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
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
"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
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
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.
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
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: IZOD Center Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Referees: Kerry Fraser, Dave Jackson Linesmen: Pierre Champoux, Tim Nowak
Attendance: 19,040 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Bill Guerin (39)
Assist: Joe Thornton
Petr Sykora (19)
(Power Play) Assists: Joe Nieuwendyk, Jim McKenzie
Bill Guerin (40)
(Power Play) Assists: Joe Thornton, Don Sweeney
No scoring this period
Petr Sykora (20)
Assists: Sergei Brylin, Bobby Holik
Scott Niedermayer (10)
Assists: Joe Nieuwendyk, Patrik Elias