Bruins clinch division title with rout of Devils

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BOSTON (AP) -- Michael Ryder and Milan Lucic scored on

deflections off New Jersey Devils players and the Eastern

Conference-leading Boston Bruins beat their closest challengers

4-1 Sunday.

The win clinched the Northeast Division title for Boston, which

locked up a playoff berth Saturday night when Florida lost to

Columbus.

The Bruins got another fluke goal when Marc Savard scored on a

power play on a rebound off New Jersey's Travis Zajac, who had

stopped Matt Hunwick's shot from the left point. And Chuck

Kobasew beat Martin Brodeur between the post and the goalie's

left skate as Kobasew stood behind the goal line.

Andy Greene scored for New Jersey midway through the second

period, cutting the lead to 3-1. But the Bruins held the lead

three days after wasting a two-goal, third period advantage in a

3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

The Bruins have 102 points with nine games left to 97 for New

Jersey, which has 10 remaining.

Boston had been struggling before cooling off a streaking team

and the winningest goalie in NHL history. The Bruins are 7-9-4

in their last 20 games after going 39-8-6. The Devils are 9-3 in

their last 12 and Brodeur is 9-2 since returning from biceps

surgery.

Challenged by coach Claude Julien to work harder after Thursday

night's loss, the Bruins responded. They even scored on their

first two power plays after Julien said they were "totally flat"

when they had the man advantage against the Kings.

On Boston's first power play Sunday, Ryder scored his 25th goal

of the season. Mark Recchi centered the puck from the right

side, where it touched Ryder and continued to the other side of

the slot where it hit the skate of the Devils' Paul Martin and

went past Brodeur.

The Bruins made it 2-0 just 1:52 into the second when Patrice

Bergeron passed the puck from the lower left corner to Kobasew,

who scored his 18th goal.

Savard, Boston's leading scorer, then got his second goal in

four games after going 15 games without one when he scored on a

power play at 6:19 of the period.

Tim Thomas, the NHL leader in goals against average, gave up

Greene's second goal of the season at 12:44 of the second

period. Greene kept skating to the net after passing from the

left point across the ice to Jamie Langenbrunner, who returned

the puck into the slot. Greene redirected it past Thomas.

But the Bruins regained the lead less than 5 minutes later on

Lucic's 14th goal and first in 16 games. He skated in on the

left side and put the puck in front of the net where several

Devils and no Bruins were camped.

It hit the stick of defenseman Mike Mottau and ricocheted past

Brodeur.

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