.
Lazar kicked off the weirdness with what appeared to be an attempted centering pass that instead went through the Devils’ Blackwood for the game’s first goal, Steen put himself on the board with a puck that went off the top of the net and then off Blackwood and in, and Frederic called bank off the New Jersey netminder and through for his second goal in as many games.
Oskar Steen scores his first career NHL goal.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 5, 2022
2-1 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/Dd3FyxZ60x
The Bruins capped the weirdness with a Brandon Carlo goal (which always the weirdest of the weird), too, scored through traffic with 23 second left in regulation, and after what was an excellent shift from every Bruin on the ice to deny Jersey a zone exit that would’ve given them with one last chance with a 6-on-5 look.
With their second straight five-goal night, the Bruins have now scored 14 goals through their first three games of the new year, and have gotten goals from 13 different scorers over that spell.
“Good to see the guys keep pushing,” Cassidy acknowledged. “We protected the lead, did a good job managing the game, and got the two points. That’s growth from earlier in the year. Let’s hope we can build off it.”
At the other end of the rink, Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark earned the victory with a 23-of-26 performance in net.
It was a mostly solid night from the 6-foot-4 Ullmark, who has now captured wins in six of his last eight outings, as the Devils put themselves on the board with breakaway markers from Nate Bastian and Damon Severson. Ullmark’s lone blemish came on New Jersey’s middle goal, really, with a juicy rebound kicked out and tucked home by the Devils’ Tomas Tatar.
Boston played this game without winger Jake DeBrusk, who joined Karson Kuhlman on the team’s COVID list Tuesday, along with assistant coach Kevin Dean. Speaking with reporters before Tuesday’s game, Cassidy noted that DeBrusk was not experiencing any symptoms, which could be a potentially positive sign in regards to him testing out of the COVID protocols. This is DeBrusk’s second run-in with COVID-19, as the 25-year-old had a 17-day stint on the NHL COVID list last season.
The Bruins will wrap up this quick two-game homestand with a Thursday night visit from the Wild.
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.