BOSTON – Milan Lucic
netted his 30th of the season and Zdeno Chara
pounded home the power play game-winner for his 400th NHL point as the Boston Bruins defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-1 tonight in TD Garden.;
“It was a great pass by [Patrice Bergeron
]. I knew he saw me and he’s a gifted player so he made a great pass like that. And also you have to give credit to my boy [Nathan Horton
] there, creating a screen in front of the net,” Lucic said of his goal.
The win came on the heels of two tough practices following a 1-3 road swing that concluded Saturday night with a 5-2 loss in Toronto for the third place Bruins.
“I think after the Toronto game, it was a bit of a wake up call. But also, we knew the effort was going to be there today. We addressed the things we needed to address in practice. I think we did a good job in responding tonight,” B’s winger Shawn Thornton
Boston spent a good portion of their last two practices working on improving their power play. Entering tonight’s game, the Bruins were 22nd in the league in power play, scoring on just 16.3 percent of their man-advantage opportunities.
“I thought we moved the puck well. We were on our power play for the last couple practices. Finally we’ve been able to score and it looks like it made the difference in the game,” Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle said after the game.
“We’ve been able to get a lot of shots, especially against New Jersey. They keep the shots low against the teams and I think that was a good energy game for us.”
The Bruins knew they needed to get back on track with tonight’s game at home as they play seven of their remaining ten games following tonight’s win in TD Garden.
After beginning slow and recording just one shot on goal in the first ten minutes of play, Thornton turned things around for Boston when he scored his ninth goal of the season, tipping in Dennis Seidenberg
’s blast from the right point to tie that game at one goal a piece.
“We forecheck, [Milan Lucic
] did a great job being strong on the puck, [Tomas] Kaberle over to [Dennis] Seidenberg and I just tried to get in front. Seider did a great job just getting it towards the net, and it went off me and in,” Thornton said of the goal.
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien saw Thornton’s goal as a game-changer for Boston.
“Well it did, that was a big goal. I thought a good shot by [Dennis Seidenberg
] but an every better job by [Shawn Thornton
] to be right in front here and being active with his stick,” said Julien.
“It was nice to see him get that goal and get us going here and it definitely did calm things down. Coming out of the first period tied is much better than being down one goal, especially against that team.”
With Montreal’s 2-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres tonight, the Bruins extended their Northeast Division lead to three points, an important number as Boston faces the Canadiens on Thursday night before welcoming in the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
"Yeah it’s big for us, especially against a team like that that’s really waiting for you to make mistakes. And they’ve been playing so good lately,” Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara
said of the win. “To play our game at home, it’s very important, especially now, when we have most of our games at home.”
Despite the Bruins positive outcome tonight, Thornton knows the B’s have to keep putting forth strong efforts if they want to make a run to the postseason.
“Yeah, we want to go into the playoffs on the way up, not on the way down,” said Thornton. “We have ten games left, so we want to start being consistent and getting ready so we can go in on a bit of a roll.”