The last two Eastern Conference champions offered up a tilt worthy of their positions in the standings. Entering the game, neither team had lost in regulation, so the result should have been expected. It was cagey out of the gate, until a heavyweight slugfest between Boston's Shawn Thornton and New Jersey's Krys Barch.
After the fisticuffs, both teams picked up the pace, but Tuukka Rask and New Jersey backup Johan Hedberg came up huge in net throughout to keep the game resting on a razor's edge. Midway through the second, New Jersey finally found a way to beat the vaunted Boston penalty kill, when David Clarkson tipped the puck past Rask with the man-advantage.
Following the goal, the Bruins looked exhausted, playing their second game in as many nights. Despite the fatigue, they fought hard for the equalizer and finally produced it by way of Nathan Horton, who slotted the puck between Hedberg's legs with four minutes remaining in the game.
Overtime chances favored neither side, with a shootout needed to determine the winner. With the pressure on, both goalies came up big, but Rask had the last laugh, making the final stop following a go-ahead strike from Brad Marchand.
Sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings at 5-0-1, the Bruins will enjoy a much needed day off before taking on division-rival Buffalo on Thursday. Losers of two straight, the Devils will now regroup before hosting the New York Islanders on Thursday.
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