In Boston, the Devils decided to give goaltender Scott Clemmensen his second start of the season and first since October 19 (ending a streak of 22 straight starts by Martin Brodeur). Clemmensen struggled at the outset, allowing goals to Brad Boyes 19 seconds into the game and Patrice Bergeron at 1:25. It was only the third time in the Devils' 24 seasons in New Jersey that they allowed two goals in the first 90 seconds of a game. They gave up two goals in the first 53 seconds against Washington on Dec. 19, 1986, and exactly nine years later (Dec. 19, 1995) the Devils surrendered a pair of goals in the first 75 seconds against Philadelphia.
The Devils ended up losing to the Bruins 5-3 and getting outshot 45-29. New Jersey had not allowed that many shots on goal in a regular-season game since April 10, 1994, when Martin Brodeur faced 47 shots on goal in a 2-2 tie against the Panthers in Florida.
Matsuzaka, who signed a $52 million, six-year contract Thursday
a month after the Red Sox bid $51.11 million for negotiation rights
to the Japanese ace, dropped the ceremonial opening puck to a
standing ovation. Matsuzaka was wearing a No. 18 Bruins jersey --
he'll wear No. 18 with the Red Sox -- and saluted the crowd before
exiting through Boston's bench.
The Bruins kept the applause going by taking a 2-0 lead in the
opening 1:25 on goals by Brad Boyes and Bergeron.
"There's a lot of Red Sox fans on this team, and we're happy
that (Matsuzaka) is here," goalie Tim Thomas said. "I think there
was energy from the crowd, and it might have boiled over to the
Boyes added a goal and two assists, and Petr Tenkrat also scored
for the Bruins, who broke a two-game losing streak.
Boston scored three power-play goals to defeat New Jersey at
home for the first time since March 12, 2003, despite squandering
leads of 2-0 and 3-2.
Boyes scored 19 seconds into the first period when he fired a
slap shot from just inside the blue line past backup goalie Scott
Clemmensen. Following a fight that gave Boston a power play,
Bergeron made it 2-0 when he scored from the left circle.
"They came out with the attitude of taking the game to us,"
New Jersey center Erik Rasmussen said. "We were a little slow
The Devils scored twice late in the first to tie it at 2, then
came back from a 3-2 deficit in the second period before being
outscored 2-0 in the third.
Following a holding call on New Jersey's Paul Martin in the
opening minute of the third, Stuart corralled a rebound just
outside the crease and slapped the puck through a crowd and by
Clemmensen to put Boston up 4-3 at 2:17.
Bergeron added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Thomas, who returned after missing Boston's 4-3 loss at Montreal
on Tuesday with the flu, stopped eight of his 26 shots in the third
period for the Bruins.
Thomas has won six of eight decisions, but took the loss in New
Jersey's 5-1 win in Boston on Saturday.
"We didn't have the same intensity (as Saturday)," New Jersey
coach Claude Julien said. "We didn't seem to skate as well. We
were just a step behind."
Clemmensen, making his second start of the season, stopped 40
shots in place of Martin Brodeur, who had the night off.
Boston outshot New Jersey 45-29.
Boston LW P.J. Axelsson missed his sixth straight game
because of a fractured left foot. He could return next week. ... It
was Boston's first home game without 19-year-old rookie LW Phil
Kessel, who is out indefinitely after undergoing cancer-related
surgery Monday. Kessel got a loud ovation when his name was
announced before the game. ... Elias has recorded a point in eight
straight games. ... New Jersey is 11-2-1 at home and 6-9-1 on the
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: TD Garden Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Referees: Dean Warren, Brad Watson Linesmen: Brian Murphy, Jonny Murray
Attendance: 11,121 (63.3% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Brad Boyes (7)
Assists: Andrew Alberts, Marco Sturm
Patrice Bergeron (9)
(Power Play) Assist: Marc Savard
Patrik Elias (10)
Assist: Scott Gomez
Jamie Langenbrunner (12)
(Power Play) Assists: Brian Rafalski, Patrik Elias
Petr Tenkrat (4)
(Power Play) Assists: Paul Mara, Brad Boyes
Mike Rupp (2)
Assists: Erik Rasmussen, Jim Dowd
Brad Stuart (6)
(Power Play) Assists: Wayne Primeau, Brad Boyes
Patrice Bergeron (10)
(Empty Net) Assists: Wayne Primeau, Brad Stuart