Friesen scored on a 40-foot bad-angle shot that Boston goaltender Jeff Hackett missed with 6:27 to play and the Devils rallied for a 3-2 win over the Bruins on Friday night.
“I was really trying to get it on net,” said Friesen, who has four goals in his last five games. “I missed the net a couple of times in the first where we could have gone ahead 2-0. I just wanted to let it go quick.”
Hackett was ready for the shot, but not the dip it took.
“It dropped,” Hackett said in a low voice after Boston lost for the fourth time (1-4-1) on its seven-game road trip. “That’s no excuse though. That’s just the way things are going now.”
“We were heading in the wrong direction at the time of year when you should be gearing up for the playoffs,” Madden said. “You’re only as good as your last game and right now, we played a pretty decent game.”
Joe Thornton scored twice for Boston, whose chances of making the playoffs are in jeopardy with 21 games to play. The Bruins have slipped to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 64 points.
Montreal is two points back, but the Bruins have two games in hand.
“There were times in the game where I thought we were back on track and playing really well,” Bruins defenseman Bryan Berard said. “But we’re at the time of year where we can’t afford mistakes. You may call it bad luck, but each mistake seems to end up in our net.”
Such was the case with Friesen’s shot.
Martin Brodeur stopped all 14 of the Bruins’ shots in the final period, including three good chances on a late Boston power play. The first two were in close by Mike Knuble and the third was a great glove save on a point blast by Brian Rolston.
Hackett, who made 27 saves, gave up a horrible game-winning goal. Friesen skated into the Bruins’ zone and took a shot from the left side boards about five feet above the circle and Hackett fanned on it, giving Friesen his 17th goal.
Bicek tied the game at 9:44 of the third period, seconds after Hackett stopped Madden on a breakaway. Bruins defenseman Don Sweeney tried to tuck the puck under his goaltender, but Jay Pandolfo nudged it and Bicek put it in an open net.
The 23-year-old Thornton, who is playing in his sixth season, tied the game at 1 at 4:34. Thornton took a puck from Madden near the blue line, split Devils defensemen Scott Stevens and Brian Rafalski and then faked out Brodeur before scoring into an empty net.
“You have to be nervous when he has the puck,” Devils coach Pat Burns said of Thornton. “You saw on that goal he went around everybody. He went around a lot of years of experience and just about the best goalie in the NHL all by himself.”
Thornton’s 31st of the season was a lot less spectacular. Glen Murray intercepted Stevens’ pass around the boards and Thornton deflected his shot past Brodeur.
Madden had given the Devils a 1-0 lead at 7:51 of the first period after a giveaway by Bruins defenseman Sean Brown. He flubbed a clearing pass off theside boards and Madden beat Hackett between the pads from the left circle.
The game was the 300th of Madden’s career. … The loss was only the Bruins sixth when Thornton scores (15-6-3-1). … Boston will finish its road trip against the Islanders and return home to face the Dallas Stars. … JoeNieuwendyk failed in his effort to score his 1,000 career point.