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Strong penalty kill key for Bruins in win over Devils

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Buffalo Sabres

For a team that's had two practices and one game together, the prospects for the Boston Bruins sure have a lot of experience killing 5-on-3 power plays. The Bruins were down two men on three separate occasions in their Prospects Challenge opener against New Jersey on Sunday night, yet still escaped with a 4-3 win.

The lone blemish of Boston's first period came when the Bruins went down two men, giving Blake Speers the space he needed to bank a shot off the post for New Jersey and even the score at 1-1. The Bruins couldn't have foreseen two chances at redemption, but that's what they got.

Boston killed 54 seconds of 5-on-3 play in the second period and then 1:12 more to preserve their one-goal lead in the final four minutes of the contest (defensemen Brandon Carlo and Matt O'Gara, incidentally, were the two men in the box on both occasions). Boston's penalty kill was 5-for-6 on the night.

"That's the most I've ever seen in a game, let alone something like this," said Boston forward Jake DeBrusk, who scored a goal. "We've got some really good defensive forwards out there, players that - as you saw tonight - are able to kill penalties. It's the reason why we won the game."

DeBrusk's goal in the second period - which also happened to come during a 5-on-3 advantage for Boston - gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead and temporary control of the game. The Devils brought the deficit within one on two separate occasions thanks to goals from Speers and Brandon Gignac.

There was more special teams action peppered in throughout the game. Peter Cehlarik's goal to open the scoring for Boston came on the power play in the first period, and Anton Blidh scored with the Bruins shorthanded to give them their first lead of the game in the second.

Josh Atkinson also scored for Boston, while 2015 first-round pick Jakub Zboril added two assists. Zane MacIntyre played the entire game in net and earned the win with 22 saves.

The Devils featured a different lineup than the one they sent out in a 6-3 win over the Sabres to open the Prospects Challenge on Saturday, with Miles Wood, Pavel Zacha, Joseph Blandisi and Alexander Kuqali sitting as scratches.

Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood also saw his first action in net, allowing three goals on 25 shots in the final two periods after Evan Cormier allowed one goal on 14 shots in the first.

The Prospects Challenge concludes on Monday night with a matchup between the Sabres and Bruins at HarborCenter. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $10, or you can hear the game live on ESPN 1520.

 

 

 

 

 

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