Many fans were still trying to regain their composure after what was arguably the best game of this young season on Monday night. Just like the Boston Bruins themselves, a quick turn around was required.
Tuesday night marked the first time this season that the Bruins would play a game on back-to-back nights. It is hard to not be on a cloud after a dramatic and emotional win the previous night, but a short memory is necessary in this sport. The B's had already moved on.
They played host to the New Jersey Devils, the reigning Eastern Conference champions. After a disappointing Stanley Cup finish last season, the Devils have come right back and earned themselves a 3-0-1 record heading into Tuesday's game. Something had to give.
Tuukka Rask was back between the pipes for the Black and Gold in this game. He would oppose Johan Hedberg, who was making his first start of the season. Adam McQuaid missed his second-straight game due to personal reasons.
The first period featured two strong teams playing a heavy game. The B's looked a little fatigued, but they started to find their rhythm as the minutes elapsed. Both teams recorded nine shots on goal in the scoreless opening period. Boston started to take over after Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves with Krys Barch. To be fair, Barch was skating in only his second game of the season. With that being said, when will he learn to stop trading fists with Thornton?
Anyway, the Bruins started to get some heavy legs in the second period. The Devils maintained some strong neutral zone play and they gained entry into the Bruins zone at will. Once they got there, the B's put some hits on the attacking forwards. They did not give the Devils anything easy.
The only goal of the period came when David Clarkson deflected a shot by Marek Zidlicky past Rask on the power play. The Bruins started the season by killing 24 consecutive penalties before allowing their first power play goal.
The third period was a back-and-forth affair that featured point-blank scoring chances at each end. The Bruins had some legitimate chances on the power play to put the puck past Hedberg, but they finished 0-for-3 in the game.
That did not stop them from scoring though. Nathan Horton tied the game at one with four minutes left in regulation. The goal was assisted by David Krejci (his 200th career assist) and Milan Lucic. That top line of the Bruins is playing at another level this early in the season.
After a scoreless overtime, Brad Marchand netted the eventual game-winner in the sixth round of the shootout while Rask stoned the last five shooters he faced. The Bruins knocked off the Devils with a final score of 2-1 as they extend their point streak to six games.
The Bruins will play their next game Thursday night at home against the Buffalo Sabres.
Gold Star: Tuukka Rask (25 saves on 26 shots, 1 goal allowed, .962 save percentage)...What else can be said? He won this game for the Bruins when they needed him most.
Black Star: Rich Peverley...The third line continues to struggle. The world now knows that his favorite shot is high-glass.