|01.18.11 at 5:05 pm ET|
Here’s one more thing about Zdeno Chara‘s hat trick (hey, how often is Zdeno Chara going to score three in a game? Not often, so if a lot of attention is paid now, trust it won’t be a popular topic too frequently) that stood out as the WEEI.com Stat Truck was circling the Bruins/Hurricanes block.
Chara was able to score his three goals despite seeing much less ice time than he’s used to. He was only on the ice for 20:45 in the game, making it his second-lowest time on ice total this season. His season-low came last Tuesday, when he played only 16:12 against the Senators in a 6-0 win.
On the season, the captain has averaged 26:18 of ice time per night, though he has played as much as 31:48, which he did when Johnny Boychuk went down on Oct. 23 in a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. It’s not too shocking that he got much less time on the ice Monday, as the numbers would suggest the team likes to give their minute-eating captain a little less time in blowouts or against some of the lesser teams. He’s averaged 21:27 in three games against the Senators, 24:33 against the Devils, and 24:48 against the Panthers.
|01.18.11 at 12:05 pm ET|
The Bruins and Hurricanes have taken turns shutting one another out this season, and on Tuesday, the Canes will look to avenge a 7-0 beatdown the B’s delivered on Monday. Tim Thomas had his seventh shutout, while Zdeno Chara notched his first career hat trick.
WHERE IT’S AT
– The Hurricanes are 11-7-2 at the RBC Center this season. They’ve won their last three home games, the most recent of which was a 6-4 win over the Lightning on Saturday.
– The Bruins are 13-5-4 in road games this season. They have picked up points in each of their last seven away games (4-0-3). It’s been over a week since they’ve played outside of the Garden, with the B’s scoring four goals in the final 3:23 against the Penguins in a 4-3 victory in Pittsburgh last Monday.
– Only two of Thomas’ seven shutouts have come against teams that would have a playoff spot if the season were to end today, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s leading the league in the category and both the other major goaltending categories (GAA and save percentage). Claude Julien has given Thomas the next start following each of his shutouts this season.
– Despite not picking up any points on Monday, Carolina rookie Jeff Skinner still has eight (5 G, 3 A) over his last six games. The seventh overall pick has 16 goals and 20 assists for 36 points. His point total leads all rookies, with Brad Marchand‘s 19 points putting him 10th and Tyler Seguin‘s 16 putting him 14th.
– After going 0-for-13 on the power play from Dec. 30 to Jan. 8, the Bruins have picked it up on the man advantage, going 5-for-22 in five games since. They are still just 19th in the league with a 17.5 power play percentage, though their fourth-ranked penalty kill hasn’t allowed a goal in four games.
– Milan Lucic has gone 12 goals without a game, though he did shoot a puck past a goaltender who tried saving it, if that counts for anything, on Monday. Lucic still leads the B’s with 16 goals on the season.
– Adam McQuaid, Marc Savard, and Mark Stuart tied for a game-high plus-3 rating on Monday. McQuaid was one of four Bruins to have a multi-point game in the matinee. Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci also had multiple points on the day.
STORYLINES GOING IN
Julien had said Monday that he was a possibility for Tuesday’s game, and that it would be a tough decision regarding which guy to sit. While that likely won’t pertain to Tuesday, it’s still a question worth exploring. Both Steven Kampfer and McQuaid have played very well, and both have four points over their last four games. Kampfer brings the Bruins more of what they need with his abilities as a puck-moving defenseman, but the B’s might also want McQuaid in there in case it’s a more physical game following the B’s beatdown of the Canes Monday.
– The Bruins chased Cam Ward from Monday’s game in less than 12 minutes, though Paul Maurice said following the contest that he expects Ward to start Tuesday. Justin Peters wasn’t much of an improvement over Ward, as he allowed five goals over the rest of the game and racked up four penalty minutes.
|01.18.11 at 11:36 am ET|
Looks like the fun hasn’t run out on Zdeno Chara‘s hat trick celebration.
After admitting following Monday’s game that he lifted his back-handed toss of an invisible hat from former Capitals great Peter Bondra, Chara and the celebrations were the subject of a conversation between Yahoo! Sports’ Greg Whyshynski and Bondra.
“I think I did it twice,” Bondra told Wyshynski on Monday night. “If [Chara] used that move, I think it’s going to cost him dinner next time he comes to Washington.”
Bondra even received a text message from the B’s captain on Monday, with Chara perhaps eager to see if he pulled it off correctly.
“He asked me if I saw his celebration,” Bondra said.
Chara’s teammates were amused with the celebration, with Milan Lucic carefully limiting his answer to “yes” as to whether it was the most interesting he’d seen, and Adam McQuaid figuring the Hurricanes may not have been too happy with it. The creator of it sees it as more a case of living in the moment than trying to upstage the opposition.
