NEWARK, N.J. – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the New Jersey Devils by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action at the Prudential Center.
1) Jaromir Jagr is absolutely ageless. He’s picking off pucks in the neutral zone, carrying the puck through defenders to the net and setting up teammates for chances all around the net. He finished with just the one takeaway in 6:19 of ice time in the first period, but Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton were out there on the ice every time he hopped over the boards. With the Devils wearing the red and green Christmas tree sweaters and the game ops people playing all kinds of 1980’s and 1990’s music, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jaromir Jagr thinks he’s starring in Back to the Future.
2) Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith had a weird miscommunication in the neutral zone that allowed a Jaromir Jagr rush in the first period, but they fixed that on an ensuing shift. Andrej Meszaros got the puck up to them, and they played the give-and-go game until Bergeron fanned on a backhander that went through the five hole of Martin Brodeur.
3) Bergeron notched his 20th goal of the season, and gives the Bruins four players with 20 goals thus far this season. It appears the Bruins have a pretty good chance to have seven 20-goal scorers if Reilly Smith, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci can all join them over the final month of the season.
4) Pretty solid first period for Martin Brodeur, who stopped 14 shots and was only fooled on a shot where Bergeron fanned on the shot in front of him. He stopped Milan Lucic cold on a couple of prime offensive chances, and looked like he was seeing the puck well in the first period as the Bruins fired shot after shot against him.
5) Big tilt between Milan Lucic and Ryan Clowe with the Devils power forward looking to fire up his New Jersey team. Both big, strong men threw power-packed punches and neither of them went down before the referees broke things up. Clowe then yelled at the Devils bench to fire them up after the tilt was over. That’s dangerous business for a guy like Clowe that’s had concussion issues, but it’s also a leadership move.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the New Jersey Devils by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the Prudential Center.
1) The Devils had a nice moment when they picked up some of the momentum from the Milan Lucic/Ryan Clowe scrap at the end of the first period, and got on the board with a Patrik Elias power play snipe. But then they allowed Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to march up the ice and score a shorthanded goal that cut their legs out from under them. Tough to win hockey games when you lose focus like that.
2) It is the NHL-leading fifth shorthanded goal of the season for Brad Marchand, who has become one of the most dangerous players on the PK over the last few years. He’s been playing some strong, focused, invested hockey since coming back from the Olympic break, and makes his early season slump seem like a million years ago.
3) Jarome Iginla with another goal for the Bruins to push things out of reach for New Jersey. It’s his six goal in the last four games, and gives him 26 goals on the season with a very real chance at hitting the 30-mark again this season. His goal arrived after Adam Henrique hit a post on a great chance for the Devils, and was a backbreaking sequence for New Jersey.
4) Andrej Meszaros and Torey Krug both making nice passes to set up goals for the Bruins, and continue to stake their claims on spots in the lineup. The Bruins need that puck-moving ability and playmaking that can turn plays into scoring chances immediately.
5) The Bruins haven’t trailed in 16 periods of hockey dating back to the first period of their March 9 win over the Florida Panthers. This is some kind of dominant hockey we’re seeing right now.