Although the Boston Bruins would have liked to pick up a win, their 3-2 shootout loss last night against the New Jersey Devils still earned them an important point to help them in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Bruins are currently tied for the 6th spot in the East with the Ottawa Senators, both teams have 92 points in the standings with two games remaining. The teams will skate off against each other tomorrow night in a huge game that could solidify a playoff birth for one of the clubs.
In last nights contest the Devils took a 1-0 lead early in the 1st period scoring only 3:41 into the game on a Dainius Zubrus shot which was good for his 13th goal of the year.
After the quick goal, the Bruins tightened up their defense and shut out New Jersey for the next 51 minutes on the ice.
In the 2nd period, the B’s lit the lamp twice, first on a power play goal that came only 37 second into the frame by Dennis Wideman. It was Wideman’s 13th goal on the year and gave his teammates some momentum. With 3:27 left to play in the 2nd, Bruins left wing Milan Lucic netted his 8th goal of the season on a nice finish that was assisted by P.J. Axelsson, Glen Metropolit. The goal gave the Bruins a 2-1 that would last until late in the 3rd period when the Devils were able to knot the score at 2-2 on David Clarkson’s 14th goal of the year with only 5:28 left in regulation.
The teams skated to a 2-2 tie in regulation and left it up to goaltenders Martin Brodeur and Tim Thomas to try to secure a victory for their clubs.
Brodeur and the Devils would have the upper hand in the 4 goal shootout session in which he blacked the Bruins on all of their attempts. Zach Praise scored the game winner on Thomas beating him high on his glove side with a bank hand wrist shot.
“It’s really up to us to do our job and worry about winning our hockey games,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “That’s where we are at now, and that’s why that second point would have been huge.”
The win for the Devils clinched at least the 5th spot in the East and another victory would secure home ice for the first round of the playoffs.
“We are trying to move forward and play well going into the playoffs,” Brodeur said. “This is a big win. We didn’t play our best game. We were patient in the third, not trying to score right away. We got rewarded by a big goal at the end.”
A win in regulation tomorrow night would clinch a playoff birth for the Bruins as long as one of the teams below them in the race losses one of their remaining games.
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