Boucher scores as Devils beat Bruins 2-1
NEWARK, N.J. >> Reid Boucher scored a tiebreaking power-play goal early in the third period, Keith Kinkaid made 39 saves and the New Jersey Devils kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over the struggling Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
Boucher also set up a power-play goal by Travis Zajac, helping the Devils stop a two-game losing streak and hand the Bruins their sixth loss in seven games.
Brad Marchand scored for the first time in nine games for the Bruins, who outshot New Jersey 40-15 but made the mistake of giving the Devils five power plays, two of which they converted.
Tuukka Rask made 13 stops for Boston, which is in danger of blowing a playoff spot with five games left in the regular season.
Boucher got the game-winner just seven seconds after Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was called for boarding Devante Smith-Pelly. Chara objected on his way to the penalty box and his frustration quickly mounted.
The Devils won the faceoff and the puck eventually rolled to Zajac, who found Boucher alone in the right circle for his eighth goal of the season.
New Jersey had lost five in a row against Boston.
Kinkaid stopped 16 shots in the final 20 minutes, but he saw most of them. The most dangerous chance was a rebound attempt by Matt Beleskey with 8:40 left, but he missed the net.
Marchand tied the game early in the second period with a great individual effort on his way to his 35th goal. He took a pass from Chara at the Devils' blue line, split defensemen Andy Greene and Adam Larsson, faked Kinkaid to the ice and deposited a backhander into an open net.
New Jersey jumped in front at 16:59 of the first. Boucher, who took a high stick from Patrice Bergeron to set up the power-play opportunity, found Zajac on the inside of the right circle and the center beat Rask for his 14th goal, and second in as many games.
Kinkaid was playing for the first time in five games because his game slipped taking over the injured Cory Schneider.
Scott Wedgewood had played well after being called up from Albany, with Kinkaid serving as his backup. The rest seemed to do him some good. He stopped all 11 shots in the first period, including a breakaway by Beleskey and 2-on-1 shots by David Pastrnak and Loui Eriksson.
NOTES: Bruins D John-Michael Liles missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury, while C Ryan Spooner was out with an undisclosed injury. Brett Connolly replaced Spooner and Joe Morrow was in for Liles again. ... Schneider hopes to return to action this week. He has not played since hurting a knee against Dallas on March 4.