|11.10.10 at 9:36 pm ET|
The Bruins scored five unanswered goals in the third period, propelling them to an impressive 7-4 road victory over the Penguins on Wednesday.
With the Bruins trailing, 4-2, after two periods, Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara scored within 15 seconds of one another. Shawn Thornton, who had just one goal last season, scored his third of the year to give the B’s their first lead of the game, and Blake Wheeler scored one of the more impressive goals of the season, taking a Mark Recchi pass in front of the net and beating Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson as he was losing his balance. Milan Lucic added an empty netter.
Tim Thomas allowed four goals on the night, the most he has allowed on the season. With the victory, he improved to 8-0-0 on the season, the best start ever for a Bruins goalie.
It was the B’s first time visiting Pittsburgh since March 7, the day that Matt Cooke changed Marc Savard‘s career with his blindside hit to the center’s head. Though the Bruins didn’t muster much in their lone rematch with the Penguins last season, they seemingly sent a big message on Wednesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- This section is going to be fourth-line heavy, so be prepared.
Start with Thornton, who has scored key third period goals in two of the B’s last three games. For a guy who totaled one goal a season ago, it’s becoming less amusing and more remarkable that the fourth-line winger, whom many assumed did his work for the night by fighting Eric Godard in the first period, could play as big a role as he has.
Marchand now has six points — a pair of goals and four assists — on the season, with his top-shelf wrist-shot goal in the first period bringing him his latest point. It was also the latest example that the line behind the third line on the depth chart had best not be referred to as a fourth line, as Claude Julien and the three players will tell you.
- Everything came in waves on Wednesday night. First, fights (two in two seconds in the first periods) and then goals. Chara tied up the game in the third just 15 seconds after Horton’s goal, quickly bringing the Bruins from crawling their way back to overcoming their second multi-goal deficit in the third period in three games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- You’ve got to think the streak of dominance is over for one Tim Thomas… for now. After allowing multiple goals just once in his first seven games (7-0-0), Thomas has allowed at least three goals in each of his last two starts.
Thomas did come up big when Tyler Kennedy and Cooke came in on a 2-on-1 on Dennis Seidenberg. Kennedy helped Thomas’ cause by sticking it right in the chest of the B’s netminder, but that’s neither here nor there.
Given that Thomas has come back to Earth, combined with the fact that the Bruins have games on Thursday and Saturday, it wouldn’t be outrageous to think that a double-dose of Tuukka Time could be in order for the B’s for the first time this season.
- Arron Asham was a thorn in the B’s side throughout the night. He scored Pittsburgh’s first goal, sent Milan Lucic into the Penguins’ bench, and helped ignite the Penguins’ second-period outburst, as the Penguins scored their third and fourth goals following the tussle.
- Sidney Crosby happened, all over the Bruins. His three points in the first two periods had a lot to do with why the B’s were trailing by a pair of goals entering the third period. His goal, which came late in the second, was actually a pass intended for Malkin that bounced off Thomas and in.
|11.10.10 at 8:42 pm ET|
Two goals late in the second period have the Penguins leading the Bruins, 4-2.
Chris Kunitz had a quick strike in front that even Thomas didn’t see. The puck was in the net for a good half a second before Thomas turned around to realize the play’s fate.
Jordan Caron picked up just his third and fourth penalty minutes of the season when he went off at 18:31 for hooking. It was on that power play that Crosby was able to beat Thomas for the Penguins’ fourth goal.
- Arron Asham sure has been busy tonight. He scored the Penguins’ first goal of the game early on and later tripped Nathan Horton with his leg in the first period. In the second, he tangoed with Adam McQuaid, but that wasn’t the end of his shenanigans.Milan Lucic was sent into the Penguins’ bench with about three and a half minutes remaining when Asham hit him along the boards, much to the delight of the Pittsburgh fans.
- Patrice Bergeron has hit a post and a crossbar in two periods of play. Eerily similar to Nathan Horton on Saturday.
|11.10.10 at 7:49 pm ET|
The first 20 minutes between the Bruins and Penguins can best be summarized with the following: two fights and two teams tied up, 2-2, after a period of play.
The Penguins didn’t take long to get on the board, as Arron Asham was able to grab a rebound in front and put it past Tim Thomas.
One thing that may have taken a little longer than one might have expected was Mark Recchi’s first goal of the season, which he was able to get on the power play. Recchi took a pass from Tyler Seguin and fired a quick shot that yielded a big enough rebound from Brent Johnson for Recchi to capitalize and beat the netminder for his first tally.
Brad Marchand and Brooks Orpik later added goals within 34 seconds won another, and it’s tied up after one. The fights, one between Shawn Thornton and Eric Godard and the other between Gregory Campbell and Maxime Talbot, came within two seconds of one another.
The shots are 18-14 in favor of the Penguins thus far.
