That reverses a recent trend of late struggles as the Bruins got back to their usual strong finishes in this one.
Tim Thomas bounced back from a shaky outing in Tampa and kept the Bruins in the game through two periods before the offense came alive. The fourth line led the way there, with Gregory Campbell collecting a Gordie Howe hat trick.
The Bruins split their four-game road trip and now return home to face the Rangers on Saturday. New York lost to Pittsburgh 4-1 on Thursday, so the Bruins are now just a point behind the Rangers for first place in the East, and can pass them with a victory on Saturday.
Third Period, 19:13, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins put this one away as Chris Kelly fires the clincher into the empty net.
Third Period, 18:56, Bruins 3-1: The Devils pull Brodeur for the extra attacker with just under two minutes left as they will need a pair of goals to pull even in this one.
Third Period, 16:37, Bruins 3-1: Things get a little nasty in front of the Bruins net after a Thomas save. Adam McQuaid and David Clarkson get tangled up, but it doesn't develop into anything beyond some shoves and face-washes.
Third Period, 13:39, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins weathered a surge by the Devils and now countering again. Lucic with the nice drive through the defense for a bid on Brodeur, but the Devils netminder makes the save.
Third Period, 10:40, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins picking up the physical play as well, as Chara delivers another big hit burying Zach Parise in the corner. But Chara broke his stick on te play. Lucic handed him his stick, but Chara has to take an icing with the smaller twig.
Third Period, 7:45, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins strike again as Gregory Campbell bangs home a rebound in front.
That completes the Gordie Howe hat trick for Campbell, who had an assist on Ference's goal and fought Brad Mills. Shots are now 10-0 Bruins in third.
Third Period, 7:10, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins strike on the power play as Nathan Horton scores to give Boston its first lead of the night.
David Krejci sent it over from the left circle and Horton redirected it in front. Milan Lucic was waiting for the one-timer at the right post, but it didn't get past Horton.
Third Period, 5:37, 1-1: The Bruins now get their first power-play chance of the night as David Clarkson is called for hooking Ference.
Third Period, 3:01, 1-1: The Bruins finally break through against Brodeur as Andrew Ference blasts one home from the top left circle to tie the game.
Gregory Campbell started the play by winning the puck away from Anton Volchenkov deep in the corner. Campbell got the puck out to Shawn Thornton, who sent it on to Ference for the shot.
Third Period, 2:10, Devils 1-0: The action is heating up early in the third with Zdeno Chara leveling Zubrus with a big hit, Mark Fayne hitting the post from the point on a shot that Thomas may have gotten a piece of first and Benoit Pouliot robbed on a rebound in front by Brodeur.
Third Period, 0:00, Devils 1-0: The final frame is under way in Newark, where the Bruins will have to get back to their old ways of coming on strong late to pull this one out after struggling in the third period in recent games.
Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins perked up a bit midway through the second, but overall haven't brought much of an effort to this one.
They've managed just 12 shots through 40 minutes, getting outshot 13-6 in the second and 23-12 overall. Tim Thomas has made some big saves to keep Boston in the game, but the offense has yet to show up for this game.
The Bruins did get a little more physical in the second. they have a 13-8 edge in hits, with Milan Lucic leading the way with three hits. Boston also has a 24-17 edge in faceoffs (59 percent). Not much else to get excited about other than that though.
Brad Marchand has returned from his suspension, but you wouldn't know it from the scoresheet. He's played 10:30 so far but has no shots, no hits and no other stats of any kind.
End Second Period, Devils 1-0: The middle frame comes to a close with no scoring in the second as the Devils maintain their 1-0 lead through 40 minutes.
Second Period, 18:45, Devils 1-0: Thomas comes up with a pair of big saves, stopping a point shot, then snaring David Clarkson's rebound from teh right slot with a glove to keep this a one-goal game.
Second Period, 15:28, Devils 1-0: Bruins beginning to pick up their play in second half of this period. Strong physical shift by Milan Lucic got them going, Seidenberg followed with a big hit on David Clarkson behind the Boston net and Patrice Bergeron had a good chance in front.
Second Period, 11:28, Devils 1-0: Back and forth action as the teams trade post shots. Steve Zalewski rings iron for the Devils, then 10 second later Benoit Pouliot clangs one for the Bruins.
Second Period, 10:26, Devils 1-0: The Bruins still struggling to generate much in this game. Continue to look out of sync as they've been outshot 19-10 halfway through the game.
Second Period, 6:25, Devils 1-0: The Bruins haven't looked sharp early in this period. The Devils are controlling play, outshooting Boston 7-2 so far in this frame as the Bruins appear flat once again.
Second Period, 4:15, Devils 1-0: The Devils with a chance to add to the lead as Kovalchuk pokes the puck around Seidenberg and leads the break up the ice, eventually getting a chance in front that Thomas stops, then gets the whistle as the net comes off the moorings.
Second Period, 0:00, Devils 1-0: The middle frame is under way with the Bruins looking to pull even after New Jersey took the lead late in the first.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins played a little better in that opening period than they have of late, but still were plagued by some costly breakdowns, one of which led to the game's only goal late in the frame.
