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Bruins clinch division title with rout of Devils

Mar 22, 2009 - 11:22 PM
BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Bruins' lead in the Eastern Conference was fading but coach Claude Julien didn't talk to them about the importance of beating the team threatening to take it away.

Or about how a win Sunday over the surging New Jersey Devils would give the Bruins the Northeast Division title.

"Lately we've been wasting a lot of energy just thinking about getting the win and forgetting how to get the win," Julien said after Boston's 4-1 victory. "If you play well enough, the outcome would take care of itself."

His players proved him right with some very timely outstanding play -- and some help from their opponents.

Michael Ryder and Milan Lucic scored on deflections off Devils players past Martin Brodeur, and the Bruins (102 points) built a five-point lead over New Jersey with nine games left. The Devils have 10 remaining.

"We made a couple of mistakes," said Brodeur, 9-2 since returning from biceps surgery. "We paid the price, even though they were some lucky goals on the power play they got, it was still opportunities that we gave up that usually we don't do."

Boston locked up a playoff berth Saturday night when Florida lost to Columbus then clinched its first divisional title since 2003-04.

"It wasn't even mentioned once," Julien said. "We didn't talk about it. I didn't hear any players talk about it."

The Bruins were coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night in which they wasted a two-goal lead in the third period. Now they're 7-9-4 in their last 20 games after going 39-8-6.

"We're not making proclamations that it's all corrected," Aaron Ward said, "but it's a step in the right direction, especially timing-wise. With all this time off, it's something to build on."

The Bruins have five days off before playing Toronto next Saturday. The Devils visit Philadelphia on Monday night and are 9-3 in their last 12 games.

"We get the chance to get right back at it, so that's a good thing," New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said. "But we do have to play better on the road, especially our specialty teams."

The Bruins got another fluke goal when Marc Savard scored on a power play on a rebound off New Jersey's Travis Zajac, who had stopped Matt Hunwick's shot from the left point. And Chuck Kobasew beat Brodeur between the post and the goalie's left skate as Kobasew stood behind the goal line.

"It's about time," Ward said of the deflections. "We've had a few of those go against us."

Andy Greene scored for New Jersey midway through the second period, cutting the lead to 3-1. But the Bruins held the lead three days after squandering a two-goal lead.

Challenged by Julien to work harder after Thursday night's loss, the Bruins responded. They even scored on their first two power plays after Julien said they were "totally flat" when they had the man advantage against the Kings.

"We really wanted this game," Savard said. "The biggest game of the year for us, the way we've been going, and we certainly proved we can do it."

On Boston's first power play Sunday, Ryder scored his 25th goal of the season. Mark Recchi centered the puck from the right side, where it touched Ryder and continued to the other side of the slot where it hit the skate of the Devils' Paul Martin and went past Brodeur.

The Bruins made it 2-0 just 1:52 into the second when Patrice Bergeron passed the puck from the lower left corner to Kobasew, who scored his 18th goal.

Savard, Boston's leading scorer, then got his second goal in four games after going 15 games without one when he scored on a power play at 6:19 of the period.

"We made four mistakes that they capitalized on," Sutter said. "It's a big game, but we move forward."

Tim Thomas, the NHL leader in goals against average, gave up Greene's second goal of the season at 12:44 of the second period. Greene kept skating to the net after passing from the left point across the ice to Jamie Langenbrunner, who returned the puck into the slot. Greene redirected it past Thomas.

But the Bruins regained the lead less than 5 minutes later on Lucic's 14th goal and first in 16 games. He skated in on the left side and put the puck in front of the net where several Devils and no Bruins were camped.

It hit the stick of defenseman Mike Mottau and ricocheted past Brodeur.






  • 15
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Devils 1, Bruins 4  FinalMar 23 2:02 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1
    BOSTON 1 3 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - (PP) MICHAEL RYDER 25 (MARK RECCHI, MARC SAVARD) 16:22
    2ND PRD: BOS - CHUCK KOBASEW 18 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARK RECCHI) 1:52
    BOS - (PP) MARC SAVARD 23 (MATT HUNWICK, MICHAEL RYDER) 6:19
    NJD - ANDREW GREENE 2 (JAM

    Mar 22 5:24 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1
    BOSTON 1 3 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - (PP) MICHAEL RYDER 25 (MARK RECCHI, MARC SAVARD) 16:22
    2ND PRD: BOS - CHUCK KOBASEW 18 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARK RECCHI) 1:52
    BOS - (PP) MARC SAVARD 23 (MATT HUNWICK, MICHAEL RYDER) 6:19
    NJD - ANDREW

    Mar 22 4:32 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    BOSTON 4 2:05 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Devils 1, Bruins 4  2nd - 2:05Mar 22 4:29 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL NEW JERSEY 1
    BOSTON 3
    2ND PRD: NJD - ANDREW GREENE 2 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, ZACH PARISE)
    12:44

    Devils 1, Bruins 3  2nd - 7:16Mar 22 4:18 PM
  • 10
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Devils 0, Bruins 3  2nd - 13:41Mar 22 4:09 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 0
    BOSTON 3 13:21 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Devils 0, Bruins 3  2nd - 13:21Mar 22 4:08 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 0
    BOSTON 2
    2ND PRD: BOS - CHUCK KOBASEW 18 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARK RECCHI) 1:52

    Devils 0, Bruins 2  2nd - 18:08Mar 22 4:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0
    BOSTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - (PP) MARK RECCHI 18 (MARC SAVARD, DENNIS WIDEMAN)
    16:22
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 11 11
    BOS 14 14
    GOALIES: NJD - MARTIN BRO

    Mar 22 3:39 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL NEW JERSEY 0
    BOSTON 1
    1ST PRD: BOS - (PP) MARK RECCHI 18 (MARC SAVARD, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 16:22

    Devils 0, Bruins 1  1st - 3:38Mar 22 3:35 PM
  • 5
    roots
    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Devils vs. BruinsMar 20 10:28 PM