The New Jersey Devils defeated the Boston Bruins, 3-1, Sunday afternoon in Continental Airlines Arena. Former Boston University captain Jay Pandolfo, a Burlington, Massachusetts native, scored two goals, and former Boston College captain Brian Gionta scored the game-winner as both transplanted Boston collegians accounted for all of the Devils offense.
"That is the way they always play," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "(And) when you do get through, they have that goaltender (Martin Brodeur).
"We didn't give them a lot but they found a way to get three."
The Bruins, who hoped to rebound from a self described "heartbreaking" loss to the Atlanta Thrashers at home on Saturday, took the ice versus the Devils and their outstanding defensive system in New Jersey on Sunday with pride on their minds, however, the initial result, at least in the first period, was earily similar and set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
Pandolfo, like yesterday's Thrashers hero Keith Tkachuk, a Beanpot alumni from BU, scored his 12th of the season at 2:09 of the first period to give New Jersey an early 1-0 lead.
But Boston's Tim Thomas
, who faced Pandolfo while the goalie plied his wares at the University of Vermont, settled down after the first New Jersey goal and finished with seven saves in the first period. At the other end of the arena, Hall of Fame goalie to be, Brodeur, made just five saves in the first stanza.
Buoyed by the solid play of Thomas, the Black & Gold played a decent second period, but the superior firepower of the Devils, on top of their amazing defensive gave, allowed them a 2-1 lead going into the second break.
The Bruins seemed to wrest control of the game from the Devils for a few moments during the second, as Boston's Petr Kalus scored his third National Hockey League goal, on just three NHL shots, when he beat Brodeur, on the power play, at 8:11.
"After my first goal I felt more comfortable," said Kalus. "And I had some for confidence…and now I just have to score more goals."
Kalus goal tied the score, 1-1.
However, Gionta, another Beanpot alum, snuck a puck by Thomas via a strong second effort and put the B's solidly behind the eight ball with his 25th goal of the season for NJ.
Pandolfo, who has been on two Stanley Cup winners with New Jersey, scored his second of the game at 14:18 of the third period, and salt the game away for the Devils.
"They are a good team," said veteran Bruins defenseman Jason York. "Once they get up on you, it is tough to break the trap.
"The guys gave their all, but we just ended up on the short end of the stick."
The win moved Brodeur to within one win, 46, of the all-time season mark for goalies, 47, held by Philadelphia's Bernie Parent.
"There was good effort," said Lewis. "I felt that we battled and I felt that the young kids…looked really strong."
"And we did some good things down low offensively, but we couldn't score."
Having endured goals from Beanpotters Tkachuk, Pandolfo and Gionta over the last two games, the Bruins do not have to worry about any Boston-area Division-I collegians when they face the Habs on Tuesday. However, Yale's Chris Higgins and the Canadiens will still be fighting for their playoff lives when the Bruins arrive at the Bell Centre.