Bruins use shootout to defeat Devils in opener, spoil Ruff debut as coach

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NEWARK, N.J. — Brad Marchand scored two points and the deciding goal in the shootout, and the Boston Bruins defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2 at Prudential Center on Thursday in the season opener for each team.

Marchand had a goal and an assist, and Nick Ritchie scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask made 20 saves and stopped Nikita Gusev, Jesper Boqvist and Jack Hughes in the shootout. 

Rask denied Kyle Palmieri on a breakaway with 1:14 left in overtime and then Hughes on a breakaway with one second left in overtime. 

Ty Smith scored in his NHL debut, Miles Wood scored, and Mackenzie Blackwood made 35 saves for the Devils. Lindy Ruff, hired on July 9, was making his New Jersey coaching debut. 

It was the Devils’ first game in 310 days. They were not among the 24 teams in the NHL Return to Play Plan after last season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Marchand gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 17:40 of the first period. David Krejci took a pass from Patrice Bergeron and skated low into the right face-off circle before passing to Marchand near the left post for a deflection.

Wood tied it 1-1, scoring on a breakaway at 8:51 of the third period.

Ritchie gave Boston a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 13:12.

Smith, a first-round pick (No. 17) in the 2018 NHL Draft, tied it 2-2 when his shot from the left point deflected in off Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy at 13:46.

The teams play at Prudential Center on Saturday.

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