Lucic, Svedberg carry Bruins to shutout victory over Devils
After going to overtime in four straight games, the Boston Bruins needed much less time to take care of the New Jersey Devils.
Milan Lucic scored a pair of goals, and backup Niklas Svedberg earned his second NHL shutout behind three periods of stifling Boston defense as the Bruins beat the Devils 3-0 on Thursday night.
"We were skating well and we were playing with a lot of urgency and a lot of jump right from the start," Boston captain Zdeno Chara said. "I thought we controlled the play and made some solid, strong plays. We got a lead like we wanted and put a lot of shots on the net and created a lot of offensive zone time for us."
Boston spent so much time at the other end of the ice that Svedberg faced only 14 shots. Boston held New Jersey to three in the opening period and four in the second, three coming on a late power play that did nothing to spark the Devils.
David Krejci and Torey Krug assisted on Lucic’s power-play goal with 1:12 left in the first as Chara provided a screen. Carl Soderberg added an unassisted goal 8:31 into the second for the only scoring until Lucic tapped in an empty-netter with 12 seconds remaining.
Patrice Bergeron, who scored the winner Wednesday in Boston’s overtime victory at Pittsburgh, passed the puck to Lucic as they skated in alone on the empty net.
"We’re trying to build from the momentum that we created from last night," Bergeron said. "I thought that right away we had a strong game. We limited their chances and their shots on net and I thought we had a lot of good looks and good chances."
Bergeron and Chris Kelly assisted on the final goal. It was the 700th career game for both.
Cory Schneider, who grew up outside of Boston and played at Boston College, made 41 saves and kept the Devils within range despite their lack of offense.
"We got outworked for one thing for a period of time there," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "We just couldn’t get anything done. You have to get shots. We didn’t get shots."
Svedberg made his first start since a 6-2 loss at Columbus on Dec. 27, and didn’t get much of a challenge.
New Jersey followed its three-shot first period by stumbling through the second. The Devils had just one shot in the period until Michael Ryder was stopped by Svedberg while being taken down by Daniel Paille with 5:17 left. New Jersey went on its only power play of the game, but continued to struggle offensively.
Schneider was sharp early in the third and stopped Soderberg twice from the slot to keep the Devils within two goals. Boston had 11 shots in the first eight minutes of the period.
"I think 40-plus saves speaks for itself," Lamoriello said. "He’s been playing extremely well, and tonight was no different."
NOTES: New Jersey LW Mike Cammalleri also played in his 700th NHL game. … Boston LW Loui Eriksson was out with an upper-body injury. He missed his first game of the season. … The Bruins’ 43 shots were two shy of their season high recorded in a 5-2 win over Detroit on Dec. 29. That was Boston’s last game not to go into overtime before Thursday.