Final, 1-0 Bruins: Lucic blocked a slap shot near the blue line, Krejci won a foot race to negate an icing, Rask made a save on a long shot through traffic, and the Bruins hang on to win 1-0.
Rask made 40 saves in the shutout. The Bruins are now in first place in the Northeast Division and sit just four points behind Pittsburgh for the top seed in the East.
Third period, 2:15, 1-0 Bruins: A dizzying sequence there, as Seidenberg’s shot from the high slot deflects to Horton, who tries to bury the rebound but is turned aside by a Brodeur to save. He then collected the puck behind the net and passed in front to Krejci, but Andy Greene got his stick through the crease to block what looked like a sure goal. Huge effort by Greene there.
Third period, 5:30, 1-0 Bruins: Thirty-eight saves now for Rask, including one on a streaking Andy Greene, who then shot into the side of the net on his follow-up bid.
It’s a season-high for Rask, and these ones in the third period are falling into the “timely” category that so many people have been saying he can’t make lately, for some reason. This game’s been all Rask so far.
Third period, 8:42, 1-0 Bruins: This place nearly exploded for another Jagr goal, as Marchand passed through the slot to Jagr. But Bryce Salvador blocked the shot with his stick and deflected the shot wide to keep the score at 1-0.
Rask now has 35 saves, but the Bruins are clearly playing with fire, getting outshot 35-22 and relying on a lucky bounce goal to get them to a victory. One more Boston goal would deflate the Devils, who are 2-8-2 this year when trailing after two periods. But as it stands now, it’s still anyone’s game.
Third period, 14:52, 1-0 Bruins: The shots keep raining down on Rask, and he keeps stopping. He now has 32 saves, just three shy of his season high.
The B’s had a good chance earlier in the period, when a Seguin slap shot got tipped up and then suddenly broke down to the ice, almost like a knuckle ball. Brodeur, who’s seen every shot possible in the sport, was able to adjust and fight it away with his shoulder.
Third period, 20:00, 1-0 Bruins: Final twenty under way. You may know this … but the Bruins have struggled somewhat when heading into the third with a lead this year.
End of second period, 1-0 Bruins: The B’s head to the locker room with a 1-0 lead, thanks to the Jagr goal.
The Devils are still leading shots by a pretty wide margin at 28-19, but Rask has been outstanding. He did get a little help from the crossbar/post on one shot, but even then, he moved left to right really well and even had his stick way up to block the top corner of the net, so the pipe may have robbed him of a pretty spectacular save.
Second period, 7:57, 1-0 Bruins: The Bruins don’t get a goal on the power play, but they came awfully close when Jagr fed Lucic in front of the net. Lucic didn’t get a whole lot on it, and Brodeur made a save there.
Johnny Boychuk just took a puck to the face and may have lost a tooth or two. He had to stay on the ice, with the Devils on the rush, but eventually made it to the bench and went down the tunnel to the dressing room, holding a towel to his face. He is as tough as they come.
Second period, 12:55, 1-0 Bruins: Another old fella in a Bruins sweater just contributed by putting in some extra effort off a faceoff and drawing an interference penalty on David Clarkson.
Second period, 18:40, 1-0 Bruins: Welcome to Boston, Jaromir. How about a goal?
Jagr dished to Marchand in the neutral zone and then broke straight toward net. Marchand tried to throw it to Jagr in front, and the puck deflected off his skate and into the back of the net.
It wasn’t the prettiest goal of Jagr’s career, but it was the 680th.
The home crowd celebrates with a JA-GR chant, and the B’s lead 1-0.
Second period, 20:00, 0-0: Second period is under way. Let’s see if the Bruins try playing some of that “defense” stuff I’ve heard about.
End of first period, 0-0: No score after one, and that’s almost entirely because of Tuukka Rask, who had 17 saves in the opening period. Like I said earlier, it’s clear the Devils are desperate out there tonight, as they’re currently tied for the final playoff spot, so they’re firing at will on net.
