The players squared off after the final horn, but no punches were thrown.
"It was a scrum at the end of the game," New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said. "The puck was loose the whole time. We just never got our sticks on it. Actually, we got a good shot on it but he made a good save on it off to one side."
Boston coach Claude Julien, fired by the Devils late last season, has seen New Jersey get its share of late goals.
"I was on the other side last year," he said. "We scored a lot of goals in the final seconds."
Trailing 1-0, the Bruins took the lead with three goals in the final 5:47 of the opening period. Axelsson tied it with a turnaround wrist shot from the slot that beat Weekes over the right shoulder.
The Bruins moved ahead 2-1 when Wideman scored on a wrist shot from just inside the blue line. They made it 3-1 on Sturm's short-handed goal.
With Chara off for slashing, defenseman Andrew Ference's clearing pass sent Sturm in on a breakaway. He fired a wrist shot over the net, collected the rebound off the backboards, shifted in front and tucked the puck between Weekes' pads.
New Jersey cut it to 3-2 when Oduya's low shot from the point appeared to be going wide, but caromed into the net off Chara's left skate 17:11 into the second.
Boston regained a two-goal advantage, scoring again in the final minute, when Savard was positioned in front and tipped Axelsson's shot in with 59.5 seconds to play in the period.
The Devils cut it to 4-3 on Zajac's power-play goal with 9:27 to play.
Zubrus' goal gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead 4:26 into the first period.
Brodeur had played the previous 10 games. He was in goal for the two previous games against Boston, both wins. ... The Bruins recalled G Tuukka Rask from Providence (AHL) and he dressed as the backup. G Alex Auld's wife, Mel, gave birth to their first child -- a 6-pound, 9-ounce boy, Sam Alexander, early Saturday morning. Rask was sent back down after the game.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: TD Garden Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Referees: Dan O'Rourke, Ian Walsh Linesmen: Derek Amell, Greg Devorski
Attendance: 17,565 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Dainius Zubrus (7)
Assists: Patrik Elias, Paul Martin
P.J. Axelsson (9)
Assists: Phil Kessel, Zdeno Chara
Dennis Wideman (6)
Assists: David Krejci, Marco Sturm
Marco Sturm (12)
(Shorthanded) Assists: Andrew Ference, P.J. Axelsson
Johnny Oduya (1)
Assists: Arron Asham, David Clarkson
Marc Savard (10)
Assists: P.J. Axelsson, Phil Kessel
Travis Zajac (7)
(Power Play) Assists: Mike Mottau, Dainius Zubrus