By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
Heading into a game against a lethal New Jersey Devils team, the scorching hot Boston Bruins looked to extend their winning streak to six games. The Bruins were able to win their fifth straight after dominating Buffalo 6-2 on November 12th. Boston was heading into this game without defenseman Andrew Ference and Daniel Paille. On the other side of the ice, New Jersey would be without Ilya Kovalchuk. One of the key storylines heading into this game was youngster Tyler Seguin and his recent hot streak. Seguin has seven goals in his last four games and is coming off a First Star of the Week for his recent performances.
Quiet First Period
The puck was dropped, and it didn’t take long for the Bruins to find themselves shorthanded. It took 18 seconds for a penalty to be called, and Tyler Seguin headed to the box for hooking. There was no need to fear, though, as the struggling New Jersey powerplay appeared to show, and Boston successfully killed off the penalty. New Jersey’s powerplay is the second-worst in the NHL.
11:20 into the first period, the Bruins would get their first powerplay opportunity after Anton Volchenkov was whistled for tripping. Unfortunately, 1:08 into the Bruins first powerplay Brad Marchand was called for goaltender interference. As a result, it was going to be 4-on-4 for 52 seconds. The rest of the first period ticked off, and after 20 minutes, it was a scoreless tie. New Jersey held a 12-8 shot advantage; however, Boston has had higher quality scoring chances.
Tied after 40 Minutes
Just like the first period, the Bruins found themselves shorthanded early in the period. Just 1:51 into the second, Rich Peverly was off to the box for hooking. Once again, though, the Devils failed to score with the man advantage, and it was still 0-0. The following eight minutes quickly passed, and once again, Boston was heading to the penalty box. It was Marchand for the second time, but this time being called for roughing.
As the Bruins were looking to kill off the penalty, Johnny Boychuk made a critical mistake. Boychuk was going to clear the puck and instead dumped the puck over the boards; it was now a 5-on-3 powerplay for the Devils. New Jersey’s David Clarkson took advantage of the powerplay and gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead. Tim Thomas did a good job covering the opposite post side, but Clarkson was still able to sneak a one-timer through.
A smidge over four minutes later, Boston’s Chris Kelly tied the game. A forecheck by Gregory Campbell on Johan Hedberg created the chance, and Chris Kelly was able to take advantage. Neither team scored for the remainder of the second, and after 40 minutes of action, it was 1-1. It took a bit for Boston to get things going in the second, but now they had momentum going into the final 20. A critical storyline during the second period was there was only one shift for Brad Marchand after a roughing penalty on Adam Henrique. Marchand was replaced by Benoit Pouliot during a five-on-five play. Chris Kelly skates in Marchand’s spot-on power play.
High Octane Offense in 3rd Period
After being benched toward the end of the second, Marchand came back with authority in the third. Just six seconds into the third, Marchand opened the scoring with a quick-strike snipe on Johan Hedburg. That’s one of the quickest goals you’ll see scored ever. New Jersey wasn’t having any of that, though, as they came right back two minutes later and tied the game at two.
Nick Palmieri was the goal scorer, with Adam Greene getting the assist. The third period resembled a table tennis game with fast back-and-forth action. It was now Shawn Thornton getting a goal just 1:32 later. Gregory Campbell once again was there to keep the play alive, resulting in Thornton getting the backhander. Boston’s one-goal lead was short-lived on the result of another game-tying goal by Nick Palmieri. It was Palmieri’s second goal of the night, and a neutral-zone turnover by Johnny Boychuk was how the Devils took advantage.
The last ten minutes of the game were upon us, and the fast-paced offense by both teams was still there. 12:50 into the third, Nathan Horton clanged the post off a feed from Milan Lucic, and it was still 3-3. New Jersey came right back with a chance of their own after a scramble in front of Tim Thomas, but Thomas was able to cover the puck. Then, with 3:01 remaining in the third, Benoit Pouliot put Boston on top.
After winning the o-zone draw, Joe Corvo put a shot on the net, and Pouliot recovered the rebound and found the back of the net. Boston’s defense was able to hold up for the rest of the game, and the Bruins held on for a 4-3 victory. Boston’s winning streak was now six games, and they looked to make it seven straight on November 17th against the Columbus Blue Jackets.