New Jersey scored four – four! – power play goals, each by a different player, en route to a thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
The win marked just their second victory this season, but after their roughest start in franchise history, the Devils have an opportunity to turn the corner on their season.
On Saturday, Damien Brunner and Andy Greene each recorded a goal and an assist, while Jaromir Jagr tallied two assists. Also adding goals were Adam Henrique and Marek Zidlicky, who is tied with Jagr for the most points on the team, with nine.
The first two periods weren’t the sharpest for the Devils, as the Bruins scored twice in under a minute and a half in the first, including a pass from Jarome Iginla that deflected off of Brunner’s skate and past Martin Brodeur. New Jersey was able to tally its first goal of the night when Henrique banged a long rebound into the back of the net, a one-timer that beat Tuukka Rask’s stick side.
But, just before the end of the period, the Bruins struck again with what looked to be another relatively soft goal that got by Brodeur. The second period saw New Jersey outshoot Boston 15-11, and finally the Devils received a bit of a break on their second goal that just squeaked inside the near post and dropped over the goal line with 28 seconds on the clock.
In the third, the Devils again outshot the Bruins, 11-7, including both Zidlicky’s slap shot to tie the game with 1:08 left and Greene’s gamewinner off of Brunner’s misfired shot with 45 seconds on the clock. Zidlicky’s goal came when the Devils turned a 5-on-3 situation – Torey Krug whacked Brunner in the face and drew blood (high-sticking double minor), followed by a delay of game penalty on Patrice Bergeron – into a 6-on-3 advantage by pulling Brodeur. Bergeron rejoined the Bruins and Devils head coach Pete DeBoer put Brodeur back in the net, but New Jersey remained on the power play and took advantage of the opportunity with Greene’s goal.
Brodeur, back in net for the first time in four games, won his first regulation game of the season by making 25 saves on 28 shots. He started off slowly but turned in an overall solid performance; while he’s not yet making me feel super confident in him, this game could be a harbinger of better times ahead.
This was a great win for the Devils, not just because they were able to come back from a 3-1 deficit, but also because they didn’t give up when they weren’t getting calls or bounces in their favor. I’ll continue to say that stats are great but they don’t tell the whole story; this game proved that this team has the ability to pull themselves out of the hole they’ve dug.
New Jersey has to build upon this victory if it wants to break into the top half of the Metropolitan Division standings. The Devils are sitting in sixth place with eight points, but that’s only three points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders, who are tied for second with 11 points apiece.
Stunning the Bruins with a comeback win is a great pivot point for the Devils, now they just need to figure out a way to ride their momentum to move up in the division.
Minus: After New Jersey won its first game of the season last weekend in a 4-0 rout of the New York Rangers, they looked rotten against the Columbus Blue Jackets just three days later. In their shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, Patrik Elias and Eric Gelinas scored in regulation, but not a single Devils player has recorded a shootout goal yet this season.