By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
On a brisk February Night at the Old Boston Garden, the Boston Bruins would host Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. At the time, Boston was 27-18-10, while New Jersey had a similar record at 30-17-6. The night belonged to Bruins Legend Cam Neely, who incredibly scored his eleventh career har trick in a span of 4:02 in the first period. Neely’s heroics led the Bruins to a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils and helped the Bruins get their 28th win of the season. So, Bruins fans, let’s take a quick look back at this day in Bruins history.
Early Excitement at the Garden
The puck was dropped, and both teams looked to claim a win and improve in the standings. New Jersey opened up the scoring at the 4:08 mark when John MacLean put one by Jon Casey, Stephane Richer, was credited with the assist. A minute later, Randy Mckay and Bryan Smolinski were both assessed roughing penalties leaving it 4-on-4 for two minutes. After a quick skirmish between McKay and Smolinski, it was all Boston after that. At the 8:36 mark, Cam Neely scored the first of his three goals of the night. After a quick faceoff win by Adam Oates, Joe Juneau found Neely in front of the net, and Neely capitalized to make it 1-1. Three minutes later, Neely scored his second goal of the evening. Ray Bourque was sitting at half-ice, set a nice outlet pass to Neely, and Neely lasered a shot by Brodeur, and Boston was up 2-1.
As the Garden Faithful was still reminiscing Neely’s beautiful second goal, 89 seconds later, number eight gave the fans all they could handle when he got the hat trick. While on the powerplay, Neely found a loose puck by Brodeur after Bourque fired one on the net, and Neely capitalized. The ice was then littered with Bruins hats, and the fans were ecstatic. It was Neely’s 39th goal of the season, and Boston’s lead was now 3-1. A smidge over a minute later, Bryan Smolinski decided to join the Boston scoring party and extended the Bruins lead to 4-1. It was Smolinski’s 19th goal of the season. The last six minutes of the first period ticked away, and Boston was off to a stellar start.
Neely and Bruins Celebrate an Eventful Night
After an uneventful second period, the Bruins looked to hang on to a 4-1 lead and celebrate Neely’s historic night. The period started with a bang when Glen Murray roofed one over Brodeur and made it 5-1 Boston. The seventh goal of the season for Murray, with the assists being credited to Ted Donato and Glen Wesley. Less than a minute later, Scott Stevens scored his 12th goal of the season and cut Boston’s lead to 5-2. As the last 14 minutes of regulation went on, the Bruins held off New Jersey’s attempt at a comeback and only allowed one more goal, which was scored by Tom Chorske with 13 seconds left. Neely and his fellow comrades were able to celebrate a historic night and win 5-3.