After a rough start to their three-game homestand thanks to the Ottawa Senators, the Boston Bruins looked to rebound against the New Jersey Devils -- a team that they had a chance of sweeping their season series against for the first time since the 1985-86 season.
With head coach Claude Julien rotating his lines, a power combination of Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, and David Krejci came up big early in the first period against Martin Brodeur. Krejci found the back of the net on a perfect give-and-go play with Seguin, converting the feed from the sophomore star past Martin Brodeur.
The same line came back to score again a few minutes later after a shot from Zach Parise rang off the far post. Tim Thomas found the loose puck and sent it up ice to Lucic on a stretch pass, and the agitating winger barreled through several Devils before dropping a pass back to Seguin, who picked his corner for a fast wrist shot.
The Bruins nearly made it 3-0 on a shorthanded rush by Krejci, but Brodeur made a vintage glove save to shut down the attempt, and the Devils began to push the play after a timeout by head coach Peter DeBoer.
In the second period, the momentum swung fully to Jersey thanks to an early goal by Parise. The Devils tied the game when Patrik Elias slammed a long backhander past Thomas for his 20th of the season, marking the tenth 20+ goal season of his NHL career.
With Tim Thomas and the Bruins defense on their heels, the Devils took their first lead of the night late in the second period on a wraparound goal by David Clarkson, leaving head coach Julien to take his team to task for their lack of focus.
Whatever message he sent to his team, it paid off when Krejci scored his second of the night five minutes into the third period, but neither side found an advantage in regulation. Each team clamped down, allowing only a total of eight shots on net between them after the Krejci goal, and the game headed to overtime.
In the extra frame, New Jersey had the first chances, including an attempt by newly acquired Marek Zidlicky that required an acrobatic Thomas save, but the game turned with a scrum around Brodeur after Patrice Bergeron attempted to flip the puck up from behind the Devils' net. Zdeno Chara attempted to pluck the loose puck from the side of the net, ringing off the iron, and Krejci collected the rebound, firing it off the crossbar and in.
Brodeur attempted to make a glove save on the shot, but the puck bounced off the top of his catching mitt and into the net, sealing the game and notching Krejci' first hat trick since the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.