The Boston Bruins(26-9-4) came out of the gate on fire in last night’s game against the New Jersey Devils(15-15-10). Even with four penalties assessed to them within the first five minutes of the game, the Black and Gold responded tenaciously. The Bruins have the leading penalty kill percentage in the league and they proved how they earned it. “Obviously,” offered Coach Claude Julien in a post game interview. “Not only did they kill, but they scored a couple of shorthanded goals and that really set the tone for us.”
The first period was all Boston. Campbell got in two goals (one a shorty), Paille put one in (also a shorty), Johnny Boychuk got a penalty shot(didn’t connect though), and the Bruins were just making stripping the Devils of any chance of momentum in the first period. The second period started out much the same. The Bruins captain Zdeno Chara got one through a much abused Martin Brodeur elevating their lead to 4-0 at 3:06 in the second.
The Devils did start a comeback though. Patrik Elias got the first goal past Anton Khudobin at 11:07. They even scored a shorthanded of their own. Travis Zajac stripped a puck from Milan Lucic and blasted a shot past Khudobin to end the period down 4-2.
That shorthanded goal was brought about by the actions of Anton Volchenkov. 15:11 into the game, he put up his elbow and drove it into the head of Brad Marchand. For those who didn’t get to see the game, or wonder if Marchand had might have even dived. Just watch it for yourselves. Volchenkov got the Devils a five minute major, and got himself tossed from the game. That shot was dirty, it was intentional, and I’m sure we can see a ‘Shanaban’ for Volchenkov who has been suspended in the past for his behavior.
— NESN Nation (@NESNNation) April 11, 2013
The Devils came back in the third. Half of their resurgence was due to their desperate play, the other half of it was due to the Bruins’ not hammering the nail in the coffin in the second period. “When we were up 3-0 we definitely took our foot off the gas, and you saw what happened.” said Tyler Seguin. They Devils battled back to 4-3 in the third, and it took a Seguin goal at 7:33 to put the game out of reach for New Jersey. A last second drive by Matt D’Agostini got the Devils back within one, but the game ended giving the Devils their eighth straight loss, and likely dashing any chance for a post-season.
One of the highlights of the game was the performance of Gregory Campbell. “Soupy” has spent the majority of his career with the Bruins on the fourth line. As a member of the Merlot Men, his job was to grind up time, and produce scoring opportunities when possible. Coming into tonight, he only had two goals on the season. Therefore, a lot of Bruins Nation was confused when Claude Julien moved him up to the second line to work with Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. (Coach, I got it. I’ve been praising it on Twitter since you did it.) He validated his placement in the Carolina game, and went above and beyond last night.
He put the first goal of the game in for Boston just 1:10 into the game. That goal was assisted by some incredible puck work by Jaromir Jagr. His second goal(and fourth for the season)came on the penalty kill. Campbell had 21:12 minutes of ice time last night, 4:43 of that was on the penalty kill. Campbell was awarded First Star of the Game and he certainly deserved it. He commented on his performance after the game as well. “Sometimes you find yourself in that position and you can really change the momentum of the game either way. We were fortunate to get out of that, our goal in killing penalties is to do just that, kill the penalty first.”
That win also gave the Bruins their first free and clear lead in the Northeast Division in nearly two months. The B’s have either trailed or shared the position with the Montreal Canadiens and it’s good to see the Black and Gold back on top. Their next game is tonight, at home, against the New York Islanders.