GOLD STAR: Blake Coleman had a number of scoring chances stymied by Jaroslav Halak in the first period, but he finally broke through in the second period with a goal that finally broke the ice for New Jersey.
Coleman finished off a Nikita Gusev pass from the face-off circle after the Bruins didn’t get a puck deep into the New Jersey zone and things immediately started moving right back toward them in the defensive zone. Coleman finished with five shots on net and eight shot attempts overall and finished plus-1 overall in 19:01 of ice time.
Coleman has played some very good games against the B’s over the years and this becomes another of those to put in the collection.
BLACK EYE: The Bruins have a number of supporting forwards who were in the lineup against the Devils due to injury and opportunity, and none of them did anything worth a damn against New Jersey.
David Backes earned just 7:57 of ice time. Brett Ritchie had one shot on net and no hits while doing nothing in the offensive end and bringing no physicality to the table whatsoever. The B’s third line didn’t register anything at all. Par Lindholm got to play in place of the injured David Krejci and had another near-invisible performance with no shots on net in 11:42 of ice time.
The Bruins got goals from the top line and from their fourth line and got literally zilch from everybody on the middle lines. They can take a share of the blame for the loss.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins went up 2-0 in the second period and then they simply took the foot off the gas pedal. It was as simple as that.
Once they eased up and stopped playing with any intensity, intelligence or energy, the Devils picked up on that and had to erase just a two-goal deficit to at least force it to overtime and the shootout.
Once it became a 2-1 game headed into the third period and the Devils were amidst a 20-minute stretch where they outshot the B’s by a 19-5 stretch, it seemed fairly inevitable that New Jersey was going to tie the game. They did and then they just waited it out until the shootout where the Bruins are a pathetic 0-6 on the season.
In the end the B’s, gave up 44 shots to the Devils and that’s because they didn’t play hard at all in the second half of the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jaroslav Halak made 42 saves during regulation and overtime, and then extended well into the shootout ranks by playing some excellent hockey between the pipes for the Bruins.
None of the goals allowed could really be blamed on him, and instead he gave the Bruins a chance to win the game despite them not really deserving it in front of him. Halak nearly held in there for the regulation win too while making 18 saves alone in the third period, but a tipped point shot ended up getting past him for the game-tying strike and pushed things into overtime.
Still, the B’s don’t even salvage a point in this game if Halak wasn’t brilliant for 60 plus minutes.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2-1-3 — the B’s record against the last place teams in the NHL with losses to the Red Wings, Devils, Kings and Blackhawks.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “At the end of the day, I don’t know if it was energy or if we just didn’t manage pucks starting in the second period and it started snowballing on us. We probably got what we deserved in the end. We just gave up some easy opportunities to the other team.” –Bruce Cassidy, on NESN regarding what went wrong after the B’s had built a 2-0 lead in the game.