BOSTON -- It took six rounds but the Bruins picked up a 2-1 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at the TD Garden, thanks to Brad Marchand's sixth-round shot that trickled through Johan Hedberg's five-hole and into the net.
Tuukka Rask followed it up by making a glove save on Marek Zidlicky, sealing the deal on Boston's fifth win of the season.
The Bruins nearly lost in regulation, but Nathan Horton tied the game at 1-1 with 4:05 remaining in the third period, as Milan Lucic and David Krejci set him up in the right circle after a clean transition into the Devils' zone.
Horton let a low wrister go and it beat Hedberg for his third goal of the season, sending the game into overtime, and eventually into a shootout.
The Devils scored the first goal of the game, taking a 1-0 lead midway through the second period, when David Clarkson got a piece of a Zidlicky shot from the left point with 53 seconds remaining on a New Jersey power play. It marked the first power-play goal the Bruins had allowed all season.
GOLD STAR: Nathan Horton had the only two shots for his forward line and potted the big game-tying goal with less than five minutes to go in regulation. It pushed Horton’s point streak to four games and gives him a pair of timely third period goals on the young season among his five points scored this year. Watching Horton skate with confidence in the offensive zone and attack the net while potting timely goals, it’s as if neither of the concussions actually happened and that’s a very good thing for No. 18. The Bruins saw up close and personal during the regular season and the playoffs last year how much they miss his ability to score in the clutch.
BLACK EYE: Whoever the clown was that threw the Unidentified Food Object (UFO) that looked like a hot dog on the ice just as Tyler Seguin was firing his shootout attempt is a Grade A clown. The food item flashed right by Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg just as he was readying to make the save on Seguin, and the Bruins forward actually scored on the play. It didn’t appear that the UFO was a distraction of any kind, but the referees forced Seguin and the Bruins to re-do the shootout attempt. It was all according to the NHL rulebooks and Seguin scored again on the second try, but there’s no room at the TD Garden for fans that fire items on the ice during play. That’s bush league.
TURNING POINT: Once again the Bruins came out in the third period and decided they wouldn’t be taking no for an answer while outshooting the Devils in what Claude Julien called a “heavy game” for both sides. Part of the uptick in momentum and intensity was their ability to stay out of the penalty box after a host of penalties on both sides really chopped up the second period, and part of it was Boston’s determination to at least earn themselves a point by getting to overtime. That led to Nathan Horton’s goal with nearly four minutes to go in the third period and an eventual two-point win in the shootout.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand managed only a single shot on net in 19 plus minutes of ice time while racking up a couple of hits and a couple of blocked shots. But he riled up David Clarkson enough that the Devils power forward starting making nose gestures at Marchand during a heated chat in overtime, and then Nose Face Killah really delivered in overtime. He finally broke open a shootout that had gone back-and-forth and then chirped a little something to Clarkson and the rest of the New Jersey bench after rifling home the game-winner.
BY THE NUMBERS: 42 – the number of years since the Bruins have found themselves off to a 5-0-1 start as they have this season in their first six games. Whenever you’re talking about the 1970-71 Bobby Orr Era Bruins, you’re talking about true franchise greatness.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We knew all along we could come back. We’ve done it a lot before in the past. It’s reassuring to know that we can come back at any time. When we roll four lines here, we stay fresh, and you keep battling away eventually you’re gonna win.” –Nathan Horton on the B’s belief that they’ll win when things are close in the closing minutes of their games.
Game story provided by Danny Picard.