Thursday, January 8, 2015
Bruins Blank Lifeless Devils 3-0, Behind Lucic (2 goals) & Svedberg (14-save shutout)
Unless you are related to Niklas Svedberg or Milan Lucic, odds are that you won't remember tonight's Bruins-Devils tilt. Regardless, Boston (21-15-6) did what they had to do to pick up two more extremely valuable points with a 3-0 win over New Jersey (15-21-7). The Bruins outshot the Devils 43-14 so if it wasn't for the heroics of BC's Cory Schneider (40 saves), Boston would have won by five or six goals.
The B's improved to 5-2-3 in their last 10 games, they have points in their last six games (3-0-3) and they won back-to-back games for the first time in two weeks. It's hard to believe that there are worse teams in the NHL than the Devils but they have clearly tuned out their stupid three head coaches system. Basically, all that's left for them to do in the second half of the season is to ship away various veterans (Jagr, Ryder, etc.) to contenders and hope that next season gets better.
Lucic gave Boston a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 18:50 of the first period. His seventh goal of the season was assisted by David Krejci and Torey Krug. He blasted a shot from the slot through a bunch of bodies. Earlier in the frame, the Bruins had a two-man advantage for 1:08 but they weren't able to cash in. No worries, when you play New Jersey eventually they will give you something tasty.
The Devils had three shots on goal in the first period, three. Haha they increased that by 33% with four in the second period but the B's took a 2-0 lead on Carl Soderberg's unassisted tally at 8:31. Chris Kelly's forecheck caused a turnover and Soderberg was out in front to finish it Brad Marchand style-top shelf.
Even in forgettable contests like this, you never know what you'll see. Case in point: Jordan Caron dropped the gloves shortly after Soderberg's goal with Jordin Tootoo of all people. It wasn't a classic, mostly of the clutch and grab variety, but you have to give Caron credit (for once), he apparently is doing anything he can to hang around this time.
The last goal came via an empty-netter by Lucic with 12 seconds left in regulation. Lucic went back and forth with Bergeron but the big guy was able to pot his second of the game with the other assist going to Kelly.
Boston is back in action on Saturday (1, NESN) in Philadelphia (16-18-7). That is another must-win for the Bruins because the Flyers aren't going anywhere either, they need to make the most out of this short lull in their schedule.