Boston Defeats the NJ Devils, 2-0
BOSTON – Admit it, NFL exhibition games are the worst. The regulars play a set of downs, at best, and a snap or two at worst. The rest is a bunch of lineman working in the trenches in hopes to gain a back-up job at left tackle.
Spring Training for Major League Baseball is, by far, the best of the exhibitions, if only for the fact a bunch of northerners can fly to Florida or Arizona and partake in some Grapefruit or Cactus League highjinx.
The NBA is somewhere in the middle. In early October, it’s a disaster, but by later in the month, the starters are getting minutes and need to go all-out to get in “game shape” and secure their timing, never mind fight for coveted P.T. while impressing the coaches with their newfound Js and 3s.
That brings us to the NHL and tonight’s preseason (call it an exhibition) game between the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils.
Unlike Monday’s night’s high drama, high energy 2019 preseason home opener against the big, bad Philadelphia Flyers, won by the Bruins, 4-3 in OT, tonight’s contest against the New Jersey Devils was a 2-0 snooze-fest.
In the 1st period, Boston Jack Studnicka was credited with the lone goal of the opener when he took a deflected puck right in the “kisser” and watched it carom into the goal, behind New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood. As the goal was watched on videotape, Studnicka skated directly to the bench where he exited towards the dressing room to tend to the mess in his mouth.
Boston’s goalkeeper Jaroslav Halek recorded the shutout, stopping five NJ shots in the 1st, 13 shots in the 2nd and 11 in the 3rd for a total of 29-for-29 saves. Boston managed 32 shots on goal with 13 in each of the 1st and last periods.
Boston’s David Backes scored the insurance goal with a very pretty backhander 1:22 into the 3rd, on feeds from center Par Lindholm and left winger Anders Bjork.
The Bruins (3-0-2) finish their preseason this Saturday with a 3:00pm EDT face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden. New Jersey is now (4-2-0). The Devils play their final exhibition on Friday, September 27th at Columbus.