It wasn’t pretty but the Bruins held on for a 5-4 win in Newark, NJ against the Devils Wednesday night, which put them one point ahead of Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division. Both the B’s and Habs have nine games left in the regular season but they don’t play each other again.
Boston (26-9-4) jumped out to a 3-0 lead 8:51 into the first period and it could have been even more since Johnny Boychuk’s penalty shot was stopped by Martin Brodeur (13 saves). New Jersey’s (15-15-10) power play was a disaster, going 0-for-8 and they allowed a pair of shorthanded goals to Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell.
Campbell scored at 1:10 after Jaromir Jagr (two assists) fought off two Devils to get a shot on Brodeur. Campbell put in the rebound with a backhander. Paille made it 2-0 after Rich Peverley intercepted a pass and skated in on a 2-on-1. Paille followed up Brodeur’s save for the goal. Campbell notched his second goal by tipping Andrew Ference’s shot from the point for Boston’s second shorthand goal.
Zdeno Chara’s power play goal early in the second period put Boston up 4-0, which is when they stopped playing their game. Patrik Elias got the Devils on the board then Brad Marchand was tagged with a brutal elbow by Anton Volchenkov. Marchand didn’t return and Volchenkov received a game-misconduct (and will likely be suspended). Travis Zajac cut it to 4-2 late in the second with a shorthanded goal for New Jersey.
Andy Greene put a scare into Anton Khudobin (24 saves) and the Bruins when he put the puck in the net early in the third. Tyler Seguin calmed some nerves with a clutch goal, which turned out to be the difference as Matt D’Agostini potted one last goal with 37 seconds left.
The Bruins are back in Boston Thursday (7 p.m., NESN) to play the Islanders (20-16-4). If Marchand has a concussion, he’ll miss at least a week of action. Not what the B’s need with Patrice Bergeron still out indefinitely.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate