Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Boston leads 2-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 8th
Game 2: Saturday, October 25th
Game 3: Saturday, April 3rd
Game 4: Sunday, April 4th

Devils 3

(0-0-0, 1 pts)

Bruins 3

(0-0-0, 1 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 8, 2003

TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

1 2 3 OT T
NJ 0 2 1 03
BOS 0 2 1 03

J. Jillson (Bruins - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

S. Niedermayer (Devils - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

F. Potvin (Bruins - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .914

Jillson scores twice, including equalizer

BOSTON (AP) -- The Bruins are fighting the Red Sox for attention in Boston these days. In the NHL, though, they might be moving up in the pecking order.

Jeff Jillson scored twice in his Bruins debut, the second to tie the game with 3:58 left in regulation on Wednesday night as Boston opened the season with a 3-3 tie against the Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils.

"Every year, they're up there and battling for the Stanley Cup," said Bruins goalie Felix Potvin, who stopped 32 shots in his Boston debut. "I think we held our own against those guys."

With many in the crowd following the AL playoff game between the Yankees and Red Sox in New York, the Bruins rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the second period only to fall behind on Scott Niedermayer's second goal of the game.

But Jillson tied it when he faked out a defenseman in front of the left circle and wristed a shot past goaltender Martin Brodeur. Joe Thornton also scored for the Bruins, who got new coach Mike Sullivan a point in his debut as an NHL head coach.

That gave the Boston fans two reasons to go home happy, because the Red Sox were leading the New York Yankees 5-0 in Game 1 of the AL championship series when the hockey game ended; the Red Sox went on to win 5-2. The baseball scoring updates were posted on the video board, getting the biggest cheers of the night.

"As soon as they put the 4-0 score up there, the crowd went crazy and we built off that," Thornton said. Asked if he minded that the fans were cheering louder for the Red Sox than the Bruins, Thornton said, "As long as they're cheering out there we don't care if it's Red Sox or Bruins."

Brian Rafalski had two assists, and Jeff Friesen also scored for the Devils. Brodeur stopped 28 shots for New Jersey, which beat Boston in the first round of the playoffs 4-1 on its way to the title.

"It's been a long training camp," Brodeur said. "But we're all looking forward to the challenge of defending the Cup."

Niedermayer's second goal was the 100th of his career. The defenseman also cleared the puck off the goal line with just over two minutes left in overtime.

The first period was scoreless, then New Jersey took a 2-0 lead on a pair of power-play goals.

The Devils made it 1-0 just 42 seconds into the second period when Niedermayer stickhandled through the defense and slipped the puck under Potvin's pads. Friesen made it 2-0 at 12:40 of the second when he knocked in his own rebound.

The Bruins pulled within one at 14:31 of the second when Jillson's slap shot went off Brodeur's left shoulder and trickled into the net. Thornton tied it with 15.2 seconds left in the period, coming from behind the net and stuffing the puck through Brodeur's legs.

With 1:02 left in regulation, Jamie Langenbrunner's shot bounced off the goal post and behind Potvin, but it went across the crease and off to the side.

Game notes

Thornton has 24 points in 24 games against New Jersey in his career. ... Jillson, a defenseman, was tied for second in scoring on the Bruins in preseason with one goal and four assists. ... Last season, the Devils were first in penalty killing. Boston scored on its first power-play opportunity and was 1-for-4 on the game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press