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game recap

Bruins shut out Devils, clinch final playoff berth in East

Rask makes 20 saves for Boston, which has won four straight and 10 of 12

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Rask's 20-save shutout

BOS@NJD: Rask blanks Devils in 3-0 shutout victory

Tuukka Rask stopped all 20 shots faced en route to a 3-0 shutout victory over the Devils on the road, clinching a playoff berth

  • 00:55 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Boston Bruins clinched the final Stanley Cup Playoff berth from the MassMutual East Division with a 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Monday. 

Tuukka Rask made 20 saves, Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist, and Brad Marchand had two assists for the Bruins (31-14-6), who have won four straight and 10 of their past 12 games.

Boston moved one point ahead of the New York Islanders, who lost 4-2 to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, for third place in the division.

"This is a great accomplishment. It's definitely not easy," Rask said. "You look at our division, it's tough, there's no room to have slumps. You've got to be able to keep up with other teams. We've had our ups and downs, but I think lately we've kind of found our game and our identity and kind of stuck to it."

Scott Wedgewood made 39 saves for the Devils (17-28-7), who had their four-game point streak end.

"They put the pressure on early and kept us under for the first 10-15 minutes," Wedgewood said. "That's a strong team with a strong push early. We were back on our heels and we're trying to tilt the ice the other way for the rest of the game.

"They obviously had a goal (of clinching a playoff berth) and they were attacking it."

Rask stopped Janne Kuokkanen on a 2-on-1 at 5:02 of the second period to keep it 0-0.

"It's always a challenge, physically and mentally, but I think we've got to be proud how our team handled this past month when we're playing every other night or back-to-back situations," Rask said. "The physical aspect has been the most challenging for me.

"Every game is different, and with experience and age, you kind of see a lot of things happen. You don't need more or less shots ... you kind of take them as they come."

Nick Ritchie gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 9:08 of the second on a one-timer from low in the right face-off circle after receiving a diagonal cross-ice pass from Jakub Zboril.

"They were clicking with every line," Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. "They were winning face-offs, they had puck possession. I think their speed exposed us a little bit; our gaps weren't good. We couldn't take enough ice away from them."

Video: BOS@NJD: Ritchie buries one-timer for opening goal

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 17:54 when he scored on a snap shot from the slot off a feed from Marchand, who was behind the net. 

"I knew [Marchand] was going to come around the net and I was just trying to get open and get the pass from him," Bergeron said. "I just tried to get it high.

"It's always the goal during the regular season to get your ticket in and go from there. Obviously, we know we're a great team. I know where we're at and I know we can keep improving. We'll use the last few games to work on our game and make sure we're ready to for Game 1 of the playoffs."

Matt Grzelcyk extended the lead to 3-0 at 17:17 of the third period on a shot from the left point that deflected off the leg of Devils defenseman Ryan Murray.

"Every year you make the playoffs you can check that box off because it's a great accomplishment in this league, but we have bigger goals in mind," Rask said. "And we get to go for it again in a couple weeks."

NOTES: Marchand, who was playing his 800th NHL game, had a game-high six shots on goal in 16:30 of ice time. ... Devils forward A.J. Greer played 8:33 in his first game since Feb. 23, 2019, when he was with the Colorado Avalanche. Greer was acquired by New Jersey in a trade with the New York Islanders for forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac on April 7. ... Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday after missing 18 games with an upper-body injury.

Video: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 3-0 victory 

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