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Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Guess You Could Say He Has The Moves Like Jagr (Shows Self Out)

Other than the goal being about as ugly as they get, I don't think you could script a better debut for Jaromir Jagr in a Bruins uniform. His "goal" which was really a pass that mistakenly went off his skate was the difference as Boston beat New Jersey 1-0 tonight at TD Garden. Good bounces like that seem to happen when you have 680 career goals in the NHL.

The third straight win for the Bruins (24-8-4) kept them within one point of Montreal, who beat Winnipeg 4-1 this evening, and it was all thanks to Jagr and Tuukka Rask (40 saves; 16-5-4) who notched his third shutout of the season and 14th of his career. Not bad for a guy that was the backup the last two games as Anton Khudobin earned back-to-back wins.

The Devils (15-13-9) are falling apart down the stretch (0-3-2 in their last 5 games) and scoring is clearly an issue for them without Ilya Kovalchuk in the lineup. Martin Brodeur (25 saves) did enough to win but his fellow product of the 1990 NHL draft class (Jagr) made sure to get off on the right foot with Bruins fans who were ready to love him from the start.

Zdeno Chara started the play by finding Brad Marchand who drove down the left wing before throwing it to Jagr who had driven to the net. His stick didn't get down in time but it still went in at 1:20 of the second period and most importantly, withstood a review since it wasn't a kicking motion. Jagr's first goal as a Bruin gave him the lead on his new team (15th of the season) while Marchand picked up his 16th assist and Chara reached double-digits with his 10th assist.

Jagr skated on the second line with Marchand and Tyler Seguin at center since Patrice Bergeron missed his first game with a concussion. Kaspars Daugavins also played his first game as a Bruin but I'm guessing that people won't be looking for his jersey in the Pro Shop quite as much as Jagr's. He was on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jay Pandolfo.

Montreal has beaten Boston the last two times they've met, both at the Garden, to take a 2-1 series lead. The Bruins have one more chance before the playoffs start to get them back and regain control of the Northeast Divison. Saturday night's (7 p.m., NESN) game at the Bell Centre should be a great atmosphere with two of the best teams not only in the Eastern Conference but the NHL as a whole (not that we'd know though since they have played teams from the other conference).

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