B's put on production;2nd act a big hit;Thomas co-stars
BRUINS 4, DEVILS 1
NEWARK, N.J. - The Bruins combined outstanding goaltending, stiff defense and balanced scoring to produce a complete 4-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils last night at the Prudential Center.
The Bruins improved to 2-1 in their first game in six days while the struggling Devils fell to 1-4-1 in their third game in four nights.
All of the scoring came in the second period, and all four B's forward lines found their way onto the scoresheet. The four goals were accompanied by seven assists, and the scoring balance is exactly what Bruins coach Claude Julien would like to see from his club on a nightly basis.
''I think it is fine for the team when every line is able to contribute and all of them were nice goals,'' Julien said. ''This is a game where I saw our team generate the most offense in this building in a long time. We scored four goals and we still had a lot of other quality chances. I thought we got better as the game went on with maybe a little bit of rust in the first. That's a normal thing when you haven't played in a week, but we wanted to get better as the game went on and we did that.''
The teams unloaded a similar number of shots, and the outcome was decided by the goalies. Tim Thomas made 31 saves for the B's and survived three New Jersey power plays, including a 5-on-3 Devils advantage at the end of the first period. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur also made 31 saves, but the future Hall of Famer fell victim to his teammates' defensive lapses.
Thomas was making his second start of the season. The start was earned off the merits of a 29-save shutout against the Phoenix Coyotes last Sunday in Prague, Czech Republic.
''He (Thomas) played well after the shutout in Prague and he deserved it (the start),'' Julien said.
The Devils scored first, at 3:45 of the second period, on a cluster play at Thomas' doorstep. An Andy Green slap shot from the left point ended up as a rebound off Thomas' pads into the slot area. Zach Parise fed the rebound to Dainius Zubrus for the goal.
The Bruins tied the game at 5:38 when rookie Jordan Caron netted his first NHL goal. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk intercepted a clearing pass at the blue line, wheeled and fired a slap shot at Brodeur. Caron collected the rebound in the slot and fired a high wrist shot that eluded Brodeur.
''We had a good shift and we went in front,'' Caron said. ''Johnny made a good shot, and I got a rebound.''
The B's took the lead at 10:44 when Mark Recchi made a sweet feed from the neutral zone to rookie Tyler Seguin along the left boards. Michael Ryder was streaking down the slot when he collected Seguin's pass and beat Brodeur for his first goal of the season.
''Seguin knew I was coming in wide there, and I was trying to get a good shot off,'' Ryder said.
The lead grew to 3-1 on a goal from an unlikely source. Brad Marchand emerged from a pile of players to feed Gregory Campbell behind the Devils net. Campbell found Shawn Thornton in the right circle for a shot that beat Brodeur to the far side at 16:43.
''Soupy (Campbell) saw me and he threw it and I just got it off as quick as possible,'' Thornton said.
The final score came about at 18:09 on some nifty passing by the first line. Nathan Horton connected with center David Krejci, who spotted Milan Lucic alone in the slot for his second goal of the season.