Ladies and Gentlemen, the New Jersey Devils are here to play. Coming off of an impressive and dominant win over the Rangers on Tuesday, the Devils rolled into Boston for a date with the Bruins. This was a hard-fought game by both sides, with the Devils coming out on top by a score of 3-2. New Jersey has earned 5 out of 6 possible points vs the Bruins in 2021. Devils fans…..get excited. These aren’t the same old Devils from the past few seasons
Palmieri Snaps Drought, Offense Shines
Kyle Palmieri has finally snapped out of his goalless slump. The New Jersey native scored two goals in tonight’s victory, including one shorthanded. New Jersey was generating many chances on offense in the first period but Bruins netminder Jaroslav Halak was able to stop some big chances the Devils generated. The Devils looked like the more dominant team on offense, but the shots were tied at 7. The top line of Andreas Johnsson, Jack Hughes, and Jesper Bratt excelled at generating pressure in the Boston zone.
New Jersey’s first goal came with 18:26 to go in the second period. Jack Hughes sent a beautiful pass in the direction of Palmieri, who drove in and scored to give the Devils the 1-0 lead. The Devils eventually went to the power-play at the 11:59 mark of the second. PK Subban eventually took a 4-minute high sticking penalty, negating the Devils man advantage. While the Devils were short-handed, Damon Severson made a phenomenal pass to Palmieri, who drove in and scored. New Jersey took a 2-0 lead, which was eventually cut to 2-1. With 4:23 left in the second, the teams played 4 on 4 hockey yet again. In the Bruins zone, New Jersey took possession. Pavel Zacha sent it across to Andreas Johnsson, and Johnsson sent it back to Zacha who buried the Devils third goal of the period. New Jersey went up 3-1.
The offense looked aggressive for most of the game and New Jersey was able to generate many high danger scoring chances. New Jersey generated 26 shots on goal, with many of those being great chances. Halak stood tall for Boston on most of them though. The young Devils fight all game and it is very encouraging.
Brick Wall Blackwood
Mackenzie Blackwood has been the most impactful Devil on the ice all season. Tonight it showed yet again. Blackwood stopped 25 of 27 Boston shots and remained strong in the final minutes of the game. Boston had a power-play with 2:11 left in regulation, with New Jersey clinging to a 3-1 lead. The Bruins also pulled Halak, making it a 6 on 4 Boston advantage. David Pastrnak netted a power-play goal with 1:06 to go making it 3-2, so Boston did not go down quietly. Within the final 1:06, Boston threw a few shots Blackwood’s way and the Bruins pressured the Devils. Blackwood was able to stand tall and help guide the Devils to a win. Blackwood also made lots of huge saves throughout the game, keeping the score in favor of New Jersey.
With today’s victory, Blackwood improves to a 4-0-1 record on the 2021 season. He has been nothing but impressive for New Jersey this season, and Devils fans hope he could continue playing strong. If Blackwood keeps playing at the level that he has and the defense and offense continue to play well, the Devils could be a threat to other East Division opponents.
Devils Moving Forward
The Devils made a statement with tonight’s victory, improving to a 6-3-1 record. New Jersey has won three games in a row and has generated at least a point over the last 4 games. The Devils must continue the strong play heading into a back-to-back set this weekend. Under Head Coach Lindy Ruff‘s playstyle so far the Devils have thrived. The young players are utilizing their potential under Coach Ruff and this is a promising sign for the future and for the rest of the season. New Jersey is back in action on Saturday afternoon vs the Buffalo Sabres at 12:30 PM at the Prudential Center.
Devils Stars Of The Game
- Kyle Palmieri (2 goals)
- Mackenzie Blackwood (25 Saves)
- Pavel Zacha (1 goal)