BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins found out for the first time how difficult it is to compete in the second half of a back-to-back situation.
Clearly a bit slow through most of regulation, the Bruins finally found their offensive legs in time to tie the New Jersey Devils late then prevail in a shootout, 2-1, as Brad Marchand scored the game-winner Tuesday night at TD Garden.
The Bruins arrived home late Monday after a high-tempo win at the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite the condensed schedule, the Bruins hadn't played back-to-back games before their dates with the Hurricanes and Devils.
Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in the first 65 minutes then stopped five of six in the shootout. In his first start of the season, Johan Hedberg made 27 saves for the Devils but allowed two shootout goals.
The Bruins and Devils are the only two Eastern Conference teams unbeaten in regulation this season.
The Bruins tied the game with 4:05 remaining in the third period when Nathan Horton snapped a shot through Hedberg's legs at the end of a 3-on-3 rush led by center David Krejci.
It took the Devils 7:56 to register their first shot on goal. David Clarkson landed a wrist shot from the right wall on Rask. Over the course of the rest of the first period, however, the Devils enjoyed the better scoring chances, including during its only power play.
Late in the period, Rask and Hedberg each had to make big saves. Rask stopped a Ryan Carter redirect from in front of the crease. Hedberg denied Marchand on a one-timer from the slot.
Entering the second period, the Bruins' penalty kill was perfect on all 24 opponent power plays this season. The Devils finally solved Boston's killers at 8:30 of the middle session. The Bruins gave defenseman Marek Zidlicky too much room to get off his slap shot, and after the puck deflected off Boston forward Daniel Paille, Clarkson put it past Rask for a 1-0 New Jersey lead.
Boston's penalty kill got the chance to start a new success streak with two more Devils power plays in the period, both of which the Bruins extinguished.
Early in the third period, the Devils nearly doubled their lead on a Clarkson chance in front after a Dougie Hamilton giveaway. But Rask flashed the pads and kept Boston within one.
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