November 15, 2011

Gameday Blog: Bruins vs. Devils

SECOND INTERMISSION

SCORE
NJD – 1
BOS – 1

SHOTS
NJD – 24
BOS – 19

The second period was nearly as uneventful as the first, but New Jersey’s power play goal midway through the frame and a tying tally from the Bruins has the two teams locked up 1-01 heading into the third.

Patrik Elias was employing some untimely stall tactics in the offensive zone while the Devils were on the man advantage, torturing the paying customers at TD Garden by dangling for all eternity.

But when Johnny Boychuk sent the puck over the glass, the Devils were give a 5-on-3.New Jersey capitalized as David Clarkson sneaked one through the wickets after Tim Thomas made an impressive stop on Dainius Zubrus.

But the Bruins responded four minutes later. Chris Kelly pounced on a loose puck right in front of Hedberg and roofed it over the Devils’ netminder to make it 1-1.

Zach Parise went for tripping at 17:15, giving the B’s a chance to capitalize on their momentum and take the lead. No dice.

FIRST INTERMISSION

SCORE
NJD – 0
BOS – 0

SHOTS
NJD – 12
BOS – 8

And so ends the most boring period of the season at TD Garden. The B’s and Devils are headed to the second period scoreless.

Boston wasn’t exactly outplayed by a wide margin, but the Bruins inability to put pucks on Johan Hedberg was extremely noticeable.

The Black and Gold’s best scoring chance came off the stick of Brad Marchand, but Hedberg robbed the winger of giving Boston an early 1-0 lead.

New Jersey initially led in shots by an 11-3 margin, but the Bruins put the next five shots on goal to make it look close.

The Devils had two power plays to Boston’s one. Neither team, as you’ve figured out by now, converted or posed much of a threat.

PREGAME NOTES

Here are tonight’s pregame notes (courtesy of the Boston Bruins):

STARTING GOALTENDERS: Thomas (6-4-0, 2.00 GAA, .930 Save %) vs. Hedberg
(6-3-1, 2.29 GAA, .917 Save %). Thomas is 7-5-3 with a 2.17 GAA and .928
Save % in 17 career games against New Jersey. Hedberg is 4-8-1 with a
2.93 GAA and .903 Save % in 15 career games against Boston.

STRANGE BUT TRUE: Boston’s Tim Thomas and New Jersey’s Johan
Hedberg were taken back-to-back in the 9th round of the 1994 NHL Entry
Draft, going 217th and 218th overall, respectively. Neither goalie ever
played a single game for the franchise that drafted them (Thomas was
taken by Quebec, Hedberg by Philadelphia). Both goalies also didn’t
make their NHL debut until over six years after they were drafted, with
Hedberg debuting for Pittsburgh on March 16, 2001, and Thomas for the
Bruins on Oct. 19, 2002.

MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT: The Bruins will honor local military
members, veterans and their families tonight for Military Appreciation
Night. Soldiers and their families will be honored throughout the game.
To show their support, Bruins teammates Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference,
Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic and Dennis Seidenberg have each purchased
$5,000 worth of tickets to the game that will be donated to local
military members and their families.

STREAKING: The Bruins have won five straight games, scoring 30 goals
over the course of the streak. It’s the first time the Bruins have
scored 30 goals in a five game stretch since Oct. 12-23, 1992. Tyler
Seguin currently has 8-3=11 totals during a six-game point streak and
four-game goal streak. Linemate Brad Marchand also has 3-5=8 totals
during a five-game point streak. For the Devils, Patrick Elias has 2-6=8
totals during his seven-game point streak and Dainius Zubrus has 1-4=5
totals during a four-game point streak. Elias’ streak is the longest
active point streak in the NHL and tied for the longest of the season.

SOPHOMORE SURGE: Bruins leading scorer Tyler Seguin had two goals and
an assist in Boston’s 6-2 win over Buffalo on Saturday night, bringing
his season totals to 11 goals (T-2nd in NHL) and 9 assists for 20 points
(T-7th). He has now matched his goal output from last season, and he is
currently leading the NHL in plus/minus with a rating of plus-14. Seguin
was named the NHL’s First Star for the week of November 7-13, during
which he had 4-2=6 totals in three games.

CONNECTIONS: Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien coached the Devils for
most of the 2006-07 season, and had a 47-24-8 record with the club. New
Jersey assistant Adam Oates played 368 games with the Bruins from 1992
to 1997, with a 142-357=499 scoring line with the B’s. Fellow Devils
assistant Dave Barr made his NHL playing debut with the Bruins. Barr
played 12 regular season games from 1981-83 for the B’s with 1-1=2
totals, and also appeared in 15 playoff games with 1-0=1 totals. New
Jersey’s Mark Fayne attended high school at Noble and Greenough in
Dedham, MA and played defense for four seasons at Providence College
recording 16-33=49 totals over 139 games.

DEVILS NOTEBOOK: The Devils come to Boston following a 3-2 shootout win
over the Capitals on Saturday night and have won four out of their last
five games… This is the second game of a four-game road trip, and New
Jersey will next head to Florida to face the Lightning and the
Panthers…. Dainius Zubrus is playing in his 999th career game… Ilya
Kovalchuk has 22-18=40 totals in 37 career games against Boston… New
Jersey is 6-0-1 in one-goal games, while Boston is 1-4-0… 2011
fourth-overall draft pick Adam Larsson scored his first NHL goal in
Friday night’s 3-1 loss to Washington.