The B’s aren’t playing poorly, per se, but they simply can’t manufacture that kind of desperation. Thanks to Rask, it hasn’t hurt them, but this trend of giving up 16-plus shots per period in the past four is one Claude Julien can’t be happy about.
And as far as Jagr watch goes, he’s done some good work in front screening on another point shot late in the period.
First period, 3:35, 0-0: Still no score, thanks to Rask’s 12 saves, but the B’s will go short-handed for two minutes, as David Krejci gets called for holding in the neutral zone.
First period, 8:34, 0-0: It’s still scoreless, but if not for Tuukka Rask, it very easily could have been 1-0 Devils. David Clarkson had a doorstep bid on a rebound from Ponikarovsky, but Rask made the pad save to keep things scoreless.
The Devils actually built up a 9-2 shot advantage before the Bruins just got a couple on net, including a slap shot from the blue line by Horton.
First period, 12:00, 0-0: The Devils are a desperate team, and they are playing like it early on, with shots on net already. The most recent came after a cross-ice pass in the defensive zone from Hamilton to Chara hit the captain in the skates and knocked him off balance to the ice. Andrei Loktionov hopped on the loose puck and fired on net, but Rask turned it away.
Krejci, Horton and Lucic also had some nice puck movement in the offensive end earlier, but Brodeur saved Lucic’s shot.
First period, 15:59, 0-0: Jagr’s first shift saw him screening Brodeur and trying to get a stick on a Chara wrister, but Brodeur was able to make the stop. A goal on his first shift really would have been something.
First period, 18:36, 0-0: After three New Jersey icings, Jagr hops over the boards for his first shift in (this) black and gold sweater … and then another New Jersey icing.
First period, 20:00: Claude starts with the fourth line tonight, and this one is under way.
7:04 p.m.: The B’s have taken the ice, with Jagr getting a big ovation from the home crowd. That black 68 jersey is going to take some getting used to.
Puck drops in mere minutes now.
6:47 p.m.: Hey, if you’re watching this game on television and wondering why hockey looks a lot like baseball, that’s because the game is on NESN-plus. You can find out which channel that is for you by clicking here.
6:40 p.m.: The lines were as expected, with Jagr on the right wing of Seguin.
And what’s more fun is that Martin Brodeur will start in net for New Jersey. Brodeur made his debut in 1991, so I guess he’s the relative youngster when compared to Jagr.
6 p.m.: T-minus 65 minutes until the dawn of the Jaromir Jagr era in Boston.
That may be over-hyping things a bit, but it’s not every day a bona fide Hall of Famer and legend of the game joins the Bruins, so the city is sure to be alive tonight.
But of course, it won’t all be about Jagr, as the Bruins are still scrapping away to leapfrog Montreal in the division standings. And thanks to a Candiens loss on Wednesday night, the Bruins can do just that if they can secure two points tonight against New Jersey. A win tonight for Boston would even get the B’s to within four points of the Penguins at the top of the conference, a spot that seemed impossible to reach when the Penguins were on their long winning streak.
Of course, it won’t be easy for Boston, not without Patrice Bergeron, who’s out indefinitely and also without Chris Kelly, who’s been out since March 11 but is close to returning.
Jagr is expected to make his Bruins debut on the right wing, with Tyler Seguin at center and Brad Marchand at left wing. It’s believed by many that Seguin’s “natural” position is center, so it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts his game in a new role. Chances are, he’s learned a thing or two while skating alongside Bergeron.
Of course, the Devils have their own problems, as they are clinging to the final playoff spot despite losing four straight games since Ilya Kovalchuk suffered a shoulder injury.
We may see another debut tonight, too, as Kaspars Daugavins skated this morning and could take Jordan Caron’s spot on the third line. We’ll have a better idea after pregame warmups (around 6:45 p.m. or so), at which point I’ll provide an update. Until then, keep growing those mullets!