BOSTON -- The New Jersey Devils took full advantage of two Bruins penalties in the final three-and-a-half minutes of Saturday night's game at the TD Garden, and scored both on a 5-on-3 power play and then again on a 5-on-4 power play to defeat the Bruins 4-3.
All four of the Devils' goals came on the power play. But the last two were heartbreakers.
With their goaltender pulled, essentially making it a 6-on-3 -- after a Torey Krug double-minor for high-sticking and a Patrice Bergeron minor for delay of game -- Marek Zidlicky scored on a shot from the point with 1:08 left in the third period, tying the game at 3-3.
From there, the Devils still had a 5-on-4 power play, and they took a 4-3 lead with 44.1 seconds left, as Andy Greene scored from the left circle, on a puck that was sent over to him after Damien Brunner fanned on a shot from the right circle. he just got enough of the puck though to re-direct it over to a wide open Greene, who finished upstairs.
Boston took a 3-2 lead into the third period, as New Jersey scored the only goal in the second period. It came off a backhand shot from Brunner in the left circle, after Tuukka Rask kicked out a rebound with his right pad. The puck went right to Brunner, and he just swiped at it with a backhander, putting it on net, and somehow squeezing it into a small space between Rask's blocker and the post.
The Bruins scored the first two goals of the game and entered the second period with a 3-1 lead.
Krug put the B's up 1-0 eight minutes into the game, and 11 seconds into a power play. Krug took a low wrister from the right point that got through traffic and ended up in the back of the net.
Not even two minutes later, Jarome Iginla made it 2-0 when he fired a shot from the right corner that re-directed off Devils forward Brunner's leg and past Martin Brodeur.
New Jersey cut the lead to 2-1 with 8:36 left in the first, as Adam Henrique buried a rebound from the slot early on in a power play. Eric Gelinas took a shot from the point that Rask stopped with his right pad, but he kicked it out to the high slot, where Henrique quickly snapped it top-left.
The Bruins made it 3-1 with 55.8 seconds left in the opening period, when Milan Lucic skated up the left wing with speed, took a David Krejci pass on a 3-on-2, and beat Brodeur five-hole from the left circle.
GOLD STAR: Damien Brunner got off to a rough start, but he finished with a big goal at the end of the second period that gave the Devils plenty of life – and then got just enough of a piece of a fanned shot to set up Andy Greene’s power play game-winner with only 45 seconds remaining in the third period. The goal late in the third period arrived after a Torey Krug high stick that ripped open his mouth, and gave New Jersey a four minute power play to end the game. Brunner also led New Jersey with five shots on net, and has four goals and six points for the Devils this season. It makes you wonder why there wasn’t another NHL team that signed him during free agency this summer as he waited a long time before the Devils finally signed him.
BLACK EYE: Zdeno Chara had another night where he really didn’t look good. He took a pair of penalties – including the delay of game, puck over glass that led to a New Jersey power play goal at the end of the second period – and was on the ice for both of the Devils power play goals at the end of the third period. Otherwise he had just one shot on net in 23:47 of ice time and wasn’t much of a positive factor in a game where he didn’t look like he was playing with an overabundance of energy. Chara is now just a plus-1 10 games into the season, and really doesn’t look fully like himself for the Black and Gold.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a 3-1 lead going into the second period, but proceeded to hit a wall and give up 15 shots on goal to the New Jersey Devils while playing lackluster hockey. That second period malaise led to Zdeno Chara’s delay of game call that handed the Devils their second goal of the night, and set things up for a third period where New Jersey yanked the victory right out of Boston’s clutches. If the Bruins had been able to finish off one more play for a goal in the first couple of periods, it might have been a different outcome.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jarome Iginla was part of the only line Claude Julien said was going tonight, and finished with a game-high three points (1 goal, 2 assists) including a nice bounce off Damien Brunner’s skate that shot past Martin Brodeur for Boston’s second goal of the first period. Iginla now has goals in two straight games after going eight games without a single score, and appears well on his way to posting a stellar season for the Black and Gold.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the first win of the season in five tries for Martin Brodeur in a season that’s been more than a little rough for the future Hall of Famer.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that. They just ripped us apart. I don’t know if they were that good or if we were just not on top of our PK. [There were] some weird goals there, but no excuses. You’re leading by two at the end of the first, you should definitely have everything under control.” –Tuukka Rask on a night when the Bruins allowed four power play goals, and coughed up two in 23 seconds at the end of the third period to lose the game.
Talking Points written by Joe Haggerty.