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Bruins beat Devils, stay atop division

Mar 23, 2011 - 4:13 AM
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Zdeno Chara posted a goal and two assists as Boston downed New Jersey, 4-1, at TD Garden.

Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi all scored for the Bruins, who won for just the second time in their last eight.

Tim Thomas was stellar between the pipes, making 30 saves as Boston maintained its position atop the Northeast Division. With Montreal's home loss to Buffalo, the Bruins moved three points ahead of the Canadiens.

"It doesn't matter who we were playing tonight, it was good to get back on the right track," said Thomas. "Being at home, it's nice what we were able to accomplish."

Ilya Kovalchuk provided the sole offense for the Devils, who have dropped three of their last four. Martin Brodeur allowed three goals on 29 shots in defeat.

"We still feel confident in our game. We feel like we are one of the best, if not the best team in the second half," said Devils forward Brian Rolston about his club's charge from last place in the NHL to competing for a playoff spot. "You have to feel confident about where you're headed."

Kovalchuk beat Thomas on a one-timer from the left circle during a Devils power play with 8:55 left in the first period, but Dennis Seidenberg's right- point floater settled just under the crossbar after deflecting off Thornton with 4:21 left.

Boston went up 2-1 thanks to a Chara shot from the left circle at 8:17 of the second period and Thomas protected the slim edge with eight saves in the middle 20 minutes. Brodeur did his part, halting the remaining 16 chances the home team sent his way.

Lucic provided insurance with 3:47 left in regulation, when he one-timed a backhanded Patrice Bergeron feed past Brodeur from the top of the inner edge of the left circle.

Recchi hit the empty net with 40 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Game Notes

Boston has won all three meetings with New Jersey this season and four in a row dating back to March 30, 2010...Bergeron and Tomas Kaberle also registered two assists for the Bruins...Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire coached his 500th game with the franchise.