NEWARK, N.J. — The Bruins knew that Thanksgiving dinner would taste a little sweeter with a win on the eve of the holiday on the road. It turned out the biggest concern would be how long it would take before they can actually get to eat that Thanksgiving dinner.
Boston defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in a shootout, though the shootout took 22 skaters taking aim at the opposing goalkeeper before it was finally settled by an unlikely scorer. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy, the 11th shootout taker for the Bruins, made a forehand-to-backhand move before depositing the puck into the roof of the net to end the longest shootout so far in the NHL this season.
The perfect finish was the bookend to the perfect start, when Jake DeBrusk skated down the right wing and fired the first shot on goal for the Bruins off the post and into the net past Devils goalkeeper Cory Schneider, just 1:25 into the game to give Boston the lead. Midway through the second period, PAtrice Bergeron scored to double the Bruins’ advantage.
What allowed the Devils to get back into the game was a power play goal late in the first period after a roughing call on fourth-line left winger Tim Schaller. On a shot from Adam Henrique that was deflected in front by teammate Brian Boyle, Jesper Bratt collected a loose puck sitting just in front of the left pad of Bruins goalkeeper Anton Khudobin and buried home the rebound to cut their deficit in half right before the end of the period.
In the shootout, the Devils took a leg up when Taylor Hall scored and Patrice Bergeron’s wrist shot was saved by Schneider. In the second round, Jesper Bratt lost control of the puck after getting Khudobin out of position, and when David Pastrnak responded with a goal past Schneider, the teams were tied at one-all after two rounds.
After that, 17 consecutive shooters would miss the target, with Bruins forward Riley Nash and Frank Vatrano both hitting the post on their shootout attempts. The deadlock was finally broken when McAvoy’s move sent Schneider belly-first to the ice before backhanding the puck into the net to give the Bruins the victory.