Boston, MA -
Devils forward Brian Gionta scored two goals, including the game-winner at 2:10 of overtime, to help New Jersey skate past the Boston Bruins, 3-2, on Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Garden. Gionta put the Devils ahead 2-1 with a shorthanded goal in the third period, but Wayne Primeau tied the game 4:13 later to send the game to overtime. Despite the loss, Tim Thomas
turned in another solid performance, stopping 31 Devils' shots. The Bruins have now taken points in 12 of their last 14 games.
"This time period has been a critical part in our schedule and to our players credit, I think they've played extremely hard," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan. "We have been able to get points in a fair amount of games and we continue to put ourselves in a position to play for something. I'm pleased with the way we've played as of late. We have another pretty important game on Saturday that we need to be ready for."
Glen Murray put the Bruins up 1-0 with his 16th of the year at 11:01 of the first period. Patrice Bergeron
sent the puck down low to Brad Boyes, who fed Murray out front. Murray deposited the puck through Martin Brodeur's five-hole for the goal.
New Jersey knotted up the score at one apiece 5:52 into the second period. Patrik Elias one-timed a Scott Gomez pass from the top of the slot that beat Tim Thomas
The Devils went up 2-1 on a shorthanded goal by Brian Gionta at 7:56 of the third period. P.J. Axelsson missed a wide-open shot from the right side of the New Jersey crease to start the play. Brian Rafalski picked up the rebound and sent Gionta down ice. Gionta got in close on Thomas, then backhanded a shot from the doorstep for his 32nd of the season.
"I had a tough time hitting the net tonight," said Axelsson. "When you don't hit the net, you are not going to score."
The Bruins pulled even at 12:13 on Wayne Primeau's 11th of the season. With Thomas out of the net on a delayed penalty to the Devils, Brian Leetch fed Primeau in front to make it 2-2.
"I just tried to get into a position where nobody was on me," said Primeau. "Leetchy made a great pass to me and I just put it towards the net. I was fortunate to have it go in. Usually Murray or Samsonov take the goalie, but I just jumped over the boards and went. I was able to use my size and get good positioning in front, and then (Leetch) just made a great play."
The game remained at two apiece until 2:10 of overtime when Gionta scored the game-winner, his second of the night. From the corner, Sergei Brylin made a pass to the slot where a streaking Gionta beat Thomas far side as he came out of the net to challenge the shot.
The Black ‘N' Gold will play their third game in four nights and their last game before the NHL's Olympic break when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.Notes
Bruins defenseman Hal Gill was informed Wednesday that he was named to the U.S. Olympic team's taxi squad. Gill will head to Torino, Italy and practice with Team USA. Should a player get hurt, Gill will be available to be in the lineup.
"It will be fun," he said. "Hopefully nobody will get hurt, but if someone does, I'll be right there. It will be nice to skate with those guys and be around the Olympic atmosphere.
"It came as a surprise. I canceled my trip to Neavus, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Italy will be nice. I assume it will be just like the North End, so I'm excited," added Gill with a smile.