Final: Boston 4, New Jersey 3
Recap: Thanks to a goal less than 90 seconds into play from David Krejci, the Bruins were off and running against the visiting Devils. Krejci's new linemate, Tyler Seguin, tallied later in the frame as Boston headed to the second up 2-0.
There, however, they fell apart. Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and David Clarkson scored for the Devils, who rebounded to take a 3-2 lead into the third.
With 14:30 left in regulation, Krejci notched his second goal of the evening, knotting things up at three apiece. In overtime, No. 46 capped off his magical night by completing the hat trick, burying one behind future Hall of Famer Marty Brodeur to give the B's a 4-3 victory.
Records: Boston 38-21-3, 79 points; New Jersey 35-23-5, 75 points
Key Play of the Game: Thought it'd be easy to go with the game-winner, the tying tally was also an impressive play. Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara and Krejci all crashed the net. It was No. 46 who netted the clutch tally, but the effort of his teammates certainly played a big factor.
Connolly's Commendations: I suppose we'll lead off with the guy who got a hat trick and was named the First Star of the contest. Krejci, ironically enough, had three points in his last 15 games coming into tonight. Sure enough, a timely switch that sent Seguin up to first line sparked some killer chemistry for Boston's first line.
Secondary applause clearly go to Krejci's linemates, Lucic and Krejci.
Patrice Bergeron also had a very impressive outing. No. 37 won 16-of-20 faceoffs on the night and chipped in an assist on the game-winning strike in overtime.
Newcomer Greg Zanon looked sharp in his debut. The rugged d-man logged just under 15 minutes of ice time, led the B's with three hits and also blocked three shots.
Connolly's Critiques: Joe Corvo made a number of blunders in tonight's win. His turnover led to a 2-on-1 on which Parise scored. He then lost his man on the Devils' second of the night. In overtime, he went down low and nearly left his partner alone on a 2-on-1 again.
Jordan Caron finished the evening minus-2 and, shy of a shot that actually did generate what would qualify as a scoring chance, was the Captain Quiet for the Bruins.
Notes: Strange night for Shawn Thornton, who saw extremely limited ice time after going down the tunnel in the wake of a fight with Eric Boulton. Andrew Ference reportedly suffered a lower-body injury at some point. His status will be updated friday. Boston swept their season series with the Devils for the first time since 1985-86.
Next: The Bruins will return to action on Saturday when they welcome the Islanders to the Garden for a 1 o'clock matinee.