Tuukka Rask continues to be a Vezina award candidate.
After blowing two third period leads, Rask stood on his head in overtime, which propelled the Bruins to their first win of the season.
Rask flashed the blocker against Kyle Palmieri, who waltzed to the net after a breakaway attempt with so much time and space between the closest defender that he could have stopped for drive-thru and still gotten off a shot. Rask also made keys stops against Egor Sharangovich and later Jack Hughes at the final horn, ensuring that the Bruins advanced to a shootout. Scoreless through five total attempts, Brad Marchand slid the rubber through Mackenzie Blackwood’s legs to reward the Bruins with two points.
In addition to scoring the Bruins’ shootout winner, Marchand popped in the team’s first goal of the season off a beautiful play by David Krejci. Krejci poked the puck away from Palmieri at the blue line, gaining control and surging into the zone. He found Marchand, who made himself free in front of Blackwood. The Bruins frequently utilized cross-crease passes, with this goal being a fine example of their exectution.
The Bruins looked sharp in the season opener, outshooting the Devils 37-22. The powerplay struck twice in five opportunities, while the penalty kill shutdown all five Devils opportunities on the man advantage.
The young defensemen performed admirably, filling large shoes in replacing minutes previously occupied by Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug. Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon were able to make plays defensively and avoid turnovers. Kevan Miller returned to the lineup after many different surgeries and impressed, utilizing his size and strength to hammer any nearby opponent into the boards. Bruce Cassidy pointed out post game that the coaching staff will continually monitor Miller’s minutes to ensure that he remains healthy and fresh.
“Everyone’s pulling for Kevin. He’s a well-liked teammate,” said Cassidy postgame.
The Bruins return to action on Saturday, battling the Devils again.