BOSTON, MA – Nearly 23 years after being drafted fifth overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Jaromir Jagr was again stealing the headlines on Thursday evening. Two days after being acquired in a pre-deadline trade, No. 68 was making his Boston Bruins debut in front of a sellout crowd of 17, 565 on hand at the TD Garden.
Exactly eighty seconds into the second period of Thursday’s game against the visiting New Jersey Devils, the legendary right winger would pot his 15th goal of the season, sending the raucous Boston crowd into a frenzy. As Brad Marchand skated through the left circle, he’d fire a centering pass towards his new linemate, where it would deflect off Jagr’s skate and past Devils’ goaltender Martin Brodeur.
“Sometimes you have to be lucky to score, and I think that’s the first time I scored with my leg I guess. When I was 25, I wouldn’t have liked that goal, but at 41 I’ll take anything right now.” – Jaromir Jagr
Though Jagr’s first tally in a Boston uniform didn’t come on the prettiest of plays, it certainly got the job done, proving to be the only goal in a 1-0 shutout victory for the Bruins.
“He played his game and his goal was something that we like to see, and it’s called net drive. It doesn’t have to be a highlight goal, but he was heading to the net and he wasn’t going to get pushed to the side, and it went off his skate and in. So, that’s a good example for the rest of the younger guys on the team to take from a guy who’s still doing it at that age.” – Claude Julien
Devils’ right winger David Clarkson was all over the ice during the middle frame, first setting up linemate Dainius Zubrus with a beautiful cross-ice pass that would result in a shot getting past the Boston goaltender, but hitting the crossbar and deflecting out of harm’s way. Less than a minute later, Clarkson would ring the iron himself with a wicked wrist shot from the right circle. Unfortunately for the Devils, this would be the closest they would come to putting a puck in the Boston net on Thursday as Tuukka Rask would go on to record his third shutout of the season.
The win, and of course the shutout, should go a long way towards helping Rask get back on track after back-up netminder Anton Khudobin had been given the start in each of Boston’s last two games.
“He (Tuukka Rask) was good tonight, you know, he was one of the reasons we won, obviously. He made the big saves when he had to and kept us in the lead at times when they could have gotten themselves back into the game.” – Claude Julien
With Thursday’s win under their belt, the Black and Gold will now head north of the border for a showdown with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday evening, as first place in the Northeast division will be on the line.
Ben’s Three Stars:
2) Jaromir Jagr (1 Goal/5 Shots)
3) Martin Brodeur (25 Saves)
What’s Next?: Saturday April 6, 2013 – 7:00 PM – AT Montreal Canadiens
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Contributor to the New England Hockey Journal. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.