BOSTON (AP) — Bruins coach Claude Julien liked the way Seth Griffith blocked a shot in the Boston end to start the play.
Forward Patrice Bergeron complimented him on the “sick” way he ended it, with a shot that went double 5-hole: Backward between Griffith’s own legs, and then just under goalie Corey Schneider’s pad on its way to the back of the net.
“I knew if I got it on net, something good might happen,” Griffith said after his highlight-reel goal helped the Bruins beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Monday night.
After blocking a shot to start the breakout, Griffith muscled through two Devils as he crossed the blue line. As he approached the crease, New Jersey defenseman Marek Zidlicky spun Griffith around, but he slapped the puck backward and past the goalie.
The play got a big cheer from the sold-out TD Garden crowd — and an even bigger one when it was replayed on the scoreboard and fans could see in slow motion what had happened.
“The (Bruins’) third goal was a highlight goal. But it was kind of lucky, too, when you look at it,” said Devils forward Jaromir Jagr, who scored for New Jersey. “To score between the legs, it’s not going to happen again.”
Bergeron had a goal and two assists, and Tuukka Rask stopped 26 shots for Boston, which won its fifth straight game. Griffith’s goal made it 3-2 with 1:59 left in the second period, and Reilly Smith scored 80 seconds later to give Boston a 4-2 lead.
“It was on me to get out of that situation 2-2,” said Schneider, who made 19 saves as the Devils lost their fourth consecutive game. “All of the sudden, it’s 4-2. It’s not really fair for me to do that to my teammates.”
Travis Zajac scored and also assisted on Jagr’s goal. It the 708th goal of Jagr’s career, tying him with Mike Gartner for sixth on the NHL list.
Zajac made it 1-0 just 86 seconds into the game, but the Bruins tied the score midway through the first period when Smith took a shot from the circle and Carl Soderberg finished it off. Bergeron gave Boston a 2-1 lead near the end of the first when he swiped the puck from Eric Gelinas in the slot and put it between Schneider’s legs.
It stayed that way until the 7:00 mark of the second when Jagr circled around to Rask’s left and wristed one past him to tie it 2-all.
NOTES: The Bruins held military appreciation night, recognizing members from each branch of the armed forces. The ceremonial first puck was dropped by the family of U.S. Army Specialist Brian Arsenault, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on Sept. 4. … Jagr played in his 1,488th game, passing Wayne Gretzky for 17th on the career list. … Zajac hadn’t scored in 11 games.