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Devils Lose 6th Straight Home Game 3-1 to Bruins

The Devils had plenty of shots in the first two periods but only 1 goal to show for it

Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils
Bergeron had the game-winning goal for the Bruins
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

1st Period

Hischier turned and stopped after gaining the zone and passing the puck and McAvoy hit him from behind. Nico went down the tunnel at the next break but was back a minute later. Wood had a breakaway chance after Clifton mishandled the puck and Ullmark made a great save. The Boqvist line had a 3 on 2 but Sharangovich fanned on the shot. Ullmark gave it right to Sharangovich and he had to make a save. Marchand coughed up the puck to Tatar and Ullmark had to make a save. DeBrusk went the other way and took a trip from Siegenthaler. Mercer was hit in the mouth with a high-stick. A linesman called a double minor. Under review, and it was Severson’s stick, not Hall’s, so no penalty. At the end of the Bruins pp, shots were 7-1 Devils.

Frederic and Bahl fought after Frederic ran into Bahl after an offside whistle. Bahl had the upper hand early and had a couple good punches to the helmet but Frederic came back with several of his own late. The Bruins have been doing a good job of breaking up the Devils transition passes through the neutral zone. The next time the Devils made it through, Boqvist got to a loose puck first and fired a shot off the crossbar. The Devils have now gone 7 12 minutes without a shot on goal.

Sharangovich and Hughes had a 2 on 1. Hughes took a moment to corral the pass and fired the shot wide, although Ullmark had already gotten over.

With 30 seconds left in the period Bratt was alone in the Bruins zone and had a shot that Ullmark made a blocker save on. Bratt stole the puck back and poked away at it in front of the net. The Bruins cleared with 10 left and the period ended scoreless. Shots 14-8 Devils.

The Devils had a very good start and end to the period. They were held shotless for a while in the middle but overall a good period, with 14 shots. Sharangovich was all over the ice, great period for him. He’ll definitely score if he plays the next 40 the way he played the first 20. Okhotiuk also had a good period breaking up a few Bruins chances by going 1 on 1 with the puck carrier.

2nd Period

Boqvist took a shot from far out. Mercer took the rebound and almost scored on a wraparound. He had another chance and Ullmark made a pad save. Boqvist took another shot from far out and Mercer tipped it wide. Off the next faceoff McAvoy got called for hitting Hischier in the corner without the puck. First power play of the game for the Devils. The first unit was on the ice the whole power play, but they couldn’t get any grade A opportunities or shots on goal. The Bruins next chance, Frederic scored. I don’t know what the expected goals are but shots are 21-12 and I’m sure the Devils are leading xG by a lot too. They just can’t get real goals anymore.

Bahl was called for holding Coyle. 5 forward power play for Boston. The Devils killed it, and then immediately took another penalty, Bahl right back to the box for tripping McAvoy. Mercer could’ve just dumped the puck in but instead he went all the way to the red line and and chased after it. Bergeron leaned in to block his path and Mercer fell down trying to get past. Bergeron off for interference. 4 on 4. Bratt had a chance to shoot but held on too long and was pushed away. The Bruins had a 3 on 2 after the penalties expired, and fortunately, the puck hopped away from Clifton and he had to reset, missing his best opportunity for a shot.

3rd Period

Craig Smith had a takeaway at the Bruins blueline and the Bruins had a partial 2 on 1. Vanecek made the save on his shot. Shots now 23-23.

Hamilton made a quick play to pinch a couple feet in past Smith and keep the plat alive. Zetterlund centered to Hischier who scored to tie the game.

Haula knocked a pass out of mid-air and fed Bratt for a breakaway, but he backhanded it high. Hughes went flying up the middle and received a pass but Ullmark made a pad save. The Bruins next chance looked like an open net but the shot went to the side of the net Vanecek was on and he made a fantastic save to keep it tied.

The Devils failed to dump the puck into the Bruins zone for a change, leaving the Bruins plenty of space. Lindholm shot it from the point and Bergeron tipped it in. 2-1 Bruins with about 4 to go. With 2:36 left the Bruins iced the puck and Vanecek went to the bench. Bergeron won the draw but the devils recovered at center ice. Carlo blocked a Hughes shot out of play. After the next faceoff Zacha scored an ENG. 3-1. Devils didn’t seem to have an advantage during the 6 on 5. Vanecek out again. Nothing else. Final, 3-1. Devils have lost 6 home games in a row.

Need to be cleaner

One thing I noticed in the game today is that the Devils weren’t playing clean hockey. They had a lot of shots and xG in the first two periods, but the puck was bouncing around, they were getting shots but weren’t really getting any good passing plays or chances where the goalie has to change his angle or move laterally. Ullmark definitely made a few great saves, but you have to be able to beat good goalies to win games sometimes. They just didn’t seem very organized or fluid on the ice.

By game score, Hamilton was the best Devil by a lot. The worst Devils were Bahl, Thompson, McLeod, Severson, and Wood. Boqvist had a terrible couple weeks but he was a positive in this game. Okhotiuk was pretty good. Bratt had a good game by my eye test and he was 3rd in game score. Mercer and Sharangovich were also good by the eye test and a little lower than expected for game score, but still on the right side of 0.

This was also the 6th home game the Devils have lost in a row. It seems like they’re always better on the road than at home but losing 6 straight home games isn’t something I want to see. I’m still positive the Devils will figure it out, though. Bastian skated today, Palat is practicing, and the last few games have been more unlucky than bad.

Your Thoughts

What did you think of the game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.