With the biggest game of the year coming up Sunday afternoon when the New Jersey Devils visit TD Banknorth Garden for a showdown with the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins, I thought it’d be interesting to take a look back at the three previous meetings.
The Bruins are just 1-1-1 against the Devils, so this final match-up is huge — as it could determine the tie-break winner for best record in the conference when the playoff seeds are set. Of course, one major trend during this season series has been the absence of Martin Brodeur, who will be back for this weekend.
So here’s my walk down memory lane:
Dec. 23: Bruins 2, Devils 0 at Prudential Center
Tim Thomas earned an early Christmas present with 25 saves, including a miraculous stick save on Patrik Elias. Brian Rolston and Colin White both hit posts, while the Bruins scored on a Milan Lucic stuff of a rebound and a David Krejci empty-netter. Mike Rupp took liberties with Dennis Wideman and Vladimir Sobotka, so Shawn Thornton stepped in and fought the Devils forward to a draw.
Jan. 29: Devils 4, Bruins 3 in overtime at TD Banknorth Garden
Jamie Langenbrunner scored the game-winner 1:55 into overtime off Mark Stuart’s shin pad. Elias had tied the game with just 1:45 left. Thornton and Bryce Salvadore exchanged blows with the gloves off.
Feb. 13: Devils 1, Bruins 0 at Prudential Center
John Madden beat Patrice Bergeron clean on a draw and Salvadore fired one past Thomas from the left point for the lone goal. Sobotka hit a post for the Bruins’ best scoring chance.