Bruins continue to roll after shootout win over Devils

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Bruins continue to roll after shootout win over Devils

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 Hortons 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, its as if neither of the concussions actually happened and thats 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 didnt 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 theres no room at the TD Garden for fans that fire items on the ice during play. Thats bush league.

TURNING POINT: Once again the Bruins came out in the third period and decided they wouldnt 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 Bostons determination to at least earn themselves a point by getting to overtime. That led to Nathan Hortons 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 youre talking about the 1970-71 Bobby Orr Era Bruins, youre talking about true franchise greatness.

QUOTE TO NOTE: We knew all along we could come back. Weve done it a lot before in the past. Its 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 youre gonna win. Nathan Horton on the Bs belief that theyll win when things are close in the closing minutes of their games.

Game story provided by Danny Picard.

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

Backes: Most of the talk has me playing center for Bruins

David Backes on the Felger and Mazz show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and simulcast on CSN, tells fill-in hosts Jim Murray and Greg Dickerson there has also been some discussion with the Bruins of putting him on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Watch the video above for more. 

Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

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Bruins lose Stempniak, Eriksson, others in free agency

The Bruins lost a number of free agents on after the market opened at noontime. None bigger than Loui Eriksson signing a six-year, $36 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks to play with the Sedin Twins.

It’s the exact level of term and salary that Eriksson said he was looking for from the Bruins in contract negotiations around the trade deadline, but the Bruins never really moved from their offer of a four-year deal at comparable money.

The Bruins will miss the 30-goal production and solid all-around, two-way play from Eriksson as he heads to the West Coast, but they also traded in a passive player in Eriksson for an in-your-face, physical leader in David Backes on a five-year deal. 

Backes is much more of a Bruins-style player than Eriksson could have ever hoped to have been. That part of it is a win for a Bruins fan base that wants intensity and physicality from their players.

The Bruins also watched Jonas Gustavsson sign a one-year, $800,000 contract with Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, Brett Connolly sign a one-year deal for $850,000 with the Washington Capitals, Zach Trotman signs a one-year deal for $950,000 and Lee Stempniak ink a two-year, $5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes after being a non-contract training camp invite with New Jersey last season.

Sweeney had maintained as late as Thursday that he was still keeping ties with many of Boston’s free agents prior to the noon opening of the free agent market, but clearly that’s changed.

“We’ll continue to have talks and sort of figure out where things may go. We’ve had talks with a number of players to see what they would like to see as the opportunity here or what we see as a fit,” said Sweeney on the Torey Krug conference call on Thursday night. “I haven’t ruled absolutely any of that out; just haven’t found common ground and obviously it gets harder and harder as we go further along in the process.”