The Devils celebrate Thursday's big win in Beantown.
newjerseydevils.com – If there was any question of how they stacked up against the top team in the East, the Devils answered it on Thursday night.
Jamie Langenbrunner scored twice, including the game-winner 1:11 into overtime, and Zach Parise added his 29th of the season in the Devils' 4-3 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins.
Langenbrunner, who also had an assist, put in Colin White's rebound from the doorstep to record his second straight two-goal game and extend the Devils' winning streak to a season-high seven in a row. The team captain now has 12 goals on the season.
There were some tense moments late in the game for the Devils, who watched as the explosive Bruins struck three straight times in the third period to erase New Jersey's 2-0 lead.
But Patrik Elias' 22nd of the season tied it with 1:45 left in regulation and helped send the contest to the extra session.
In a game that featured fluky goals for both sides, Brian Gionta's centering feed from the left boards redirected off Elias' leg before beating Boston netminder Tim Thomas. Elias' 684th career point left him 17 shy of John MacLean's franchise record.
"We let them back in it," said Devils head coach Brent Sutter, whose club handed Boston just its sixth loss since Nov. 28. "A good team is going to take advantage of that and they did. We were able to get a goal by driving to the net, and in overtime again, we got pucks towards the net and were able to get a rebound goal."
Scott Clemmensen (21-9-1) lost a shutout in the third period for the seventh time this season when Chuck Kobasew scored for Boston at 2:19. The Bruins went ahead 3-2 on goals by Marc Savard and Dennis Wideman.
But Clemmensen's 24 saves were enough for his sixth straight victory. The 31-year-old is now just three wins behind New York's Henrik Lundqvist for the conference lead.
The first-place Devils (31-15-3) padded their Atlantic Division cushion to three points over the New York Rangers and leapfrogged ahead of Washington for second place in the East.
New Jersey, which has not lost in regulation when leading after two periods (23-0-1), returns home Friday to host Pittsburgh. Longtime Devils' television broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick will be honored before the game.
The Penguins can expect to have their hands full with Langenbrunner, who got things started in the first period Thursday with his 11th career shorthanded goal.
Patrice Bergeron misplayed the puck at the point, allowing Travis Zajac to flip ahead for a two-one-one with Langenbrunner. Langenbrunner sent what looked like a centering pass toward the crease, then watched it carom off Thomas' pad and over the line at 15:01.
The goal came moments after White used a diving pokecheck to slow Blake Wheeler's breakaway 15 seconds into Boston's first power play. Wheeler got off a weak shot that caught the right post but stayed out of the net.
In the second, Parise converted on the Devils' lone power-play opportunity to notch his eighth on the man advantage. With Phil Kessel off for slashing, the Zajac line pressured the puck down low. Parise banked the puck off Thomas from behind the goal to make it 2-0 New Jersey at 13:39.
The Devils dominated the period by a 13-5 shot count.
"There were some strange goals out there," Sutter said. "It was a hard fought game. I thought both teams played extremely hard."
Boston mounted its rally in the third, beginning with Kobasew's wraparound that found the right post. Clemmensen got a glove on the puck as it kicked up off traffic in front, but wound up catching it behind the line. Kobasew was credited with his ninth at 2:19.
Savard tied it with his 18th, burying Kessel's pass short-side on Clemmensen from in front of the net at 7:11
Wideman broke the 2-2 tie with a blast through Milan Lucic's screen at 13:30, just one second after Mike Rupp's interference minor had expired.
NJD NOTES New Jersey has three shorthanded goals in its last five games, and tied Columbus for fifth-most in the league (7).... Langenbrunner has six shorthanded markers in his Devils career... The Devils are 6-1 in overtime.