NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Boston
(Sunday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Boston 4, New Jersey 1
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Michael Ryder and Marc Savard each posted a goal and one assist, as Boston clinched the Northeast Division title with a 4-1 victory over New Jersey at TD Banknorth Garden.
Chuck Kobasew and Milan Lucic also scored for the Bruins, who last won a division crown in 2004 and also opened up a five-point lead over the Devils for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 102 points but don't play again until next Saturday at Toronto.
Tim Thomas picked up the win by making 41 saves.
"I think what happened tonight is something, definitely not everything. It was certainly something where we took a step in the right direction," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "We found a way to win that. There's still nine games left. Jersey has some games in hand and they're playing extremely well."
Andy Greene notched the lone tally for the Devils, who have dropped two of three.
Martin Brodeur took the loss, just his second since returning from injury in late February, allowing all four goals on 30 shots.
Boston got on the board with a power-play goal coming 3:38 before the end of the first period. Mark Recchi's attempted centering pass to Ryder in the slot instead hit Devils defenseman Paul Martin's skate and skidded past Brodeur.
Kobasew snuck a backhander home from behind the goal line 1:52 into the second period for a 2-0 Bruins edge, and Savard added another man-advantage score at the 6:19 mark.
Greene tipped home Jamie Langenbrunner's touch pass from the slot for a 3-1 game with 7:16 left in the second, but Lucic faked a pass and slid the puck under Brodeur at the left post with 2:34 to go and Boston once again led by three.
The Bruins played the third period on their heels, outshot by the Devils by a 17-3 margin, but Thomas stopped every shot which came his way to lock up the win.
"It's a game of mistakes and breaks and we made four mistakes that they capitalized on and that can't happen," groused Devils head coach Brent Sutter.
Lucic hadn't scored in 16 games, since February 10...Recchi added a pair of assists for Boston...The clubs split the four meetings this season but New Jersey has won five of the last eight...The Devils are in Philadelphia on Monday.
03/22 20:27:54 ET