For the fourth time this season, the Devils and Bruins faced each other and for the fourth time this season, the Devils and Bruins played in a one-goal game. The Devils defeated the Bruins 1-0 at TD Garden this evening.
This was the third of four games on NBCSN’s “Hockey Day in America.” Puck drop came a little after 5 PM due to the earlier Lightning-Blackhawks game running a little bit long.
The only roster changes for the Devils saw Michael McLeod slot in for Nikita Gusev up front and Ryan Murray in for Will Butcher on the blue line. Aaron Dell was the other healthy scratch.
And Mackenzie Blackwood got a much-needed day off with Scott Wedgewood getting the nod between the pipes for the Devils. He was making his first start since January 30.
Wedgewood made 40 saves in getting the shutout win, including stopping one shorthanded change for Boston and five power play shots. He made 34 saves at even strength.
Facing him was the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask. Rask stopped 24-of-25 total shots for a .960 save percentage. He stopped three Devils power play shots and made 21 saves on 22 shots at even strength. Rask would leave with about a minute and half to go in the game for the extra attacker. While he was skating to the bench, he was favoring his back. No word on his condition yet.
The Devils, losers of five straight, seemed to be playing up to the Bruins once again.
Although going 0-for-3 on their own man advantage, they held the powerful Boston power play – ranked first in the NHL – to 0-for-2.
Otherwise, Boston won 54-percent of the game’s faceoffs. For the Devils, Travis Zajac led in personal faceoff percentage with a 60-percent clip. Boston also outhit the Devils 22-19. The Devils did edge them in blocked shots at 13 to 12 and had less giveaways at nine to the Bruins’ 14.
After a scoreless first and second period, the lone goal came at the 15:23 mark of the third when Pavel Zacha grabbed a rebound and got it to PK Subban. Subban cut in on net, shooting from a sharp angle. The puck came in front and, after a scramble, Zacha had seemed to score. The goal was later scored to Kyle Palmieri. That made it 1-0 Devils.
And that was how it ended. Following a few last grade A chances for the Bruins that Wedgewood fended off, the Devils had another win over the East Division’s Cup contenders.
Subban led the Devils in ice time at 23:34 while Zacha led the forwards with 17:10. Shots on goal were led by Miles Wood and Subban, who both had four. Hits were led by Zacha with four. Blocks by Sami Vatanen with three and takeaways by Janne Kuokkanen with two.
Next up, the Devils will visit Washington to take on the Capitals. It is another test that comes the Devils’ way on Tuesday at 7 PM. Two Cup contenders back-to-back is a daunting task. How will the Devils handle it? We will find out on Tuesday!
Until then, stay safe everyone!