April 4, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: Jagr scores in debut, B's beat Devils

By Jesse Connolly

Jaromir Jagr, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin stop to pose for a family portrait during Thursday's win over the Devils. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 1, New Jersey 0

Recap: After a lackluster opening period for the Bruins in which they were outshot 17-6 and the lone highlight was the rousing ovation for newcomer Jaromir Jagr, the B's and Devils headed to the second period scoreless.

That changed 1:20 into the middle frame when a centering pass from Brad Marchand ricocheted off Jagr and past Marty Brodeur to stake Boston to a 1-0 lead. The score remained the same for the entire duration of the evening, as Tuukka Rask stopped all 40 shots faced.

Records: Boston 24-8-4, 52 points; New Jersey 15-13-9, 39 points

Key Play of the Game: With less than half a period remaining in the contest, Andy Greene juked past a defender and forced Tuukka Rask to come up with a big stop. Greene got the rebound, but missed burying his followup attempt by inches, hitting the side of the net. 

Connolly's Commendations: Thank god for Jagr, man. The 41-year-old winger had a game-high five shots on goal. He provided the only goal and the fact that it was his debut is the only reason anyone will probably ever remember this hockey game.

Rask didn't have to make too many dazzling stops, but a shutout is a pretty great way to respond to your backup getting the nod in the B's last two games.

Connolly's Critiques: If you really, truly, desperately need something to fill this space, Tyler Seguin lost nine of the 12 faceoffs he took.

Notes: Jagr's goal was the 680th of his NHL career. Boston is now 2-0 on the season against New Jersey, who entered the night clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Final Thoughts: Tonight's tilt was a bit of a strange one. Boston seemed to have little energy early on, despite welcoming a future Hall of Famer into their lineup. The Devils were the better team and probably had more quality scoring chances, but the B's beat them the only place it ultimately matters: on the scoreboard.

Next: The Bruins will travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens Saturday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com