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."
"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
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.
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