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After erasing a two goal deficit, the New Jersey Devils weren’t able to come away with a win as they fell to the Boston Bruins in an 11-round shootout.
The Devils fell behind quickly in the first as Jake Debrusk scored less than two minutes into the game as he found himself in on a 2-on-1 and ripped a shot past Cory Schneider’s blocker. It wouldn’t take long for the Bruins to add to their lead as Patrice Bergeron would score on a defensive breakdown by the Devils. David Pastrnak stripped the puck from Damon Severson at his own blue line and set up Bergeron, who was all alone in front of the net for a 2-0 Bruins lead. However, the Devils would get one back before the first period ended, as Jesper Bratt scored on the power play, his first goal in nine games.
After a quiet second period, the Devils came out strong in the third looking to tie the game. They had a number of quality scoring chances, but were not able to convert until the final five minutes when Brian Gibbons redirected a Damon Severson point shot after a great keep at the blue line by Severson. Gibbons’ goal would be good enough to get the Devils to overtime. Once in OT, the Devils and Bruins would go back and forth exchanging a number of good opportunities, but neither team would be able to convert, which meant each team would head to the shootout.
Taylor Hall got things started in the shootout. He burst out from center ice like a cannon and found the back of the net on a backhanded deke. It’s safe to say that after Hall’s goal, things became rather difficult to watch. No Devils shooter came close to scoring in the ten rounds (I swear that’s not a typo) following his goal, while Charlie McAvoy wouldn’t score until the eleventh round on backhanded-deke to seal the deal for the two points for the Bruins.
- After a string of quiet games, Jesper Bratt had one of his strongest performances in recent weeks. He was on the ice for 18 shot attempts as opposed to 7 seven against and 8 scoring chances as opposed to 2 against. He had a couple of beautiful set ups for Nico Hischier, who was unable to convert on either, and got the Devils on the board while trailing Boston 2-0 in the final minutes of the first period. With Kyle Palmieri out for at least a month, Bratt will likely be filling in Palmieri’s spot and will need to play as he did last night until no. 21 returns.
- Taylor Hall was an absolute beast last night. He fired six shots on goal and the Devils out-attempted the Bruins 19-13 when he was on the ice. Over his last five games, he has 27 shots on goal, but only one goal to show for it. If he continues firing that many shots at net, it’s only a matter of time before the flood gates open up for him.
- Although he was partly to blame for the Bruins’ second goal, Damon Severson had another really strong outing for the Devils. He was on the ice for 23 shot attempts as opposed to 15 against and made a beautiful play to keep the puck in the zone to set up Brian Gibbons game-tying goal in the third period. Severson has responded real well to being a healthy scratch and has consistently been the Devils best defenseman over the last few games. Last night was certainly no different.
- While the Devils may have not come out with two points, I thought they played one of their best twenty minutes of the season in the third period. They out-attempted Boston 21-5 and out-chanced them 6-1 at five-on-five while outshooting them 15-5 in all situations. As a result, they were at least able to tie the game, which they deserved at the minimum. If they can put twenty minutes of hockey together like that on a more consistent basis, they’ll find themselves on the right end of some pretty good scoring chances, such as last night.