Game 5 Recap – Grrrrrrrrr! Devils 1 – Bruins 2 (F/SO)
Well the Devils went into Boston tonight looking to rebound from the overtime loss to Montreal on Sunday and came up short again, losing in a shootout by a score of 2-1. However, in a shortened season, the Devils still collected 2 points from a possible 4 on this mini road trip which is not too shabby.
The game was a bit slow to begin to say the least. There was a whole lot of nothing for the first half of the period save for a fight between Krys Barch and Shawn Thornton and a solid save by Tuuka Rask on Jacob Josefson. There was one great chance for Boston as well as Brad Marchand took advantage of a bad rookie mistake by Stefan Matteau before Johan Hedberg stoned him cold. The game remained scoreless after 1.
The 2nd period was more of the same until the the Devils got a power play. It was on this man-advantage that the Devils were able to break the Bruins’ 24-for-24 streak to open the season on the PK. David Clarkson – playing as well as anyone to start this season – tipped a Marek Zidlicky shot past the Boston goalie to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. Clarkson was all over that power play and got rewarded for it. The Devils had 2 more PPs but could not convert after decent possession on each of them. Matt Anderson, the newly called up forward, almost got his first NHL goal after a tipped shot dribbled past Rask. After 2 the score was 1-0 Devils.
The Bruins came out furiously in the third and eventually got a power play with 9 minutes remaining. Johan Hedberg stood up to the challenge with 2 outstanding saves on the man-advantage. Unfortunately, Nathan Horton finally broke through with 4:05 left in the 3rd on a shot which fooled Hedberg as Horton didn’t get all of the shot and the puck went between Moose’s legs to tie the game. The Devils held on to earn at least a point as the two teams headed to overtime.
There were quite a few good chances in OT as the Bruins had a close call and Henrik Tallinder had a good chance in the slot but there was nothing doing and the game went to a shootout. It was there that a very odd moment happened. Tyler Seguin scored for Boston but a Bruins fan threw something on the ice and they had to redo the attempt and then scored again. Ilya Kovalchuk then came down and does what he does best and scored to tie it up after 1 round. Then both goalies traded saves for 4 rounds to keep the shootout tied. Brad Marchand was able to squeak one by Moose to give Boston the lead. Marek Zidlicky was denied by Rask to give the Bruins the extra point.
The Devils played a much better game than they did in Montreal. The Bruins are one of the top 3 teams in the East and the Devils withstood a barrage by them and almost held on for the win. They were much more disciplined and were calm in their own zone defensively. It wasn’t perfect but they are showing signs of cohesion. We’ll see if it all comes together Thursday as the surging Islanders come to The Rock.
Three Stars of the game as chosen by ME!
3. David Clarkson – Continued his strong start with a great tip in goal and showed again his outstanding puck possession skills.
2. Johan Hedberg – The Moose kept the Devils ahead as much as he could and didn’t break as the Bruins blitzkreiged the Devils for most of the 3rd period.
1. Tuuka Rask – He won the game with his own strong play in goal.