While the Bruins were able to capitalize on one power play, they got kind of a rough deal on their other one. With Asham in the box for tripping, Zbynek Michalek hacked at Nathan Horton’s stick in front of the net, breaking the shaft and yielding no reaction from the B’s or refs.
|11.10.10 at 7:12 pm ET|
According to the Boston Globe, center Marc Savard will begin practicing with the Bruins “in the next 2-3 days.”
”He’s doing much, much better,” Peter Chiarelli told Kevin Paul Dupont. ”He has been symptom-free for a while now, increasing his skating…all in all, he looks good.”
|11.10.10 at 7:03 pm ET|
Turns out that all Jamie Arniel will get to do after being called up on an emergency basis is watch the game as a scratch. Michael Ryder, who had left practice on Tuesday with an undisclosed injury, is in the lineup and good to go, meaning Arniel essentially got only a free trip to Pittsburgh, and not his NHL debut, out of the deal.
Here are the lines:
Lucic ‘ Bergeron ‘ Horton
Caron ‘ Wheeler ‘ Recchi
Paille ‘ Seguin ‘ Ryder
Marchand ‘ Campbell ‘ Thornton
Chara ‘ Ference
Hunwick ‘ Seidenberg
Stuart ‘ McQuaid
|11.10.10 at 12:39 pm ET|
NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance with the Dale & Holley show Wednesday and talked about the Bruins’ game on Wednesday night vs. the Penguins and instigator Matt Cooke. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Milbury said the Bruins aren’t likely to spend much time focusing on Cooke. “No, they’ve got other things to worry about right now,” Milbury said, although he added that the Bruins will be “much more willing to answer the bell if he rings it.”
Added Milbury: “I’m not big on the staged thing or the planned vengeance. I mean, it’s a hockey game, after all. They got their pound of flesh, or at least some of it, maybe a half-pound with [Shawn] Thornton last year. Get over it, play the game. They’ve got a couple of injuries, they’ve got other things to worry about right now. They’re playing two tough teams back to back. They’ve got to get some points on the board while they’re waiting for people to get back in the lineup.”
Asked his opinion of Cooke as a player, Milbury said: “He’s not a bad player. He’ll get his share of goals. He clearly is a guy that will mix it up, will look for a good hit. And I have no trouble with that. It’s when he crosses the line that you start to get agitated. The Bruins probably were slow to react to some of the things he did, but I don’t think he’s Darth Vader or anything. I just think he’s one of those guys that likes to toe the line, and sometimes he crosses it.”
Andrew Ference stood up for teammate Mark Recchi on Saturady night, jumping in to fight St. Louis’ David Backes after Backes had drilled Recchi with a clean hit. “Somebody’s got to do it for grandpa. You’ve got to step in,” Milbury said, although he noted: “Recchi’s no angel either on the ice. Even at his age he can be frisky.”
With the injured David Krejci joining Marc Savard on the sideline, Milbury said the Bruins can only do so much to fill the holes vacated by their top two centers. “When you take two of your better players out of the lineup, you’re not going to replace them,” Milbury said. “Not in the salary cap era. You just can’t do it.”
|11.10.10 at 11:57 am ET|
The Bruins are still dealing with the bad that came of their last trip to Pittsburgh, so it’s only natural for memories to kick in as they return to face the Penguins (now at the CONSOL Energy Center) for the first time since March 7 of last season.
Of course, it was on that day that a head-hunting Matt Cooke blindsided Marc Savard, who would miss the rest of the season and return for the second round of the playoffs before encountering more post-concussion syndrome symptoms that still have him a ways away from returning to the B’s lineup.
The Bruins caught flack for not responding to the Cooke hit 11 days later at the Garden. Shawn Thornton fought Cooke and Zdeno Chara squared off with Mike Rupp, but the Bruins put only 17 shots on Marc-Andre Fleury, who easily shut out the B’s in a 3-0 Penguins victory.
Claude Julien, on the other hand, seems to be pushing the mindset for the B’s to not dwell on last year when trying to get a couple of points, saying that Cooke shouldn’t get any extra attention unless he brings it on himself.
“If he acts in a certain way that deserves retribution,” Julien said, “we’ll deal with it then.”
- It’s hard not to find the Bruins’ 15 points a little more impressive than the Penguins’ 15 points. Of course, that’s a given when considering that the Bruins have played 11 games to the Penguins’ 15.
- Lucic has scored in five of the Bruins’ road games. Of course, one of them was an empty netter, but his out-of-town numbers are still attention-grabbing. Lucic has yet to score at the Garden this season.
- The Penguins as a team haven’t exactly blown minds statistically, as their numbers in scoring, goals against, and power play seem to agree with the standings, which has them as a .500 team (7-7-1). Pittsburgh’s 2.8 goals per game is 14th in the league, while their 2.6 GAA is 13th in the league. The Penguins are just 21st in penalty killing percentage (13.3), though their penalty kill percentage of 87.5 is sixth in the NHL.
- With Fleury posting just a 1-6 record thus far on the season, between the pipes for the Penguins will be 6-1-1 Brent Johnson, according to the Globe.
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