WHAT IT MEANS: The Devils played arguably their best two periods of the season before imploding in the third and falling to the Bruins, 4-1 Thursday night at the Prudential Center.
New Jersey (26-18-2) carried a 1-0 lead into the final frame, but Boston (30-13-1) took over from there, scoring three goals in a span of 4:44 -- including two within 35 seconds of each other.
The Devils' three-game winning streak is over, as they could not avenge a 6-1 blowout at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup champions on Jan. 4. Making matters worse, they lost defenseman Henrik Tallinder for six to eight weeks with a blood clot in his lower left leg.
TURNING POINT: When Tim Thomas robbed David Clarkson with 1:15 left in the second, and Mark Fayne's shot from the right point hit the left post 1:13 into the third. Martin Brodeur robbed Benoit Pouliot on the doorstep at 2:10, but Andrew Ference's slapper tied the game at 1 51 seconds later, and Nathan Hornton and Gregory Campbell followed, giving Boston a two-goal edge.
SYK BRO: Petr Sykora opened the scoring with his 12th goal of the season with 1:31 left in the first period. Sykora, stationed between the hashmarks, took a behind-the-net pass from Dainius Zubrus and quickly fired to beat Thomas and put the Devils ahead 1-0.
WREAKING HAVOC: It was the Devils' fourth that galvanized the team in the first period. Brad Mills dropped the gloves against Campbell at 14:31, while Cam Janssen fired a pair of shots on net and delivered a heavy hit in the corner on Ference.
POST TO POST: Steve Zalewski and Pouliot hit the post on successive odd-man rushes midway through the middle frame.