Khudobin carries Boston Bruins past New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Adam McQuaid
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Adam McQuaid /

After the 4-2 defeat at home to the lowly Buffalo Sabres Saturday night, the Boston Bruins rebounded Sunday to beat New Jersey 5-3.  Goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped 35 shots to down the Devils.

Well, it wasn’t pretty but the Boston Bruins took care of business Sunday night in New Jersey.  After a lackluster performance against the Eastern Conference’s worst team Saturday, the B’s looked like they were destined to drop two in a row for the first time since December.  Not on Anton Khudobin‘s watch.

The Bruins backup was tremendous, and they needed him to be.  In the first period alone, Khudobin stopped multiple breakaways and a penalty shot.  The Devils out shot Boston 38-27, including a 12-6 shot disparity in the third period.  The B’s looked sloppy for the majority of the game, but Khudobin was determined to put the team on his back.

The Bruins started the scoring in the first period, or should we say the Devils did?  Torey Krug scored his first career shorthanded goal after two Devils knocked his centering pass past goaltender Eddie Lack.  It was that kind of night.

Boston took the lead three times before the third period, and each time New Jersey quickly answered.  It was anyone’s game heading into the third.  New Jersey looked like the better side, but just could not beat Khudobin.

Boston Bruins
NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 11: Anton Khudobin /

After a great penalty kill about halfway through the third, the B’s broke through.  Adam McQuaid scored his first of the year, after his shot from the point was deflected by a Devil past Lack.  Boston had yet another one goal lead, but this time was different.  The Bruins put the sloppiness behind them for the last 8 minutes of the game and closed out New Jersey.  Patrice Bergeron put one into the empty net for good measure.

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That’s why the Bruins have been on a Stanley Cup trajectory this year.  They beat a playoff team, New Jersey owns one of the two wild card spots at this point in the season, without playing their best game.  That’s what the great teams in this league can do, and this game continues to carve out Boston’s place among the NHL’s elite.

Other Game Notes

It was a weird game for Boston.  The McQuaid goal in the third marked the Bruins’ first five on five goal of the game.  Before that, the Bruins scored two short handed goals (Krug and Tim Schaller) and a power play goal (Krug).

Noel Acciari made his return Sunday night after a 7 game absence.

Looking Ahead

The Bruins will look to carry momentum into their next game against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday in Boston.  That will be the last B’s home game before the NHL trade deadline on February 26th.  What will this team, which has looked like a Stanley Cup contender this far into the season, look like after the five game road trip?