BOSTON – Not even an unidentified flying food object could keep the Boston Bruins from their best start in more than 40 years.
Tyler Seguin’s goal on the first shot of the shootout was nullified because the item was thrown from the stands onto the ice toward New Jersey goalie Johan Hedberg.
So Seguin tried again—and scored again. Ilya Kovalchuk then tied it for the Devils.
After both teams failed on their next four tries, Brad Marchand scored the goal that gave the Bruins a 2-1 win Tuesday night when the final shot, by New Jersey’s Marek Zidlicky, was stopped by Tuukka Rask’s left pad.
“That’s a first,” Seguin said. “I’m still not sure what it was. Maybe a hot dog.”
One of the officials tossed it in the penalty box and had left before being asked exactly what it was.
“It looked yellow,” said Seguin, whose first shot went over Hedberg’s left arm and whose second cleared the goalie’s right arm.
His goal set the stage for Marchand’s game-winner between Hedberg’s pads. It gave the Bruins a 5-0-1 record for an Eastern Conference-best 11 points.
They also opened the 1970-71 season with 11 points, the last time they earned at least one in each of their first six games.
“We’ve played some pretty good hockey so far,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “And the games that weren’t quite as good as we should have been, we found a way to win. And to be a good team you’ve got to be able to do that.”
Marchand did, scoring the first shootout goal of his career.
“All I could hear was (Seguin) saying, ‘go high, go high,’ ” he said, “but I just kind of blacked out. I don’t know what happened. … I’m serious. I blacked out.”
Nathan Horton’s goal with 4:05 left in the third period had forced overtime after David Clarkson scored on a power play at 8:30 of the second period.
But the game came down to a shootout, and the Devils led the NHL last season with 12 shootout wins.
“They got it this time,” Hedberg said. “I think it’s sort of a tossup when you get to a shootout.”
The Devils remained unbeaten in regulation but fell to 3-0-2.
“We made a couple of mistakes at the end and we’ve got to control the puck a little bit better,” New Jersey’s Patrik Elias said. “They have big guys up front and in the back, too, and it’s tough to get some opportunities to make some plays on that space.”
The victory was Boston’s second in two nights in which it took the lead late in the game. In Monday night’s 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, David Krejci scored the tiebreaking goal on a pass from rookie defenceman Dougie Hamilton with 1:50 left. Seguin added an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining.
The Devils were coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Montreal in which they erased a 3-1 Canadiens lead in the third period.
“Our game in Montreal was a little inconsistent,” New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said. “Tonight we were solid for 65 minutes.”
Clarkson’s fourth goal of the season came on a 50-footer from the left after he skated with the puck from the middle of the blue line.
Travis Zajac crossed in front of Rask, screening the shot that went in the upper right corner of the net. That made the Bruins the last team to allow a power-play goal this season after 23 successful penalty kills.
Clarkson had another scoring bid early in the third period when he fired the puck from the left circle. But Rask gloved it after stopping it with his chest while Krejci was in the penalty box for interfering with Hedberg.
Horton’s scoring play started when Krejci brought the puck out of his own zone and passed it to Milan Lucic, who carried it over the left side of the Devils’ blue line.
Lucic passed it to Krejci in the middle and he immediately passed it to Horton, who shot a 20-footer from the right past Hedberg, playing for the first time this season after Martin Brodeur started the Devils’ other four games.
“You’re down a goal, you’re down two goals, it doesn’t matter,” Horton said. “You just work hard and fight back.”
Rask returned for the Bruins after sitting out Monday night’s win, the first game he missed this season.
Notes: Bruins LW Chris Bourque, son of retired Boston star Ray Bourque, turned 27 Tuesday. … Kovalchuk has 41 points in 41 games against the Bruins after going scoreless. … For the Devils, 30-year-old Matt Anderson played in his first NHL game after being called up from Albany of the AHL, where he had seven goals and 13 assists in 39 games this season.