The Bruins were a crossbar away from tying the game in the final minute and earning at least one point. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
The Bruins gave it one of their best efforts of the season against the Devils in a hard-working, 60-minute game. For that, they were rewarded with zero points.
"I thought we gave it a good, hard effort tonight," said Derek Morris. "It was one bounce that went the wrong way, which we're not happy with. We're never happy with losing games, but I was proud of the way we stuck with the program."
On the game-winning goal, Zach Parise gained position on Zdeno Chara and tipped a Jamie Langenbrunner shot. Tim Thomas got a piece of the puck, but Dainius Zubrus charged into the crease to tap the puck home.
"I was just going to the net," Zubrus said. "Fortunately it was a few inches behind Tim Thomas. It wasn't the hardest goal but it was a good goal."
* Tough break for Shawn Thornton. The forward made the wrong play in the first period by going for the puck instead of backing up Andrew Ference. Thornton couldn't get the puck, and the Devils went the other way for a goal. Otherwise, Thornton led the team with five shots and created multiple scoring chances alongside Steve Begin and Byron Bitz.
* Patrice Bergeron led all Boston forwards with 19:56 of ice time and scored his fourth goal. Claude Julien reiterated that Bergeron has been the team's best forward by far.
* The Bruins practice tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at Ristuccia Arena.
STICK SALUTE: Vladimir Sobotka. Landed a game-high six thumps in 10:08.
SIN BIN: N/A. Solid games all around.
All done at the Garden. Devils. 2-1.
19:40 (3). Linesmen miss a call. Derek Morris dumps one in off Bryce Salvador. No icing there.
18:34 (3). Devils, 2-1. Daniuis Zubrus crashes the net and taps home the rebound of a Zach Parise tip.
16:58 (3). Tempers flare between Tim Thomas and David Clarkson. After Thomas stopped Clarkson's shot, he faked going after the forward.
10:41 (3). Vladimir Sobotka trades some post-whistle shots with Ilkka Pikkarainen. Sobotka in the middle of the action again.
After 40 minutes, tied at 1-1. Playoff atmosphere in this game.
* Good kill by the Bruins to close out the second. Tim Thomas stood tall, the Bruins kept pucks to the outside. Andrew Ference had a shot on goal to end the second.
* Dennis Wideman looks much better tonight than he did against Ottawa. Calmer with the puck and well-positioned without it.
* Another strong period from Vladimir Sobotka. He's playing his fearless style tonight.
8:11 (2). Byron Bitz rolls over boards, takes a Patrice Bergeron feed, dangles into the offensive zone, and puts a good shot on Yann Danis.
4:59 (2). Mark Fraser draws some attention following an after-the-whistle dump of Byron Bitz. Shawn Thornton gets in the mix. No penalties.
2:32 (2). Tied, 1-1. After Zdeno Chara's point shot breaks Johnny Oduya's stick, Patrice Bergeron finds the rebound and beats Yann Danis. Even-strength goal.
After 20 minutes, Devils with a 1-0 lead and a 13-12 shot advantage. For the most part, a crisp first period.
* Good teams make opponents pay for their mistakes, and that's what happened prior to David Clarkson's goal. Andrew Ference had jumped up, leaving Mark Stuart and Shawn Thornton back. Thornton has to get over to the wall to keep the Bryce Salvador clear in the zone.
* David Krejci playing with a little bite tonight. No coincidence that Krejci's shown some good moves too. When Krejci has a little edge to him, he plays better.
* Daniel Paille and Vladimir Sobotka have some chemistry. They both play straight-line styles and aren't afraid to bang.
16:06 (1). Sharp stop by Yann Danis on David Krejci's in-front tip.
14:59 (1). Vladimir Sobotka draws a hooking call on Bryce Salvador. Sobotka bringing his good game tonight.
13:25 (1). Devils, 1-0. Bad play by Shawn Thornton at far blue. Thornton can't keep puck in, allowing Niclas Bergfors to get away on two-on-one rush. Tim Thomas stops Bergfors, but David Clarkson there for the rebound.
11:00 (1). Brad Marchand can't chip puck out, which leads to NJ scoring chance. Rookies.
8:18 (1). NJ looking better after whistle. Good shift from Zajac line.
6:57 (1). Lots of action tonight. Bruins have come out flying.
4:00 (1). All Bruins so far. Heavy forecheck and loads of puck possession by all four lines.
0:43 (1). Tim Thomas with a kick save on Jamie Langenbrunner after Zdeno Chara blows a tire at the blue line.
0:00 (1). Trent Whitfield and Johnny Boychuk are the healthy scratches.