Nathan Horton had an up and down period, taking a bad tripping penalty early, but also creating a couple of scoring chances. He had two shots in 6:07, the only Bruin with more than one shot as Boston was outshot 10-6. Horton was also on the ice for the Devils' goal, as that top line continues to struggle with its defensive coverage. Petr Sykora had the goal and finished with four shots, nearly matching the Bruins by himself.
Brad Marchand didn't make the triumphant return hoped for. He played 5:33 with no hits, no shots and no stats of any kind in a very quiet period for the Bruins agitator. Rich Peverley didn't have a shot or hit either in 4:00, but was 2-0 on faceoffs as the Bruins reversed a recent trend with as 12-11 advantage on draws.
End First Period, Devils 1-0: The opening frame comes to a close with the Devils going into the break up a goal after striking late in that period.
First Period, 18:29, Devils 1-0: The Devils strike first late in the first period as Petr Sykora scores from the slot.
After a faceoff in the Boston zone, Dainius Zubrus wins a battle for the puck with Dennis Seidenberg and gets the puck out to Sykora for the shot in front.
First Period, 17:40, 0-0: The pace has picked up considerably since that bout, with both teams creating scoring chances. Once again a "meaningless" fight having a significant impact on a game.
First Period, 14:31, 0-0: The gloves come off as Gregory Campbell and Brad Mills square off following a faceoff outside the Devils blue line. Mills landed a good right early and had the better shots overall in a spirited scrap that may inject some life into this one.
First Period, 12:38, 0-0: The Bruins threaten again, as Nathan Horton tries to make up for his early penalty with a chance in front, but Brodeur isn't having any of it.
First Period, 6:48, 0-0: Thomas' turn now, as he stays with shot from point by Adam Larsson that's tipped in front by Petr Sykora. Thomas makes the save with Dainius Zubrus camped at right post looking for rebound.
First Period, 4:22, 0-0: The Bruins have their first big chance of the night, but Chris Kelly is denied in front by a Brodeur pad save as Peverley fed Kelly driving to the net off a nice rush in transition.
First Period, 3:18, 0-0: The Bruins kill off that early penalty and are back at even strength.
First Period, 1:18, 0-0: The Bruins will be shorthanded early as Nathan Horton is called for tripping Ilya Kovalchuk to put the Devils on the power play.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: The final game of this road trip is under way in Newark, where the Bruins will look to get back on track after Tuesday's loss in Tampa and the Devils will look to avenge Boston's 6-1 rout in this building earlier this month.
7 p.m.: Brad Marchand isn't just back in the lineup, he's starting this one alongside Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg will start the night together on defense, with Tim Thomas in goal.
The Devils counter with Patrik Elias, Dainius Zubrus and Petr Sykora up front, Adam Larsson and Matt Taormina on the blue line and Martin Brodeur in goal.
6:55 p.m.: The Bruins have officially scratched Zach Hamill, Jordan Caron and Steven Kampfer, as Marchand and Peverley are back in the lineup.
Eric Boulton and Matthias Tedenby are the healthy scratches for New Jersey, with Tallinder (lower body) also out.
6:50 p.m.: Defenseman Henrik Tallinder is a surprising scratch for the Devils with a lower-body injury.
That puts Providence College Matt Taormina back into the lineup for New Jersey.
6:45 p.m.: The Bruins appear to be going back to their old lines with Marchand and Peverley back.
Marchand is back alongside Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin in warm-ups. Benoit Pouliot, who played well in Marchand's spot, is back with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.
The other lines remain unchanged with David Krejci between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell flanked by Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton. Zach Hamill and Jordan Caron will head back to the press box.
6:30 p.m.: Tim Thomas and Martin Brodeur led the teams out for warm-ups in Newark. That will be the goalie matchup in this one.
Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley are also both on the ice in warm-ups and will return in this game.
6 p.m.: The Bruins will close out their four-game road trip in about an hour as they take on the Devils in New Jersey.
The Devils will be out for revenge after Boston rolled to a 6-1 win in Newark on Jan. 4.
The Bruins will have reinforcements for this one though, with Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley both returning to the lineup.
10:30 a.m. ET: The Bruins will look to close out a disappointing road trip on a high note with a final stop in New Jersey on Thursday before returning home.
Boston is just 1-2-0 on the trip so far, losing to struggling Carolina and Tampa Bay and barely squeaking out a win over Florida in a shootout.
The Bruins will get some help for this one, as Brad Marchand returns after serving a five-game suspension. Marchand was red-hot before being forced to take his unpaid vacation, as he had 7-6-13 totals in his last 10 games. Rich Peverley is also expected to return after missing the last two games to attend to a personal matter back in Boston. He was also hot before his departure, with 3-8-11 totals in his last 11 games.
The Bruins have beaten the Devils twice already this season, a 4-3 win at the Garden on Nov. 15 and a 6-1 rout in Newark on Jan. 4. The Devils bounced back from that embarrassing loss though, going 5-1-0 since, including three straight wins going into Thursday's rematch.
Overall, New Jersey is 26-17-2 with their 54 points good for sixth place in the East. The Bruins, even with their recent struggles, remain atop the Northeast Division and second in the conference at 29-13-1 (59 points).
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action.
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