Losing a point to the Boston Bruins on a fluke goal by Joe Murphy in the closing minutes wasn't the thing that upset the New Jersey Devils.
Having a two-goal lead in the final period and not finishing off the Bruins was more annoying.
"It doesn't matter how strange the goal was," Devils center Bobby Holik said. "That's not the issue. It's how we didn't take it to the winning end. We have to win games like this."
Still, all everyone wanted to talk about after the game was the goal the recently signed Murphy scored on a backhander from the corner with 4:31 to play to give the Bruins a 2-2 tie with the Devils on Wednesday night.
"It hit his stick," Murphy said. "It was a lucky goal. That was like going through the eye of a needle."
Brodeur saw the backhander coming and he came off the goalpost ever so slightly to catch the puck. But when Souray hit it, Brodeur was going one way and couldn't recover to close the little space he had opened between himself and the goalpost.
"There are a lot of weird goals that happen, but that was something I didn't expect from that angle," Brodeur said. "Nobody does. It was just a fluke goal."
Like Holik, the crazy goal wasn't an issue for Brodeur, who made 29 saves.
"We could have buried them and we didn't," Brodeur said. "We hit two posts and he (Bruins goaltender Robbie Tallas) made a great save on John Madden. That's the way it goes."
The save on Madden came about a minute before Murphy capped his own crazy week one that saw him have a tryout with the New York Rangers and then sign with Boston.
Murphy and the Rangers parted on bitter terms. When he went to collect his equipment after signing with the Bruins on Friday, he found one of his skates was missing and some of his sticks were cut in half.
"It's very gratifying to come in and play tonight," said Murphy, a 14-year veteran. "I love to play this game. I'm really happy to be a Bruin."
Mikko Eloranta also scored in the third period as Boston, which has lost only once in 10 games (8-1-1).
Eloranta ended the shutout bid by converting a nice power-play setup by Sergei Samsonov at 6:56.
Brodeur seemingly preserved the win with a leg save while on his back against former Devil Dave Andreychuk with seven minutes to play.
However, Murphy got the game-tying goal a little more than two minutes later, capping a nice first game as a Bruin.
Ironically, the Rangers and Bruins will play on Thursday.
The end-to-end overtime featured a shot off the goalpost by Jason Allison on a breakaway and couple of near missed by each team in front. New Jersey outshot Boston, 5-3.
While the Devils outshot Boston 15-8 in the first period, it might have been their weakest shot that gave them a 1-0 lead. Gomez got his fourth goal of the season and second against Boston with a shot from low the left circle that Robbie Tallas simply missed.
Brylin extended the margin to 2-0 with 1:10 remaining in the second period, deflecting a shot from the point by Scott Niedermayer, who assisted on both New Jersey goals.
Brodeur was at his best in a 1:45 span in the second period when the Bruins held a two-man advantage. He stopped Steve Heinze and Andreychuk in close and Ray Bourque on a slapshot. Also, Allison's shot went off the goalpost.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed