The Boston Bruins blanked the New Jersey Devils, 3-0, tonight at the Prudential Center to clinch a playoff berth.
“You play for an opportunity to play for the Cup,” Bruce Cassidy said. “We accomplished the first part of that.
“We’ve had our share of adversity, as much with COVID rescheduling and injuries, using different people,” Cassidy said. “The positive of that is you use different guys…We’ve come out of it ok.”
The Bruins took the last playoff spot in the East with the win, joining the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.
Tuukka Rask earned his second shutout of the season with the win. Rask made 20 saves.
The game was dominated by the Bruins throughout the 60 minutes and saw all lines and defense put offensive pressure on the Devils. David Krejci and Karson Kuhlman were the only ones not to register at least a shot on net during the outing.
“I like the fact that we are getting contributions from everybody,” Cassidy said. “Guys go in and identify their roles.”
The Bruins have struggled to get pucks through on Scott Wedgewood in recent games and the first 20 minutes of the game were no exception.
The Bs attacked the net, but had nothing to show for it in the first period. The Bruins dominated the ice, and spent most of the time in the offensive zone. All lines contributed early and they outshot the Devils 17-4 with quality chances.
Tuukka Rask wasn’t challenged much, but he did come up big on an attempt by Nico Hischier late in the period to keep it a scoreless game heading into the locker room.
The Bruins finally broke through on Wedgewood and opened the scoring at 9:08 of the second period.
Sean Kuraly sent the puck back to Jakub Zboril at the left point where he found Nick Ritchie across the zone inside the right face-off circle for a one-timer just over Wedgewood’s glove. 1-0 Bruins.
Tying a career high.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 4, 2021
That's 14 goals for Big Ritch.#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/F10eGDTWeN
The B’s kept the offensive pressure rolling from there on out.
The Bruins extended their lead at 17:54 of the second period.
From behind the net, Marchand backhanded the puck to Patrice Bergeron out front for a one-timer top-shelf over Wedgewood’s glove. 2-0 Bruins.
8 straight 20-goal seasons for Bergy.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 4, 2021
And the 12th of his career, which ranks second in club history behind Johnny Bucyk's 16.#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/8IAeknAnqM
The Bruins outshot the Devils 20-5 in the second frame.
While the offense got to work, the Bruins’ blue line kept the puck moving in the defense zone with strong puck possession that kept them out of the slot.
When the puck was in the defensive zone, it wasn’t there for long. There was quick puck movement that moved the play to the outside, not allowing the Devils to set up. The defensemen had good rushes to get the puck out of the zone and create offensive opportunities.
The game slowed down a bit in the third period. Through the first ten minutes of the third, the Bruins were outshout 5-1.
The Bs had the first power play of the night, after A.J. Greer was called for boarding against Zboril. After the play, Greer and Connor Clifton dropped the gloves.
Rask held onto this shutout, as the B’s defense had some momentary lapse of judgement around the front of the net towards the end of the game. Rask stopped Jesper Boqvist breaking in and Hischier from down low.
The Bruins capped off their win with a goal at 17:17 of the third period.
Marchand sent a pass to Matt Grzelcyk at the point where he sent a blast towards net. The shot deflected off Ryan Murray and under Wedgewood’s glove. Final score: 3-0 Bruins.
Grizzy adds one for good measure.#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/KjJubrzxf5— x - Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 4, 2021
It was another solid night throughout the roster with each line contributing at least six shots on net for a total of 40 shots. Bergeron’s line accounted for 13 shots, with Marchand’s six attempts leading the team. Defense added 10 from the blue line.
“For us, I watch how we’re winning, how we’re playing,” Cassidy said. “I think we’re doing it the right way.”
The Bruins are back tomorrow night for their last game of the regular season against the Devils at 7 pm.