New Jersey won 4-1 (Game 5 of 5)

New Jersey won 4-1

Game 1: Wednesday, April 9th
Game 2: Friday, April 11th
Game 3: Sunday, April 13th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 15th
Game 5: Thursday, April 17th

Bruins 0


Devils 3


7:00 PM ET, April 17, 2003

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 3 T
BOS 0 0 00
NJ 1 0 23

M. Brodeur (Devils - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: 1.000

J. Madden (Devils - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

J. Langenbrunner (Devils - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Madden, Langenbrunner help Devils advance

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's Martin Brodeur was on his game again, and that was enough to knock the Boston Bruins out of the playoffs.

Martin Brodeur

Brodeur rebounded Thursday night from a rare bad postseason performance to help the Devils advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Two nights after giving up five goals and being driven to the bench, Brodeur recorded his second shutout of the series and led the Devils into the second round with a 3-0 victory in Game 5.

"No question, it was good to see,'' Devils captain Scott Stevens said of Brodeur's 28-save performance. "We did a much better job protecting him and he was solid in there. He played flawless.

"He's been through it before. He's very mentally stable and that's a big reason why he's the top goalie in the league.''

John Madden, who helped shut down Joe Thornton and the Bruins' top line, scored a goal and set up two by Jamie Langenbrunner as the Devils made amends for their embarrassing first-round exit last year.

"It was definitely nice to win a series again. It's been a while,'' Stevens said. "I thought, with the exception of the one game, we did a great job keeping the goals against down.''

Jeff Hackett had 28 saves for the Bruins, eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for the second straight year.

This year wasn't as surprising as last year, when Boston lost to Montreal as the top-seed team in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins were No. 7 this year.

"It doesn't matter what seed you are,'' forward Glen Murray said. "We lost in the first round and didn't get it done. This is the real season and we have to get it done then.''

The only game the Bruins got it done was in Game 4 on Tuesday. They scored five times on 24 shots against Brodeur in a 5-1 win, raising some questions about the Devils' goaltender.

"You hear comments that people aren't too sure how I was going to react,'' Brodeur said after his 15th career playoff shutout. "It's nice to go out and do it. You don't look back. You just play the game.''

Boston was its own enemy in Game 5. It put a lot of pressure on Brodeur in the opening minutes, but never generated much offense after picking up five straight penalties in the first two periods. The first of those infractions led to Madden's first-period goal.

Madden put New Jersey ahead with a power-play goal at 8:31. He set up Langenbrunner's insurance goal -- a backhander in close at 7:41 of the third period -- with a nice backhand pass.

Langenbrunner's fifth goal of the series went into an empty net with 52 seconds to play.

"We played well, they just have a good team over there,'' said Thornton, who had one goal in the series. "They have a lot of veterans and a great game plan going into the series.''

Despite dominating the start of the game, the Bruins fell behind 1-0 after P.J. Axelsson picked up a penalty for closing his hand on the puck in the Devils' zone.

After killing off most of the penalty, Grant Marshall forced Bruins defenseman Hal Gill to send the puck around the boards. Madden retrieved it above the left circle and his shot got through three players and past a screened Hackett.

Brodeur, who also had a 3-0 shutout in Game 3 and gave up just three goals in New Jersey's four wins, was the difference in the opening minutes when Boston outshot New Jersey 11-4. He made a nice toe save on Lee Goren and stopped Jozef Stumpel shortly after Madden scored.

"For me, starting the game with five quick shots got me back in the rhythm right away and I said to myself: 'I can still play this game,' " Brodeur said.

The Bruins' best scoring chance came in the opening minutes of the second period, when Murray missed an open net on the rebound of a shot by defenseman Jonathan Girard.

Axelsson's penalty wasn't the only foolish one. The Bruins took the first five penalties, and Hackett did a good job of keeping his team in the game.

He also was a little lucky. A second-period power-play shot by Patrik Elias hit the cross bar, and two third-period shots by Madden went off his glove and skidded just wide.

Game notes

D Ken Daneyko celebrated his 39th birthday by returning to the Devils' lineup. He missed Game 4 with a rib injury, ending his streak of playing in all 165 New Jersey playoff games covering the last 15 years. ... The Bruins have never forced a Game 6 after falling behind 0-3. ... Boston D Bryan Berard missed his second straight game with a rib injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press