The Boston Bruins haven’t just beat the New Jersey Devils in recent years – they’ve dominated them.
In a script the Devils are used to seeing, Boston defeated New Jersey, 2-1, in a shootout tonight at TD Garden. The Devils have dropped two straight games after opening the season with three straight wins.
Boston overcame a 1-0 deficit with 4:05 remaining in the third period to tie the game. The Bruins caught the Devils defense on a quick breakout, and moved into New Jersey’s zone with a 3-on-2 breakaway. Milan Lucic, near the far circle, sent a pass to David Krejci in the middle. He continued it on to Nathan Horton, wide open in the left circle. His shot tipped off the stick of Henrik Tallinder and through the legs of Johan Hedberg for the game-tying score.
The two teams remained tied throughout regulation and overtime, leading to the shootout.
Tyler Seguin and Ilya Kovalchuk traded goals in the opening round of the shootout, tying the score at one apiece. That would stand until the sixth round, when Brad Marchand beat Hedberg through the legs. Tuukka Rask stopped Marek Zidlicky’s wrist shot, giving Boston the extra point.
The Bruins have dominated the recent matchup with the Devils. Tonight’s win was the fifth straight over New Jersey, and Boston has beaten the Devils in nine of the last 10 meetings.
New Jersey beat the previously perfect Boston penalty kill in the second period to open the scoring. David Clarkson tipped Zidlicky’s right point shot in the slot, beating Rask over the glove for his fifth goal of the season.
That broke a streak of 24 straight successful penalty kill attempts by the Bruins. New Jersey would end the game 1-for-5 on the powerplay.
It seemed the one score would be all New Jersey needed. Hedberg, making his first start in 301 days, looked sharp throughout the game. In the first period, the Devils netminder turned away a one-timer from Marchand in the slot. He kept New Jersey in the game despite yet another slow first period. Hedberg finished with 27 saves, but stopped just two of the six shooters in the shootout.
Rask, starting the second game of a back-to-back for the Bruins, made 25 stops for his fourth win. He kept Boston in the game after allowing the powerplay goal, stopping Clarkson on an opportunity in the slot at the third period.
The loss kept New Jersey winless on the road this season. The Devils return to the Prudential Center to face the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Seguin’s first shootout attempt, which he scored on, was nullified after a fan threw an object on the ice. According to Rule 24.4, if a spectator throws an object onto the ice and it interferes, the referee can rule the shot be re-taken.
Clarkson’s powerplay tally tied a career-high with points in five consecutive games. He previously posted eight points in five straight from January 31 – February 7, 2012. The right wing leads the team in goals (4) and points (7).
Devils right wing Matt Anderson made his NHL debut in tonight’s game. The 30-year-old played on the fourth line, recording 6:57 of ice time.
The Devils have recorded a point in their first five games for the first time since the 1993-94 season (5-0-0).