Talking Points: Bergeron scores game-winner in closing minutes
Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup after missing more than a week of action, and it was like he never even missed any time. Bergeron scored the game-winner in the closing couple of minutes in the third period on a blast from the high slot, and played 16:49 of ice time in his usually excellent fashion. Bergeron finished with a goal and five shot attempts along with a plus-2 rating, and won 13-of-24 face-offs after the Bruins had struggled a bit in the circle in his absence. The legend of Bergeron continues at this point with his ability to miss time, come back while something might still be nagging physically and get right back into the flow of things with very little time to reorient himself.
Ben Lovejoy was on ice for both of the goals against for the Devils, and finished without a shot on net in his 21:32 of ice time. In fairness to Lovejoy, he blocked three shots, threw a couple of hits and played an active role for the Devils on the back end, but it was Lovejoy that couldn’t win a battle at the end of the game against the Patrice Bergeron line while Jersey was hanging on for overtime. On the positive side: at least Brad Marchand didn’t snap a wrist shot through his legs on the way inside the far post like he did to Andy Greene earlier in the third period. So he has that going for him, which is nice.
The Bruins and Devils were both engaged in a minimal offense dance for the first 40 minutes of the game where there were shots on net, but very few Grade A scoring chances in a tight-checking game. But that all changed in the third period when a bounce from a Kyle Palmieri shot off Brandon Carlo’s skate turned into a goal for the Devils. The Devils goal seemed to snap the Bruins out of their trance, and they outshot New Jersey by a 17-8 margin in the final 20 minutes while the Patrice Bergeron line provided a couple of goals for the Black and Gold.
Brad Marchand finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 rating in 17:57 of ice time, and came alive in the third period for an important game-tying strike. It was done in soul-crushing fashion for the Devils as well, with Marchand firing a shot from the left face-off circle through Andy Greene’s legs that beat a sprawling Cory Schneider inside the far post. It was a filthy, nasty goal from a player in Marchand that’s authored plenty of those over the last couple of years. The goal also paved the way for the game-winner from Bergeron served on a dish from Marchand behind the Devils net. Marchand now shares the NHL lead with nine points in four games, and he’s off to the fastest start of his career.
BY THE NUMBERS
9 - The number of points (three goals, six assists) for Brad Marchand through four games, which is tied with Brent Burns for the scoring lead in the NHL.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“I think we’re growing as a team. But I think right off the bat when everybody showed up, we looked like we were ready to go and everybody seemed to have that right mindset. That’s a good thing to have.” –Tuukka Rask, who likes what he’s seen in the early going from the rest of his Bruins team this season.