Observations: Bruins 4, Devils 1
January, 19, 2012
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
The Boston Bruins exploded for four goals in the third period to erase a 1-0 deficit and beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1. Nathan Horton got the game winner on the power play 7:10 into the final frame, and Tim Thomas held the fort down with 30 saves as the Bruins finished their road trip 2-2-0. Gregory Campbell had a goal and an assist; Shawn Thornton had two helpers and Andrew Ference and Chris Kelly scored a goal apiece for Boston.
Thomas looks like Superman again: We all know Tim Thomas is human, but sometimes it's hard not to forget; when he shows his human side, it's that much more noticeable. That was the case in his previous two starts, as Thomas let in some questionable goals and lost both games. But on Thursday, Thomas looked more like Superman again as he made 30 saves and came up with some huge saves to keep his team within one goal of the Devils before the Bruins rallied late.
Ference gets things going: Just as the rest of the defense has over the previous three games, Andrew Ference has struggled and not been his usual steady self on the blue line. But as the game went on Ference and the defense returned to form. In the third period, Ference got the rally going as he scored the team's first goal at 3:01. Just over two minutes later, he drew a hooking penalty on Devils winger David Clarkson, and Nathan Horton gave the Bruins their first lead on the ensuing power play.
Campbell gets the "Gordie Howe hat trick": Bruins winger Gregory Campbell got the infamous "Gordie Howe hat trick" Thursday with a fight, assist and goal. At 14:31 of the first period, Campbell fought Devils forward Brad Mills. He assisted on Ference's third-period goal, and then got one of his own at 7:10. Campbell and his line of Shawn Thornton (two assists) and Daniel Paille (assist) were creating havoc all night and played a major role in the four-goal outburst in the third period.
Horton still getting the message: After being called out by coach Claude Julien following the Bruins' 3-2 shootout win over Florida on Monday, Nathan Horton answered the bell with a two-goal performance in the 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. But Horton admitted after that game that he needed to be more consistent. He kept his promise Thursday, scoring the game winner on the power play. He has 17 goals, including three in his past two games.
Marchand and Peverley return: Brad Marchand returned from his five-game suspension, and Rich Peverley was back in the lineup after missing the past two games for personal reasons. Marchand was back in his regular slot on the left wing with Patrice Bergeron at center and Tyler Seguin on the right wing. That meant Benoit Pouliot returned to his normal slot on the left wing with Chris Kelly at center and Peverley on the right wing. Peverley ended up assisting on what proved to be the game winner by Horton on a third-period power play. Here's what the rest of the lineup looked like Thursday:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid