NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10: Alexander Urbom #22 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his first NHL goal at 9:10 of the third period against the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center on April 10, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Bruins 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
While you were watching The Masters or doing something productive with your Sunday afternoon, the Boston Bruins and New Jersey were sleep-walking through their final regular season contest in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils were able to finish up their disappointing 2010-'11 campaign with a 3-2 victory over the Bruins at Prudential Center.
Patrik Elias spotted the New Jersey Devils a 1-0 lead 1:47 into the game. Brian Rolston drew both Bruins defensemen (Dennis Siedenberg and Johnny Boychuck) below the goal line before sliding the puck to a wide open Elias in the slot for the game's first tally.
Rich Peverley evened the score at 1-1 at 10:04 of the first period when he slid the puck into a virtually empty net after a rebound from Andrew Ference's shot was tipped by Michael Ryder and found its way to Peverley's stick at the bottom of the left circle.
The Devils pulled ahead 4:00 into the third period when the Bruins turned over the puck in the neutral zone to spring Vladimir Zharkov in on a breakaway. Zharkov pulled up between the circles and fired a shot that beat Tuukka Rask over the glove for his 2nd goal of the season.
Alexander Urbom's first NHL goal made it a 3-1 game for the Devils with 10:50 left in the third period. The young defenseman jumped up into the play and somehow ended up below the goal line before jamming home a warp-around that just barely crossed the goal line.
- The Bruins gave Tuukka Rask the start in goal, which allowed Tim Thomas to officially lock up the single season save percentage record.
- The Devils will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 1995-'96 season.
- Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi were given the day off. Both players were the only Bruins to appear in every game this season up until this point. Somewhere Cal Ripken, Jr. is shaking his head in disappointment.
- Roughly 1,600 former Quebec Nordiques fans from Quebec City made the trip to New Jersey in an apparent plea to the NHL to bring a team back to Quebec City. The group was very visible and vocal throughout the game. The fans from Quebec presented Tim Thomas with a Nordiques jerseyy (Thomas was the team's 9th round pick in 1994). Thomas never received a jersey after being drafted by the late-NHL club.
- I think the long season is starting to wear on Jack Edwards. He was in rare form today. Some of the highlights included:
- Openly (and rightfully) blasting sun belt fan bases for their lack of attendance and passion. <-- That one won him big points with Nordiques Nation and the Make It 7 folks.
- Making a loud fart noise on live TV and referring to it as "An Ode to Composite Sticks". <-- That one won him big points with 3rd graders all over New England and lumber companies.
- Made reference to the time that Andy Brickley cursed on the air
- Did a Swedish Chef impression after Swedish defenseman Alexander Urbom's goal for the Devils. <-- That one won him big points with Joe Haggerty
- Steven Kampfer was injured while playing for the Providence Bruins this weekend. The extent of the injury is unknown, but he was seen on crutches. Let's hope that the rest of the Bruins defensemen stay healthy so we can avoid see Sheriff Shane Hnidy patrolling the blue line in the playoffs.
- The NHL will announce the schedule for the opening round playoff series tonight at 10:00 PM ET. NHL Network will air a live special to make the announcement.
- For what I am sure will be a way more in-depth and wordy analysis of today's game of pond hockey, check out In Lou We Trust