Adam McQuaid scored the game-winner for the Bruins in a back-and-forth affair with the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night that added up to the wildest game of the season.
The defenseman’s goal, his first in 41 games, came off a whack at the puck from the point that knuckled through Devils goalie Eddie Lack to put the Bruins up 4-3 in the third period. Patrice Bergeron later hit the final dagger right after Brad Marchand took a huge open-ice hit from Damon Severson, which was followed by a rink-wide scrum.
It was a fitting end to a crazy night in Newark.
The game didn’t take long to get weird – starting with the officiating. Bergeron took a highly questionable call on a stick-check to the Devils’ Travis Zajac. But the officials saw enough to rule that Zajac should be awarded a penalty shot. Anton Khudobin shut the door on Zajac’s chance to keep the game scoreless.
Minutes later, Torey Krug “scored” the first goal of the game when he got credited with the shorthanded tally after he threw the puck in front and Devils rookie Nico Hischier accidentally tipped it into his own net.
New Jersey’s Miles Wood got the equalizer later in the first after the puck bounced out into no-man’s land in the neutral zone just as he was exiting the penalty box. He scooped up the loose puck and beat Khudobin five-hole on the easy breakaway to tie it 1-1.
However, Tim Schaller gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead with just three seconds left in the first period when the referee ruled that he tucked the puck just barely over the goal line. The officials upheld the call after review.
Schaller now has three goals in his last five games.
The second period didn’t get much less wild. Taylor Hall opened the scoring just 31 seconds into the frame with his 21st goal of the season off a Marchand neutral-zone turnover and a feed from Kyle Palmieri. After Krug scored his second of the game on the power play to put the Bruins up 3-2, Palmieri answered later in the period off a nifty pass from Hall.
Still, in the end, it was McQuaid’s wacky bouncer that decided this one. It wasn’t exactly how the B’s would’ve drawn it up. But they’ll certainly take it as they were in need of a rebound after Saturday’s home loss to the lowly Sabres.
Despite all the scoring and wackiness, the Bruins’ true star of the game was Khudobin. On a night where the Bruins’ sloppiness from Saturday carried over for the most part, Khudobin was brilliant. In addition to the penalty shot stop, he made 35 saves on the night to improve to 12-3-4 in 19 starts on the season. Many of his saves were of the highlight-reel variety:
The Bruins will return home to face the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Tuesday night. Then they embark on a five-game road trip that includes stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Buffalo.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.