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Devils Jump on Bruins Early, Hang on to Win

New Jersey Devils' Bryce Salvador, right, checks Boston Bruins' Blake Wheeler, left, in front of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, March 15, 2010, in Newark, N.J. The Devils beat the Bruins 3-2. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The Boston Bruins traveled to New Jersey Monday night to take on the Devils and right away it looked like an absolute blowout. New Jersey jumped on Bruins’ starter Tim Thomas and scored their only three goals in the first period. Thomas was later pulled in the second period, marking his fifth time this season that he has been pulled in a game.

The Bruins made things interesting in the third period after they pulled Tuukka Rask out of goal to have the extra skater on the ice and Patrice Bergeron scored to bring the game to within one with about a minute left in the game. Boston tried the same strategy, but could not get the puck past Martin Brodeur and the Devils went on to win by the score of 3-2.

The loss dropped the Bruins to 30-26-12 (72 points) on the year. The Devils improved to 41-24-3 (85 points) on the season. Boston hangs onto the eighth and last place spot in the race for the playoffs, just one point ahead of the New York Rangers and three ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Bruins started Thomas in goal, and he struggled right from the start. In less than 20 minutes on the ice, he saw 12 shots on goal and allowed for three of them to hit the back of the net. Thomas’ record now stands at 15-17-8 and he has lost his past three decisions (0-2-1). Rask, on the other hand, stopped all 16 shots that he saw on goal.

The Devils had a little better luck with their goalie in Brodeur. He saved 34-of-36 shots on goal for his 38th win of the season.

First Period

  • Rob Niedermayer got things going for New Jersey halfway through the first period when he netted his ninth goal of the season. He was assisted by David Clarkson and Martin Skoula on the play. Devils up 1-0
  • Mark Stuart took some of his anger out by getting into a fight with Rod Pelley a couple minutes after the first goal was scored. Both players received five minutes in the penalty box with fighting majors.
  • Clarkson added a goal for himself with less than three minutes left in the period, it was his eighth of the year. He was assisted by Brodeur, who made the long pass up ice to the wide open Clarkson for the goal. Devils up 2-0
  • Less than 45 seconds later, Zach Parise added his team-leading 32nd goal of the season to further the frustrations for Thomas. Parise was assisted by Mike Mottau and Patrik Elias on the play. Devils up 3-0

Second Period

  • Blake Wheeler wasted no time putting the Bruins on the board as he netted his 17th goal of the season. He was assisted by David Krejci and Stuart. Devils up 3-1
  • Shawn Thornton kept up the physical play as he and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (try saying his name five times fast!) threw down the gloves just a couple minutes after Wheeler’s goal. Each player was slaped with a five minute fighting major.

Third Period

  • The physical play continued between the two teams but no scoring was happening until Bergeron’s 15th goal of the season brought the Bruins to within one. He was assisted by Dennis Seidenberg and Wheeler on the play. Devils up 3-2
  • Brodeur kept his composure in goal and prevented Boston from tying the game and the Devils came away with the 3-2 victory.

The Bruins are currently 2-3-1 and on their current seven-game roadtrip. They will finish off the trip tomorrow night when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Game Notes

  • Both teams racked up the penalty minutes but New Jersey led 14-12 in the category.
  • The Bruins led in hits 20-19, total shots 36-28,¬†and in faceoffs won 29-25.
  • Both teams were unsuccesful on the power play; New Jersey went 0-for-1 and Boston went 0-for-2.
  • Brodeur has three assists this season and 34 in his career, tying Ed Belfour for sixth on the NHL list for goalies.
  • Bruins RW Miroslav Satan returned after missing two games (groin).

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  1. [...] Devils Jump on Bruins Early, Hang on to Win [...]

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