Final OT

Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Tuesday, October 30th
Game 2: Saturday, November 3rd
Game 3: Thursday, November 15th
Game 4: Sunday, April 7th

Bruins 2

(42-23-9, 98 pts)

Devils 3

(38-28-4, 89 pts)

1:00 PM ET, April 7, 2002

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 3 OT T
BOS 2 0 0 02
NJ 1 0 1 13

S. Niedermayer (Devils - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Sykora (Devils - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

B. Guerin (Bruins - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Devils end Bruins' seven-game road win streak

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Ten years of practicing breakaways against Martin Brodeur paid off for New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer.

Scott Niedermayer

Niedermayer scored on a breakaway with 1:43 left in overtime, and the Devils rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 Sunday for their third straight win.

Niedermayer seemed to chuckle when asked about the winner against Bruins goaltender John Grahame, and his decision to go to his backhand.

It's a move he has practiced with little success for years against Brodeur, who recently led Canada to its first Olympic gold medal in 50 years.

"It's hard to get Marty to open up and beat him five hole," Niedermayer said of the shot between the goaltender's legs. "I don't think too many guys have done that. He's pretty good at shutting it down."

Brodeur also laughed about Niedermayer's success ratio against him.

"He doesn't even go there any more, let's put it that way," said Brodeur, who like Grahame finished with 22 saves.

The difference on Sunday was that Niedermayer was facing Grahame, and he succeeded, just barely.

"He pulled it to my left and I thought I had it," Grahame said. "It just trickled through there. I thought I had it, but I guess not."

Niedermayer's 10th goal of the season was set up by Patrik Elias and Joe Nieuwendyk.

Elias took a pass off the stick of Bruins defenseman Sean O'Donnell near the Bruins' blue line and flipped the puck to Nieuwendyk. Coming down the middle, Niedermayer took Nieuwendyk's pass, split the defense and beat Grahame.

"We're finding ways to win," Brodeur said. "Our effort the first two periods wasn't that great, and the whole game against Atlanta we struggled. We're not dominating games, but we're finding ways to win, and that's a good sign."

Petr Sykora scored twice for the Devils, who ended the Bruins' seven-game road winning streak.

"To go into the third and be down a goal and come out with a win is always special," said Sykora, who tied the game at 2 with a goal early in the third period. "They were playing very smart and not giving us anything."

New Jersey moved within a point of the sixth-place New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings. The Devils have three games left, the Islanders four.

Bill Guerin capped his second straight 40-goal season by scoring both goals for the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins, who have dropped three straight games for only the third time this season.

"We like to think we should have had two points, especially going into the third period with the lead," Guerin said. "We should have gotten the win. No sense crying over it. We just have to sharpen up and get ready for the playoffs."

The point from the overtime loss gave the Bruins 98 for the season, giving them a four-point lead over Philadelphia, which was idle. The Flyers have four games left, one more than the Bruins.

Guerin, who had not had a multiple-goal game since Feb. 4, twice gave the Bruins one-goal leads only to see Sykora tie it.

The goals were similar. Guerin converted cross-ice passes from Joe Thornton from low in the left circle, while Sykora scored both in close.

Sykora tied the game 46 seconds into the third period, taking a pass from Sergei Brylin for a stuff shot into an open net.

Guerin had given Boston a 2-1 lead at 13:57 of the first period. The former Devils player sent a pass around the boards behind New Jersey's net to Thornton and then went to the front of the net to accept the return pass for his 10th power-play goal of the season.

Guerin got the Bruins on the scoreboard 28 seconds after the opening faceoff. Boston kept the puck in the Devils' zone. and Thornton eventually found Guerin in the left circle with a cross-ice pass from the right corner.

Sykora, who has replaced the injured Scott Gomez on Holik's line, tied the game on a power play at 10:25. Grahame stopped Sykora's first shot, but the forward poked the rebound in while down on his stomach.

Game notes

Bruins D Hal Gill missed the game after hurting his foot Saturday in a loss to the New York Rangers. ... Niedermayer, not known for his hitting, had the check of the game, leveling Bruins D Jamie Rivers along the boards in the second period. ... Boston was looking to tie a franchise record for consecutive road wins. The Bruins won eight straight in 1972 and '93. ... New Jersey earned its sixth straight playoff berth while idle Saturday night, when the Washington Capitals lost to the Islanders ... Thorton has four assists in two days. He missed the previous 13 games with a shoulder injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press