BOSTON — Brad Marchand scored in Round 6 and Tuukka Rask stopped the last five shots of the shootout to give the Bruins a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
The Bruins, improving to 5-0-1 with their second win in as many nights, forced overtime when Nathan Horton scored with 4:05 left in regulation before the teams played a scoreless five extra minutes. Both goalies then gave up a goal on the first shootout attempt but the competition went six rounds before Marchand got the puck between the legs of veteran backup goalie Johan Hedberg and Rask stopped defenseman Marek Zidlicky to give the Bruins their second shootout win of the young season.
The Bruins have earned at least one point in the first six games for the first time since starting 5-0-1 in 1970-71.
Rask improved to 10-7 in career shootouts, while Hedberg, playing in a game for the first time since last April, fell to 23-9.
The Bruins, who haven’t allowed a third-period goal this season (7-0), tied the game when Horton took a return pass from David Krejci and slid his third goal in the six games past a partially screened Hedberg.
Horton, out from January on last season because of his second concussion, scored his third goal and has five points in the young season, with at least one in the last four.
Hedberg, who at 39 is a year younger than starter and future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, was perfect and not severely tested until Horton ended what would have been New Jersey’s first TD Garden shutout since Brodeur pulled it off Dec. 30, 2002.
Brodeur had led the Devils to a 3-0-1 start, but New Jersey has lost its last two games in extra time.
The game was a defensive battle between two of the last four teams in the league that didn’t have a regulation loss (they still don’t). Last year, the Bruins, then the defending Stanley Cup champions, swept the four-game season series from the Devils, who lost to Los Angeles in the Cup finals.
The Bruins had run their season-opening streak of penalty kills to 24 straight (one in this game) when the Devils broke through at 8:30 of the second period. Zidlicky backed his way along the blue line before unleashing a screened slap shot. The puck hit Clarkson on the way and beat Rask, giving Clarkson his fourth goal of the young season and a five-game points streak.
The second period ended with New Jersey still unscathed in its five middle periods this season, the Devils outscoring their opponents 5-0 in the period in five games.
NOTES: Hedberg on his first start: “It’s been a long time. I’m excited to get back and play in a game again.” He was 17-7-2 with four shutouts with a career-best 2.23 goals against average last season. … While each team had a player in Game 6 of his NHL tryout, the two young men are apparently going in different directions. The Bruins announced Monday that defenseman Dougie Hamilton is staying. However, the Devils were set to return top draft pick Stefan Matteau back to juniors. … Matt Anderson became a 30-year-old rookie when he debuted for the Devils on Tuesday night. … Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid returned after missing Monday night’s win at Carolina due to the death of his grandmother. However, he didn’t dress. … The Bruins host the Sabres on Thursday, while the Devils host the Islanders the same night. … The Bruins felt Carolina’s Jeff Skinnner “slew-footed” Patrice Bergeron on Monday night, leading to Bergeron trying to get at Skinner. “Skinner slew-foots all the time, and he’s always doing that to guys, and I think (Bergeron) just had enough of it,” Marchand said. Marchand was fined $2,500 for doing the same thing to Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen last season. … Boston’s Chris Bourque turned 27 Tuesday.
Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3 (OT): The Toronto Maple Leafs won in dramatic fashion over the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night, 4-3, with Matt Frattin’s late overtime winner. Frattin chipped the winner past Ryan Miller with just 1.5 seconds remaining in overtime.
Frattin had two goals for the Leafs, including his overtime strike. On the goal, he drove past Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold and went hard to the net before burying a shot to Miller’s right. Jay McClement and Cody Franson also scored for the Maple Leafs. James Reimer had 29 saves.
The Sabres lost their fourth game in a row, falling to 2-3-1 on the season. Jason Pominville, Andrej Sekera and Mikhail Grigorenko scored for the Sabres. Ryan Miller had 20 saves.
The game was a back-and-forth affair. Grigorenko tied the game at 3-3 7:10 into the third on his first NHL goal.
The Leafs grabbed control in the second period. Even though they were outshot 15-7 by the Sabres, they made the most of their chances and took a 3-2 lead.
Buffalo struck first in the second period on Andrej Sekera’s pretty backhand at 2:28, but the Leafs quickly answered. The Maple Leafs tied the game just over one minute later when Matt Fratin buried a rebound to Miller’s left at 3:40. Toronto grabbed its lead back 6:21 into the second, going up 3-2 on Cody Franson’s blast from the point.
Jay McClement got the Leafs on the board first when he put home a rebound 9:25 into the game. Nasim Kadri’s long wrist shot clanged off the crossbar, and McClement took advantage by giving the Leafs a 1-0 lead.
Pominville tied the game at 1 on the power play five minutes later. With several players scrambling around the net, the puck made its way to Pominville in the left circle and the Sabres captain ripped a wrist shot high to Reimer’s glove side.
NOTES: With his first-period goal, Jason Pominville moved into 12th place in Sabres history with 179 career goals. … Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta left the game in the first period after receiving a hit from behind from Mike Brown. Brown received a two-minute penalty for boarding on the play. … Buffalo rookie Mikhail Grigorenko is staying in the NHL after playing in his sixth game of the season. The Sabres had the option of sending Grigorenko back to his junior team after a five-game tryout, but they announced earlier Tuesday that the 18-year-old will remain in Buffalo. The Sabres can still send Grigorenko back to the Quebec Remparts, but that seems unlikely now that the first year of his rookie contract has officially kicked in. … Sabres forward Thomas Vanek returned after missing Sunday’s game against Washington due to a muscle sprain. … Toronto forward Clark MacArthur missed the game with a finger injury.