Tim Thomas turned aside 28 shots to earn his fourth shutout of the season and Head Coach Claude Julien moved into a tie for 6th place with Tom Johnson on the Bruins' all-time wins list at 142 victories as the B's downed the New Jersey Devils 3-0 at TD Garden on Monday night. The reeling Devils dropped to 5-11-2, while the Bruins improved to 9-5-1 on the season.
Michael Ryder's power goal on a 5 on 3 advantage with Matthew Corrente (hooking) and Adam Mair (interference) locked up for 2 minutes each gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 4:34 to play in the first period. Some good puck movement and plenty of frozen real estate to work with led to Ryder's 5th goal of the season. Ryder got the puck along the goal line on the left wing and fired a shot that beat Martin Brodeur on the short side. Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi picked up the helpers on the game's first tally.
The Bruins extended their lead 43 seconds into the second period on a hard, low snap shot by Nathan Horton way out beyond the right wing circle. Horton's 8th of the season was assisted by Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara. Horton later admitted that the shot was a misfire, "It just kind of went off my stick at a bad angle, I guess, and it stayed low. I was trying to raise it, so maybe it faked [Martin Brodeur] out a bit."
The B's started the third period almost exactly the same way the started the second. Nathan Horton scored on a shot in transition on from near the top of the right circle 43 seconds into the second. This time, it was Blake Wheeler who found the back of the net in stride from the left circle 43 seconds into the third. Recchi picked up his 10th assist of the season on Wheeler's goal, while Jordan Caron added his second helper of the season after some good work along the boards by the rookie to move the puck free. When asked where he was aiming for on the shot, Wheeler said "Aw, man. At this point I’ve been all over and I haven’t had it bounce in for me so at this point it’s close your eyes and shoot it. [Recchi] was yelling ‘shoot it’ and I just let it fly and somehow found a hole."
- Tonight was Military Appreciation Night at TD Garden. Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart, and several fans donated tickets to tonight's game to members of the military and their families. In total, over $70,000 worth of tickets were purchased and donated.
"There was a lot of emotion involved tonight. I think from all the people that were here in the building and plus the puck drop, I think it got everybody’s blood flowing. It was pretty special to see and I think I speak for all the guys on the team, we wanted to come out with a win tonight for them and for us, for sure."
- Mark Stuart on Military Appreciation Night
"Having those guys here you know we made it a point before the game to have a good game and have a good start because there are people that have obviously made a huge sacrifice for our country and they’re out here for us to entertain them. So, we wanted to play well and play hard for them."
- Blake Wheeler
- Adam McQuaid dropped the gloves in a long scrap with Rod Pelley 3:05 into the game. McQuaid lost his balance early in the fight and went to the ice before quickly regaining his footing. McQuaid looked like he landed more punches than Pelley, but Pelley eventually wrestled McQuaid to the ice.
"Yeah, he just kind of pushed me over there and usually when a guy goes down the linesmen will jump in and you know the fight’s over. It happened pretty quick. I didn’t want it to be over that quick and I kind of waved the linesmen off and to his [Pelley’s] credit he let me get back up too, so it was good of him and good of the linesmen as well."
- Adam McQuaid on losing his footing early in the fight
- Face-offs were split at 23 a piece.
- Mark Stuarts laid a game-high 5 hits.
- Dennis Seidenberg continues to clog up the shooting lanes. He had 4 blocked shots tonight.
- Longtime and loyal Stanley Cup of Chowder reader Arenacale suggest I should use this headline:
Bruins have no problems defeating team they should have no problems defeating
- For more on tonight's game, check out In Lou We Trust
- The B's are back at it on Wednesday night when the head to New York to take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.