|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
While the Boston Bruins were looking for their fifth consecutive win, Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils were making sure no one stole the spotlight from goaltender Martin Brodeur. The two forwards netted goals in the shootout to hand the Bruins a 2-1 loss as Brodeur made history by surpassing Patrick Roy’s record of 60,235 career minutes played with 60,280 of his own.
After a quiet first period, Brodeur and Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, making his sixth consecutive start in place of starter Tim Thomas (day-to-day, undisclosed injury), became very active as they each stopped 32 and 36 shots, respectively. Just more than halfway through the second period, Zach Parise notched his 14th goal of the season, when he forced the puck past Rask as he crashed the crease. The goal came immediately after the Bruins netminder made a spectacular series of saves before finally corralling the puck.
It took only 12 seconds for the Bruins to even the score after they exited the locker rooms for the third period. After an awkward bounce off the boards in the Devils’ zone, the puck found Marc Savard, who passed to Blake Wheeler for the one-timer, his seventh goal of the season.
The goalies ensured overtime by refusing to allow any more goals, despite the tireless of efforts of both offenses. Savard nearly won the game on a wrist shot with 3.8 seconds left, but Brodeur made a crafty save with his glove.
After a scoreless extra frame, Patrice Bergeron and Patrick Elias opened the shoot-out with failed attempts. Wheeler scored on the Bruins’ second shot, but Parise knotted it at one with his own goal, which came after an impressive fake. After David Krejci missed on his attempt, Langenbrunner ended the game with his forehand shot past Rask.
With the shootout loss the Boston Bruins are now tied with the Ottawa Senators for first place in the Northeast Division with 29 points (12-8-5). Outright first-place will be decided tomorrow night when the Senators visit the TD Garden for a 7:00 p.m. game.
Blake Wheeler seems to be hitting his stride of late, especially in this game as he scored the only regulation goal and the only shootout goal for the Bruins.
It’s hard to pick anyone for “Dud of the Game” after a great effort, but David Krejci was unable to prolong the shootout, so it’s him, as harsh as it is.
At the end of the game I thought we had a lot of good chances. We were hoping we could squeak one in there to get the game-winner.
– Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien
Shawn Thornton and Andrew Peters went at it in the middle of the second period. While Peters, who has two inches and twenty pounds on Thornton, landed a few solid rights, Thornton earned the take-down.