A game that started in an absolutely awful display of defense by a Devils team coming off of a horrific offensive showcasing in a losing effort to rival New York, 2-0 on Monday evening in The Garden. The Devils would need to come outta the gate QUICK against a Boston squad which has won all 3 previous meetings between Boston and New Jersey this season, out scoring Jersey’s Team 14-5 in those 3 games.
The game began in disaster, it appeared as all hope had been lost well before the mid way point of the first. Boston struck for two quick goals; one being scored 1:13 in by David Krejci from Tyler Seguin, followed by a Seguin goal recieving passes from Lucic and Bruins goalie Tim Thomas a few seconds past the 8 minute marker. The Devils were in a hole. The only player who was managing to keep New Jersey in the game, despite the 2 goals allowed, was future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. Brodeur stopped 7 of 9 shots faced, at least 3 of which were absolute beauty’s. The teams would continue to go back and forth up and down the ice, not scoring again until the second period. In the first, the two teams would exchange a penalty a piece (Brian Rolston, BOS, 9:53, Tripping/ Ryan Carter, NJD, 17:27, Roughing) along side a fighting major assessed to Shawn Thornton and Eric Boulton.
As we all were witness to in the first period, a dismal period of hockey ultimately dominated by the defending Cup champs, it would be the Bruins’ faithful who were eye witnesses to a scoring frenzy led by Devils’ captain Zach Parise, beating Tim Thomas high blocker side for his 24th of the season on a pass from the nearly invisible Ilya Kovalchuk, who hasnt registered a goal in his last 7 games. Following Zach’s goal, Patrik Elias would join New Jersey’s “20+ Goal Club” with his 20th marker of the year with 6 minutes remaining in the middle segment. Patty’s goal was assisted by Sykora and Volchenkov. They had tied it up, 2 goals a piece. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! David Clarkson pushed one past Tim Thomas on a wrap around attempt for his 25th of the campaign. Clarky put the Devils in the lead, 3-2 heading into the final 20 minutes.
A third period highlighted by big saves, shut-down defensive plays and offensive opportunities. The 3rd period had three penalties, one for the B’s, two for the Dev’s; a call on Sykora and Kovy would grant Boston two powerplay opportunities which were inevitably stoned by the Devils’ 2nd ranked penalty killing unit. The Boston short handed chance was abruptly brought to a stand still once Kovalchuk got his hi-sticking minor in the middle of Chara’s duece in the sin bin. Prior to the two penalties, Boston was in complete control of the puck deep in the Devils’ zone when a debatable play was unfolding. What had looked to be a hand pass from Big Z, would eventually lead to a goal, the game tying goal scored by David Krejci for his 2nd of the night, as he beat Brodeur low blocker side. The play would be reviewed and the on ice call stood, and boy oh boy did it stand tall. No other pucks were pushed past Brodeur, or Thomas for that matter and the teams would head to their respective bench’s, tied, 3-3, and would begin a sudden death overtime period.
This game would only make sense to be forced into overtime and how else could you expect it to end? The overtime period was short, 2:59 minutes short to be exact… New Jersey and Boston would trade posession of the puck carting it up and down the ice, making pass after pass and then turning it over. The Devils would crank 2 quick shots that’d be moved aside by Tim Thomas as Boston would only take one shot. The catch: Boston would lite the lamp. You guessed it, David Krejci of the Boston Bruins, scoring his 3rd goal of the night for the Hat Trick would hand the Bruins the victory over a slumping Devils team, 4-3 the score in O.T.
With the OT loss to the Bruins, New Jersey would muster up a measly 1 point, which, in regards to their last 3 games is a positive… The Devils currently hold ground as the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture; 1pt behind idle Ottawa (76), 2pts behind rival Philadelphia who resides in the 5th place with 77pts. Another plus to look at is the gap between 7th and 8th. Tomorrow night New Jersey heads to the nations capital to face 8th place Washington. The Caps have 69pts and will most certainly fall to 9th in the standings by nights end due to a ravage of the Florida Panthers by the Winnipeg Jets who scored a touchdown in tonights game, winning 7-0 over their division leaders. With the win by the Jets, they will “fly” into 8th seed gaining points 69 & 70, dropping Washington to 9th place, just on the outside looking in. A win in Washington would set as a total swing of momentum for the Dev’s as they’d win their first game since a 4-3 OT victory over Toronto dating back to February the 21st.
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