BOSTON -- The puck went in off pads and skates and the goalie's back, and New Jersey got the final lucky bounce.
Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference settled it with some of their worst goals, and the Devils beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Thursday night when Jamie Langenbrunner scored his second of the game 1:11 into overtime.
"There were a lot of strange goals out there," said Devils coach Brent Sutter, whose team gave up three third-period goals before Patrik Elias scored off his skate to tie it 3-all with 1:45 left in regulation. "It was a good hockey game, obviously, but there was some weird stuff that certainly happened."
Langenbrunner, who also scored the game's first goal as New Jersey took a 2-0 lead, gave the Devils their seventh consecutive win when he swept around and put in a rebound of Colin White's shot that went off Travis Zajac. Scott Clemmensen stopped 24 shots for New Jersey.
Tim Thomas made 26 saves for the Bruins, who lost for the fifth time in 21 games. Boston's Marc Savard had a goal and an assist, and Phil Kessel had a pair of assists in his first game after missing six with mononucleosis.
The Atlantic Division-leading Devils, who had given up just six goals in five games, moved past Washington and into second place in the Eastern Conference, 11 points behind the Bruins.
"They're the team that everybody needs to measure themselves against, and rightfully so," Langenbrunner said. "They've had a great year, and we just wanted to see if we could play with them. I think we proved a little something to ourselves tonight that if we're on top of our game we can."
New Jersey tied it when Elias crashed the net and knocked a pass from Brian Gionta off his skate and past Thomas with 1:45 to play in regulation; a replay review confirmed he did not kick it in on purpose.
"Our guys did a good job of getting ourselves back in the game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It was a game where you really have to work hard to score goals. There wasn't a ton of pretty ones."
Langenbrunner gave the Devils a 1-0 lead with 4:59 left in the first period on a short-handed goal, putting the puck off both of Thomas' pads before it squeaked across the goal line. Langenbrunner assisted when Parise put a shot off Thomas' back from behind the net with 13:39 left in the second to make it 2-0.
"It was a battle of who was going to score the most goals on themselves," Thomas said.
The Bruins made it 2-1 with 17:40 left in the third when Clemmensen went behind the net to play the puck but left it there for Chuck Kobasew, who swept it around and into the post. Kobasew got the rebound into the net, and Clemmensen gloved the puck out of the air, but the replay showed that it had crossed the line.
Savard scored his 18th of season 7:11 into the third, taking a pass from behind the net on the side, sliding it over the goal line, and wristing it between Clemmensen and the post to tie it 2-all.
- Devils forward Jay Pandolfo missed his fourth straight game as a healthy scratch.
- Parise extended his point streak to five games.
- Savard has a six-game point streak.
- Before this season, two of Clemmensen's eight NHL wins were against the Bruins. The Devils goalie also played in the new Boston Garden while at Boston College.