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Recap: Bruins drop last preseason game to Devils, 5-3

It wasn’t their greatest game, but some players had great individual efforts.

Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins fell to the New Jersey Devils, 5-3, despite a late third-period push to come within one score with minutes remaining at the TD Garden.

Here are the game’s highlights:

First period:

The Devils opened the scoring at 18:10 of the first period.

Connor Clifton was flatfooted on the blue line and beat by Jack Hughes entering the zone. Hughes threw a backhander out front through traffic which in the slot, Alexander Holtz put a quick shot over Linus Ullmark’s blocker. 1-0 Bruins.

Second period:

The Bruins tied the game at 7:59 of the second period on the power play.

From the corner boards, David Krejci found David Pastrnak camped out inside the left-wing circle. Pastrnak calmly collected the puck and slid a low shot through MacKenzie Blackwood’s five-hole. 1-1 game.

The Devils took the lead at 11:44 of the second period.

Dougie Hamilton sent a wrist shot on net that Dawson Mercer tipped past Ullmark’s stick. 2-1 Devils.

Third period:

The Devils took a two-goal lead at 1:30 of the third period.

Holtz sent a pass out front to Jack Hughes at the top of the paint where Derek Forbort couldn’t pick up his stick and he was able to fire a quick shot past Ullmark’s left skate. 3-1 Devils.

The Devils cushioned their lead at 2:59 of the third period.

Yegor Sharangovich let a wrist shot go from the top of the right-wing circle and it traveled past Ullmark’s blocker. 4-1 Devils.

The Bruins cut into their deficit at 14:15 of the third period.

Sliding down towards the left-wing circle, Jakub Lauko threw a wrist shot on net. It looked like Nick Foligno redirected the puck past Vitek Vanecek, but the goal was given to Lauko. 4-2 game.

The Bruins got within one score at 17:14 of the third period.

Off a pass from Krejci, Patrice Bergeron potted a one-timer from the slot under the crossbar. 4-3 game.

Tomas Tatar added an empty-net goal for the Devils at 19:42 of the third period to make the final score, 5-3.

Game notes:

  • The Bruins’ last preseason game had some good elements, but was weighed down by some poor puck management by defenders against a skilled New Jersey offense.
  • None was more apparent than Connor Clifton’s shortcomings tonight. Yes, he faced and was outmaneuvered numerous times by Jack Hughes - who would give any defender problems. Clifton is probably always going to have a hard time against a player like him, but Clifton’s issues came with some bad choices along the blue line that led to breakaways and being flatfooted on others. He doesn’t have the speed to get back and backcheck.
  • While overall the Bruins didn’t have their best 60 minutes of hockey in this preseason game, there were individual efforts that might have been those players’ best - like Jake DeBrusk who was always around the puck and had a net-front presence tonight.
  • Nick Foligno was one of those players and he had his best preseason game. Head Coach Jim Montgomery said the fourth line was the team’s strongest of the night. For Foligno in particular, he set up his linemates with centering passes. There were times that Lauko and Tomas Nosek didn’t finish that pass, but the effort was there from Foligno. He won board battles which led him to have some time to make plays in the offensive zone and was aggressive on the penalty kill.
  • Jack Studnicka was another one who showed a push for keeping him on the roster. He really seemed to be around the puck and didn’t panic when he had it. He showed speed up ice on the penalty kill where he worked the boards to make a bounce pass to himself and ultimately come in on Blackwood. Studnicka had another instance trying to get the puck loose from Blackwood, but the whistle worked against him. Overall, he made some nice low offensive zone plays and was effective because he held onto the puck and kept his feet moving.
  • The first power play of the night looked okay. The second power play looked much better with Pastrnak cashing in on a simple feed from Krejci. It felt like an effortless goal, with Pastrnak taking his time to pick the five-hole.
  • The Bruins are off tomorrow and the final roster for opening night has to be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday.