After an impressive 4-3 win over the Hurricanes in Raleigh on Monday night, the Bruins took on a hungry New Jersey team, a team that’s eager to establish themselves among the East’s best following Zach Parise’s off-season departure.
The Devils opened up the game with strong offensive play, maintaining solid possession in the Bruins zone. Finally, the third line, with strong play, and the fourth line, with the fisticuffs, evened up the game’s momentum for the black and gold.
Shawn Thornton and Krys Barch squared off at center ice in a battle of heavyweights, throwing punch after punch in a lengthy scrap; the TD Garden crowd, per usual, came to its feet in support of their favorite bruiser.
Andrew Ference went off for tripping on a questionable call, giving the Devils the game’s first power play 15:19 into the first period. The Bruins PK was 23-for-23 at that point, and killed off the man advantage to stay perfect on the young season.
Tuukka Rask and Johan Hedberg both had multiple big saves, keeping the game scoreless after one.
The Bruins got a power play of their own 49 seconds into the second period, when Anton Volchenkov received two minutes for high sticking. The power-play woes continued for the Bruins as they failed to get a shot on net.
David Clarkson of the Devils scored the game’s first goal, tipping a shot from the point by defensemen Marek Zidlicky. The Bruins PK had been tested one too many times, as the Devils gained the 1-0 lead on the man-advantage opportunity.
Facing multiple power plays didn’t help, but the Bruins struggled to produce anything offensively in the second period against New Jersey’s stout, consistent defensive-minded system. The Devils led 1-0 after two periods of play.
The Bruins came out flying in the third period, the first line in particular with dominant puck possession in the Devils zone producing a number of chances; one monster shift in particular for the trio gave the Bruins crucial third period momentum.
Terrific transitional play by David Krejci led to the Bruins’ game-tying goal with just minutes left in the third period. Krejci carried the puck from his own end, into the Devils zone and worked the perfect triangle offense with linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, who beat Hedberg five-hole for the game-tying goal.
Horton has always come up big when the Bruins need him the most, scoring many clutch goals in his young black and gold career.
The game ended in a shootout when Brad Marchand beat Hedberg and Rask stoned Zidlicky to give Boston the victory. The Bruins are now 5-0-1, off to an extremely impressive start in the lockout shortened season; next they face the Buffalo Sabres in Boston on Thursday night.
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