hockey came full circle as the Devils faced the Boston Bruins in their final
home game of the 2020-21 season just as they faced them in the first game of
the 2020-21 season.
The paths may
have diverged since that game in January, the Bruins are going to the playoffs,
the Devils not. But the Devils gave their fans something to remember as they
finished the home schedule on top, winning 4-3 in overtime.
contract info to get to as today (May 5) the Devils singed goaltender Nico Daws
to an Entry Level Contract. The 84th overall pick (third-round) in
2020 will see his three-year contract kick in in 2021-22 as he just finished up
his season in the DEL in Germany.
He had a
4-6-0 record over ten games with one shutout and a 2.90 goals against average
for ERC Ingolstadt this season. Before playing in the German league, he went 23-8-3-3 with a 2.48 GAA and a .924 save percentage, according
to the Devils’ press release on him, for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey
He was third
in save percentage last year in the OHL and was an OHL First Team All-Star and
the OHL Goaltender of the Year last year as well.
he represented Canada (he has dual German/Canadian citizenship – as he was born
in Munich) in the 2021 World Junior Championship where he won gold.
And now to
yesterday’s game. Andreas Johnsson and Mikhail Maltsev remain out, as do PK Subban
(who is working out, but has not skated yet) and Jonas Siegenthaler.
Ty Smith reaggravated
an injury in Monday’s game against Boston and so Matt Tennyson slotted in for
him. Marian Studenic drew in for AJ Greer as well.
Boston sat a
few players in preparation for the playoffs, including goalie Tuukka Rask. In
his place started Jaroslav Halak, who made 17 saves on 21 Devils shots for an
.810 save percentage. He got three of the Devils’ four power play shots (New
Jersey was 1-for-4 on the power play) and was 14-of-17 at even strength.
the Devils was Mackenzie Blackwood, who stopped 33-of-36 Bruins shots for a .917
save percentage. He stopped the Bruins’ lone shorthanded shot and got two of
their three power play shots (Boston was 1-for-3 with the man advantage). He stopped
30 of the Bruins’ 32 shots at even strength.
began with Miles Wood hitting the post for the Devils on a power play. A power
play would play a part in the first goal of the game, but not that one.
scored at 8:45 into the game while the Devils were on a 5-on-3. Nico Hischier
won a faceoff in the Bruins’ zone and Jack Hughes got it to Zacha in the slot.
He knuckle pucked it by Halak on a shot he did not get all of and scored to
make it 1-0 Devils.
that was a lengthy review, but not to see if the goal counted. It was to review
time. The replay showed that the first power play had expired during while the goal
was scored. This meant that Charlie McAvoy, the second offender, was released
from the penalty box, as his was the power play that the goal was actually scored
After all of
that, we were back to play. Blackwood went down with an apparent injury with
7:41 left in the first. He was checked out by the trainer and continued on. It
would not be the first scare the Devils would have on the night.
In the second,
the Bruins came on as the team you knew that they are.
It began at
4:36 in when Patrice Bergeron scored on the power play to tie. The Bruins won a
faceoff in the Devils’ zone. The puck was won back to Matt Grzelcyk who went across
the point to David Pastrnak. Pastrnak took a shot and his stick broke. Luckily
for Boston, the puck went right to Bergeron in front. He spun around and fired
the puck by Blackwood to make it 1-1.
took the lead at 14:02 when Taylor Hall scored his first against the Devils
since leaving the team for Arizona last December.
poked the puck loose from a Devils’ stick in the Devils zone and Grzelcyk
grabbed it. He threw it on net and Hall, who was in front as a screen had the
puck ricochet in off of him. The Devils used their coach’s challenge alleging
goalie interference. But after review, the call on the ice (goal) stood and the
Devils took a delay of game penalty. They would kill that off, but Boston took
the lead into the second intermission.
moment for the Devils to end the second when Jack Hughes went crashing
head-first into the end boards with 1:45 left in the frame. He got up on his own
power and left for the locker room, but would return for the third.
Devils would fight back in the third. It began at 9:10 when Damon Severson
threw the puck at the Bruins’ net from the point. It went through a maze of
skates and finally hit McAvoy’s before landing on Jesper Boqvist’s stick. He was
camped out in front and shoveled it in to tie the game at two. Studenic had the
But a little
more than a minute later, saw the Bruins retake the lead. It came at 10:42 when
Pastrnak, racing up the right wing, threw the puck to Sean Kuraly who was crashing
the left side of the net. The puck went in off of his skate and made it 3-2
Bruins. Mike Reilly had the secondary assist.
But in another
flash of lightning, the Devils would tie it again. At 12:41, Severson got the
puck up to Yegor Sharangovich, who snuck in behind the Bruins’ defense and was
all alone with Halak. He wristed a shot through Halak’s right arm that squeezed
in to tie it at three apiece. Kevin Bahl had the secondary assist.
moments after a Zacha shot dribbled behind Halak but sat on the goal line without
the Devils being able to sweep it over.
time ran out on regulation, it was off to OT.
would waste no time and got a little bit of luck to boot.
On a delayed
penalty call, Will Butcher went to Hughes, who found Zacha down by the top of the
far faceoff circle. He cut in on Halak and scored on his backhand to give the
Devils the OT win just 2:42 into the extra session.
Devils were outshot by Boston 36 to 21. They won just 36-percent of the game’s
faceoffs – with Hischier winning 50-percent of his to lead all Devils’ centers.
led in hits with 26 to the Devils’ 18. The Devils edged Boston in blocks with
11 to the B’s 10. The Devils had ten turnovers to Boston’s seven.
shots were led by Zacha and Jesper Bratt with three each. Hits were led by Nate
Bastian’s five. Blocked shots by Tennyson’s two and takeaways by Wood’s two.
Next up, the
Devils begin two with the Islanders tomorrow. Puck drop is 7 PM and this game
and Saturday’s game at Nassau Coliseum may, or may not, be the Devils latest
final games at that old barn. This all depends on construction schedules and whether
or not the UBS Arena opens on time or not, of course.
We will see
you then. Stay safe everyone!