Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Observations: Bruins 6, Devils 1
By Joe McDonald
Recap » | Box score » | Photos | Conversation »
The Boston Bruins are hoping to begin yet another winning streak after they dismantled the red-hot New Jersey Devils 6-1 on Wednesday night at Prudential Center.
With the win, Boston is 22-3-1 since Nov. 1 and is currently one point behind the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas made 30 saves and is 14-2-0 in his past 16 games.
The Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron netted a pair of goals, while Gregory Campbell, Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Shawn Thornton contributed a goal each. Milan Lucic and Dennis Seidenberg provided two assists apiece.
Though the Bruins dominated throughout, the Devils stuck first. New Jersey created a 2-on-1 and finished it off with a power-play goal by David Clarkson to give the Devils a 1-0 lead at 4:24 of the first period.
The Bruins’ energy line did what it does best and produced a solid forecheck in the offensive zone that resulted in Boston’s first goal when Gregory Campbell inadvertently redirected a shot from the point by defenseman Andrew Ference and past Brodeur at 8:15 of the period.
The Bruins have the fifth-ranked road power-play unit in the league and it showed why as Boston gained a 2-1 lead when it capitalized on the man-advantage at 13:17 of the first period. Horton netted his 10th of the season for the one-goal lead, and Krejci assisted.
Bergeron gave Boston a two-goal lead when he beat Brodeur on a breakaway at the end of a strong penalty kill at 4:02 of the second period.
Bergeron added his second of the night at 2:13 of the third period, with Brad Marchand on the assist, to give the Bruins a 4-1 lead. Bergeron has 11 points in his past nine games.
Boston continued its attack and gained 5-1 lead at 4:50 of the third period when Krejci scored his eighth goal of the season. Krejci has eight points in his past six games.
Thornton scored only his third goal of the season when he knuckled the puck past Brodeur to give Boston a 6-1 advantage.
D-FENCE: Boston’s blueliners played more like a wall in front of Thomas. The Bruins did a solid job of allowing their netminder to see the puck clearly and kept the traffic in front of him to a minimum. The defensemen also chipped in offensively and produced quality shots from the point, including Ference’s on Boston’s first goal of the game. It was much of the same on Boston’s fifth goal when Krejci redirected a shot by Seidenberg from the left point past Brodeur.
KILLING TIME: Yes, the Devils did score a power-play goal in their first man-advantage opportunity of the game, but the Bruins’ penalty-killing unit stifled the NJ power play the rest of the way. Boston was specifically solid during New Jersey’s third PP of the night. The Bruins held a 3-1 lead at the time and the PK did not allow a single shot to secure the two-goal advantage.
DROP ‘EM: With the game scoreless early in the first period, it was inevitable a pair of heavyweights would drop the gloves in an attempt to spark their respective teams. Thornton and the Devils’ Cam Janssen went toe-to-toe in a spirited bout.
UP NEXT: The Bruins will begin a four-game homestand on Thursday when they host the Calgary Flames. The biggest game of the upcoming homestand, however, will be on Saturday when Boston hosts the Vancouver Canucks in a rematch of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.