Haggerty: 15 thoughts from the Bruins-Devils

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from the Bruins-Devils

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Devils by a 2-1 score after the first 20 minutes of hockey at the Prudential Center.

1) So much for Nathan Hortons December struggles. After netting only three goals in 12 games over the last month, Horton gets a power play goal on the doorstep off a nice feed from David Krejci to get his new month off and running. As some other offensive players cool off, the Bs could really use a nice offensive streak from Horton over the next few weeks.

2) Gritty work by Gregory Campbell in front of the net as he won the one-on-one battle with Mark Fayne in front of the net as an Andrew Ference shot glanced off the skate before landing in the net. Ference gets the assist and the Bruins are 11-0-0 this season when the defenseman registers a point tops on the team in the undefeated category.

3) The Bruins have won 16 out of 18 face-offs in the first period including a perfect 8-for-8 for David Krejci. Thats complete and utter domination for the Czech centerman and its also a far cry from the Dallas game when he had a rough night on draws.

4) Fifteen saves for Tim Thomas in the first period as he looked on point as the Devils threw barrage after barrage at him early in the game. He was at his best turning New Jersey back on their power play until an over-aggressive Brad Marchand play turned into a clean look and power play goal for David Clarkson. Can you believe he leads the Devils in goals?

5) A pair of delay of game penalties for pucks getting thrown over the boards. Is there a more ridiculous penalty more frequently called than this, and should it even be called when a team is on the penalty kill?

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Devils by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes of hockey at the Prudential Center.

1) Rich Peverley still looking a little rusty after a couple of games back in the lineup. He walked right in from the right point all alone and missed David Krejci on the backdoor as he opted to fling a puck at the net that missed wide. It looks like the instincts and the quick reactions still are a little off for him, but thats to be expected after missing a handful of games.

2) Three giveaways each for Adam Henrique and Ilya Kovalchuk, who are also getting destroyed in the face-off circle by David Krejci and the Bruins. Theyre treating the puck like its made of plutonium purchased from Libyan terrorist. What movie?

3) A ten-minute misconduct for chirping with the refs for Benoit Pouliot in the second period. Pouliot has done some very good things for the Bruins this season, but he is very much a wild card as a player for them. Youre never quite sure what hes going to do out there.

4) A perfect example why Patrice Bergeron is a worthy candidate of the Selke Trophy award this season. He blocks the Adam Larsson shot at one end, turns it into a breakaway and then beats Martin Brodeur on the ensuing breakaway while waiting him out in front of the net. He should just send that tape to the hockey voters as proof of his candidacy.

5) Three shots on net in 12:54 for Brad Marchand, who doesnt have any points but has been pretty active including the over-aggressive play that led to New Jerseys only goal.

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking down the Devils by a 6-1 score after 60 minutes of hockey at the Prudential Center.

1) A pair of goals from the Bs fourth line. When that happens it means Boston is doing some damage as they were on Wednesday night.

2) The Bruins continue their third period domination this season. Its become their victory signature to impose their will and really discourage teams in the final 20 minutes of their hockey games.

3) Two assists for Milan Lucic in a quietly great evening for No. 17.

4) When Patrice BergeronBrad MarchandTyler Seguin are attacking with speed and tenacity there are few forward combos that can hang with them and that was the case tonight with New Jersey.

5) David Krejci won 13-of-17 face-offs in the wins and has a six-game point streak going on for the Bruins after a quiet start to the evening.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics host the Hornets at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

BOSTON -- The last time Boston saw the Charlotte Hornets last month, both teams were streaking in the wrong direction with each coming in having lost three in a row.

Both come into tonight’s game streaking, although in two very different directions.

Boston (25-15) has won 12 of its last 15 games to firmly establish itself as the third-best team in the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Meanwhile the Hornets (20-20) are on the cusp of falling below .500 for the first time this season after losing their last four games.

Still, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen enough of this Hornets team to know that a win tonight won’t come easily.

“This is a good team,” Stevens said. “We all know Charlotte. They don’t beat themselves. We’ve had to play really well against those guys. This is going to be a tough one, as we all know.”

Figuring out why these two teams are trending in opposite directions isn’t all that complicated.

For the Celtics, their success of late has hinged heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s problems have had a lot to do with a tough slate of road games (all four of their recent losses were on the road) and their inability to make shots which has been an issue in some form for them all season regardless of the opponent.

Look at the last four games, all of which the Hornets lost while the Celtics won three of their four games in that span.

The Hornets rank 21st in scoring with a 101.5 points per game average while the Celtics average 110.8 points which ranks 8th in the league.

Charlotte ranks dead-last in the league the last four games when it comes to shooting the ball (40.5 percent), while Boston comes in 18th at 46.0 percent.

But it’s the 3-point shot and its impact on having an effective field goal percentage, that really separates these two.

Boston has averaged a league-best 15.3 made 3-pointers in the last four games while the Hornets and their 9.8 made 3’s ranks 20th.

And as far as its impact on eFG%, Boston comes in with the eighth-best eFG% in the league (54.8 percent) while the Hornets next-to-last in the NBA with an eFG% of .462.

So what does that mean tonight?

Boston will look to continue being fueled offensively by good ball movement and attacking the rim which in turn should result in lots of good looks from 3-point range which is clearly a strength of this team.

Charlotte will search for other sources of offense besides former UConn star Kemba Walker who is on the short list of candidates for a spot on this year’s Eastern Conference all-star roster.

As was the case in Charlotte’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, an off-night shooting for Walker (17 points, 7-for-23 shooting with three assists) left the Hornets extremely vulnerable to defeat. Similar struggles tonight will provide a similar ending for Charlotte which would allow both teams to continue streaking along … something the Celtics wouldn’t mind at all.