Bruins Cling to Life, Clinching Division Lead

Gregory Campbell (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

Gregory Campbell (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

Tonight the Boston Bruins laid it all out on the line in the first period, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. They had a lot riding on tonight’s game as the Montreal Canadiens slipped up and lost to the Washington Capitals last night, moving Bosotn in prime position to take over the Northeast.  Despite a late surge from the Devils the Bruins ended up drowning them in the Atlantic 5 goals to their 4.

The Bruins were roaring right from the get-go as the Devils were unable to clear their defensive zone and Jaromir Jagr spun the puck in the direction of Brodeur.  As it came across the crease at Martin Brodeur, Gregory Campbell was right there in front to pick it up and flip it in for a quick 1-0 lead just 70 seconds into the frame. The goal would be Campbell’s first in his last 22 games and his third of the season. Within twenty seconds of the goal being scored the Bruins quickly found themselves on defense as they wound up on a 5-on-3 disadvantage.  However, as a penalty expired on Johnny Boychuk, he picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and raced into the offensive zone where he was taken down and rewarded a penalty shot, the first of his career. While the defenseman drifted into the zone and pulled a head fake he was unable to lift the puck high enough over the pads of Brodeur and was denied the opportunity to put the Bruins up by 2. Just three minutes and forty-one seconds after the Bruins scored their first goal they would get a 2-on-1 shorthanded opportunity with Rich Peverley and Daniel Paille teaming up against the netminder. Paille shot initially and as he crashed the net, placed his rebound behind the veteran goaltender for a 2-0 lead at the 4:51 mark. Their hot streak would continue as Andrew Ference collected the puck from the Devils’ defense and shot it at the net with a slight deflection from Campbell out in front for the third goal of the period before the halfway marker. Through twenty minutes the Bruins dominated offensively and had the crowd booing their home team.  In order to stay in the game they needed to remain focused and keep the pressure on.

To begin the second period that was the exact game plan they followed as the Bruins found themselves with a 4-on-3 opportunity that had Jaromir Jagr on the same line as David Krejci. Jagr was able to throw the puck in front to Krejci with Zdeno crashing in and getting his stick on at the last second to poke it past Brodeur for a 4-0 lead. With his assist on the play Jagr earned his fifth point in his last four games since becoming a Bruin. At 11:12 the Devils showed signs of life as Sullivan threw a shot at Khudobin that Elias got a piece of out in front to cut the Bruins lead back to three. Moments later Nathan Horton had a drive that rung off the post, pushing the Devils to their limits. In desparation Anton Volchenkov decided to take out his frustrations in a similar fashion as he did in February 2011 against Boychuk of the Carolina Hurricanes, only this time against Brad Marchand. As the forward’s left elbow connected with the honeybadger’s helmet Marchand crumbled to the ice, eventually needing to be helped off by Jaromir Jagr and Andrew Ference. Volchenkov wound up with a game misconduct and is expected to have a hearing with Brendan Shannahan at some point for a suspension. To get the ball rolling after the incident the Devils would force a turnover from Milan Lucic who had some trouble handling the puck in the neutral zone, allowing Travis Zajac to move in on Dobby and beat him for the Devils second goal of the game. Through forty minutes the Bruins led 4-2 and found themselves down one of their leading scorers heading into the final frame.

Scoring wouldn’t open up in the third period until around the seven minute mark with Andy Green outsmarting a low-playing Shawn Thornton and out-of-crease Anton Khudobin, creating time and space for himself to place the puck perfectly behind the Bruins goaltender before he even knew what was coming at him, pulling them within one.  With twelve minutes and change remaining in the third the puck got dumped in the Bruins offensive end, Paille racing and winning the foot race. As he dished the puck over to Seguin who was racing into the crease he was able to flip it up and in, re-instating a 2-goal lead for a little breathing room. As the clock winded down, the Bruins found themselves on a 6-on-4 disadvantage as Seguin went to the box for elbowing and wouldn’t come out until the final minute and the Devils pulled Brodeur for the extra attacker. With ease they were able to kill off the penalty, but the extra attacker in place of Brodeur proved to be too much for Boston to handle as they pulled within one goal with 37 seconds left on the clock.  Thankfully the Bruins were able to cling onto the late Seguin goal and hold off the Devils from making a complete comeback, taking possession over first place in the Northeast.

They return to action tomorrow night against the New York Islanders at the TD Garden where they will need to re-evaluate some things and figure out how to win without Brad Marchand in the line up should he be out for a while. At the time this article is written there is no update on his condition. We will report more when we have the information.

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