The Bruins capped off their four-game road trip on Thursday night when they took on the New Jersey Devils. Boston had won their previous two meetings with the Devils coming into this game.
For the first time in almost a week, the Bruins lineup returned to full strength as both Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley skated in this game. Marchand was suspended five games for his hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo and Peverley missed the last two games for personal reasons.
The team sure has missed their speed. These two players usually provide that injection of energy all game long. They needed it for this contest against New Jersey who sits in third place in the Atlantic Division. Boston has had success against Atlantic Division teams this season, winning six straight. The last time they lost to an Atlantic Division team was opening night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
We saw a fast-paced opening period between the two teams. Nathan Horton almost beat Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur on three separate occasions. However, it was New Jersey who ended up scoring first when Petr Sykora wrapped the puck around the net and shot it past Tim Thomas.
After a scoreless second period that was dominated by the Devils, Boston looked to get off to a good start in the final 20 minutes. That certainly was the case since the B's scored three goals within the first eight minutes. Horton, Andrew Ference, and Gregory Campbell had the tallies. Campbell finished the game with the Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist, and a fighting major).
The Devils seemed to just give up on this game as it progressed. They kept turning the puck over to the Bruins allowing them to get more scoring chances. Chris Kelly added an empty-net goal to seal a 4-1 Bruins victory. Thomas made 30 saves on 31 shots.
Boston will return home for their next game on Saturday afternoon against the New York Rangers.
Gold Star: Gregory Campbell...A breakout game for the fourth-line center recording the Gordie Howe hat trick.
Black Star: Brad Marchand...He was clearly a little rusty in this one but give him some time and we should see him back to form soon.