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Bruins Defeat Devils 2-1, Tie NHL Wins Record

In a playoff-style game, the Devils fought hard but were defeated by the seemingly unbeatable Boston Bruins, who tied the NHL record for wins in a season with their 62nd victory of 2022-23.

New Jersey Devils v Boston Bruins
Former Devil Pavel Zacha scored both Bruins goals in the Devils’ 2-1 loss
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

1st Period

Graves took an early interference penalty for holding Marchand’s chin. On the kill, Blackwood made a few nice saves, but Zacha deflected a Lindholm point shot past him. Bruins lead 1-0.

Devils have had no offense in the first 2 1/2 minutes.

Marino hit the post with a point slapshot.

Zacha found Pasta for a one timer that went wide. It bounced off the end boards back to Zacha who fed it through an out of position Blackwood for his 2nd of the game. 2-0 Boston 5 minutes in

Bratt got past Bertuzzi and Hughes fed him with a pass. Alone in front on the rush, he beat Ullmark to cut the lead in half. 2-1.

McLeod, Meier, and Sharangovich had a solid shift in the OZ.

Shots are 16-7 in favor of Boston.

Bertuzzi shot it wide on a 3 on 2.

Hathaway caught Devils defense sleeping and almost scored.

Devils had a solid few minutes there but the Bruins dominated the rest of the period. Shots were 22-10 after the first.

2nd Period

Ullmark saved a Hughes breakaway, Hughes’ rebound, and Sharangovich’s rebound of the rebound.

Matching penalties for Meier and Orlov. 4 on 4 for 2 minutes.

Blackwood stopped Pastrnak on a breakaway and got the rebound too.

McAvoy cross-checked Wood. Devils get their first power play of the game.

Zboril high sticked Hischier and they started shoving each other. Zboril left bleeding. No penalties to either player.

Bruins killed the penalty, but the Devils had a couple chances. Not a bad power play against the number 1 kill in the league.

With 20 seconds left in the period, McAvoy takes a high sticking double minor on Sharangovich

3rd Period

Palat has the first shot of the period, going down the middle 90 seconds in. Ullmark makes the save.

Ullmark stopped a Meier deflection in front with the pad.

Blackwood made a glove save on Coyle on a 2 on 1 after Tatar was taken down.

Bruins kill the double minor.

Bratt cut to the net and got right past Lindholm. Meter was tied up or he would’ve had the rebound sitting on a platter.

McLeod took a high hit from Marchand with 2 to go. Refs decide it was accidental and there is no penalty. (In my opinion, it did look accidental this time. It’s the rat, but I’ll let this one slide)

Devils pull Blackwood with 2 minutes remaining.

Ullmark tried to score and flipped it all the way down. Marchand got to it first. Hamilton makes a save on Debrusk.

Bruins clear with 23 seconds to go. McAvoy clears on the Devils’ next try. Hischier makes a save on Pastrnak, but time expires. Meier hit Pastrnak and they start a scrum after the horn.

The Bruins Are Good

The Devils are a good hockey team. The score might’ve been close, but they got crushed in expected goals, corsi, and shots. This game, in my opinion, just said that the Bruins are a really damn good hockey team. It didn’t look to me like the Devils were completely out of their league. They look like a playoff team that will win playoff games. The Bruins are just a fantastic team that will be extremely difficult to beat in a 7 game series. 62 wins has only happened 3 times, and they still have 3 more games to go to break the record.

The Palat-Hughes-Bratt Line is It

The only Devils line or pairing that was above 50% in xGF% was that line. They played one of the best teams in NHL history on a good night for them and had over 60% of the xGs. That tells me those 3 are ready for the playoffs. Some people are worried about Bratt and Hughes in the playoffs because of their size, but they went in there against the Bruins and both had great games. Those two are gonna really need to be big drivers of offense in the playoffs and they were pretty good at it tonight against the league’s best.

Blackwood Showing Signs of Life

I, like many other Devils fans, had hope for Blackwood to recover his form for a long time, but finally gave up in the last few months. He really showed up in this game, though. 2 goals allowed early, and then he completely shut the door. 40 shots against, 38 saves. He looked like the Blackwood of 2020. Ruff trusted him against a team he seems to do well against if memory serves me correctly, and he certainly did. If he plays like this again he could challenge for the starting spot. Either way, I’m comfortable with the Devils goaltending situation with Vanecek, Blackwood, and Schmid, which is a huge difference from last season. Generally you do need an above average goalie to win the cup, but I’m not worried about that yet. I’m just happy we don’t have the fiasco in net of yesteryear.

Final Thoughts

The last thing that comes to mind is that the bottom 6 was pretty much killed today. I didn’t notice much of anything from anyone in the bottom 6. Meier had one one-timer chance he fanned on, it happens, and Sharangovich and McLeod had a couple decent shifts, but for most of the game the bottom 6 brought little to no offense and spent most of their time in the d zone. Bottoms 6s are generally bottom 6s for a reason (Timo Meier excepted, he is there to try to spread out the offense), but you want them to bend and not break. I’d hope to see a better performance from the 4th line and Boqvist in the playoffs than they had in this game.

That’s all I have for tonight. Happy Easter everyone! Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for reading.