“The celebration … you cannot practice it or anything,” Bondra told Wyshynski. “It’s a moment when the excitement of your goal make you react to the moment. Sometimes I wasn’t happy with what I did. It’s a moment where you’re excited to show how excited you are, but there’s a line and you want to respect the other team.”
|01.17.11 at 5:12 pm ET|
Milan Lucic knew very early on Monday that he couldn’t play the rust card upon returning from three games out of the lineup. Not after Mark Stuart, who had missed the last 18 games with a broken hand and dislocated finger, scored at 7:56 to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead in what would become a 7-0 victory.
Lucic skated on a line with David Krejci and rookie Tyler Seguin. He picked up an assist on Zdeno Chara‘s third goal of the game, but he had thought he was on the scoring sheet long before the final period. Following Stuart’s goal, Lucic took a pass from Krejci and fired it past Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward at 9:15. Little did the Bruins know that Lucic was actually touching up on a delayed hooking penalty to Chara.
Lucic questioned the nature of the play, but Chara left the box and scored on a 2-on-1 with Mark Recchi to give the B’s the 2-0 lead he thought he had previously secured.
“They didn’t blow the whistle until after the goal,” Lucic said. “They called it off. It was funny the ref that was down there in front of the two didn’t call the penalty but the ref that was beside me decided to call it.”
After scoring 16 goals in his first 30 games and currently riding a 12-game streak without a tally, Lucic said he can use the goal-that wasn’t to build off of.
“I have to,” Lucic said.
He’s still confident with how he felt in his return to the lineup, and hopes it can mean the end of his slump.
“It is disheartening because I haven’t scored in a while after being hot for the first 30 games but you have to build off of it. It was a good stride and I have to get my game going from there.”
|01.17.11 at 4:36 pm ET|
Zdeno Chara hadn’t been holding his breath for his first career hat trick, but he was able to breathe a sigh of relief after becoming the fourth defenseman in Bruins history to accomplish the feat.
“You’re always kind of thinking about how it would be nice to have that kind of a game in your career, to say, ‘Hey I’ve done it, I had a hat trick,’ but for myself, it took 14-15 years,” Chara said. “I’m not expecting to have another one anytime soon.”
Regardless of how frequently he tallies three goals in a game, his teammates were glad to see him do it for the first time, including another long-tenured Bruin who just recently had their first hat trick.
“That’s our leader,” Patrice Bergeron said of Chara. “That’s our captain. That’s why he’s probably the best defenseman in the league.”
Chara celebrated the hat trick by gesturing to the crowd with his glove, waving on the fans to toss their hats. He admitted after the game that he saw Peter Bondra of the Capitals do it after notching three goals against him when we was with the Islanders, and that he kept the move stored in case he ever had the opportunity.
“I kind of remembered [thinking], ‘If I ever get a hat trick, I want to do the same.’ I thought it was pretty cool,” Chara said of seeing Bondra celebrate.
Just as Chara took notice of Bondra, his Bruins teammates got a kick out of their captain’s celebration.
“Yes,” Milan Lucic said with a laugh when asked if it was the most interesting goal celebration he’d seen. “That’s all I’m going to say. Yes.”
|01.17.11 at 3:33 pm ET|
Zdeno Chara had his first career hat trick, while Tim Thomas recorded his seventh shutout of the season in a 7-0 Bruins win over the Hurricanes. Chara joined Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque and Glen Wesley as the only Bruins defenseman to record three goals in a game.
For Stuart, it was his first goal of the season and a nice way to make his return from a broken hand and dislocated finger that had kept him out for 18 games. Chara would add power play goals in the first and third periods after Justin Peters took over for Ward.
The Bruins also got goals from Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron in the second period. Bergeron, who was named the NHL’s No. 2 star of the week earlier in the day, now has 12 points over his last seven games. Michael Ryder scored his 14th goal of the season when he redirected a Dennis Seidenberg shot past Peters.
Peters didn’t do himself any favors in the game, as he drew penalties for holding and roughing in the second and third period, respectively.
The two teams will square off again Tuesday night in Carolina.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins are proof that goals come in waves. When Patrice Bergeron scored 13 seconds after Gregory Campbell in the second period, it marked the ninth time this season that the Bruins have scored two goals in less than a minute. It was the third time they’ve done so in the last three games, as they did it last Monday in Pittsburgh and on Saturday against the Penguins.
– His production on the night was obviously overshadowed by that of another Bruins defenseman, but Adam McQuaid had his first-career multi-point game, and it took him less than 12 minutes to accomplish it. On the day, five Bruins defenseman had at least a point, with Johnny Boychuk the only one to not register one. Boychuk had an even rating.
– Tim Thomas continues to put up monster numbers, and he now ahas noter blanking in the books. He’s already surpassed his previous career high of five shutouts in a season, but with seven thus far, the question is whether he ends up doubling it.
Thomas didn’t find himself facing the most energetic offense, though he did come up with big saves on Eric Staal in the first period. His save on Jeff Skinner in the second led to a quick breakout and, eventually, a beautiful pass from Shawn Thornton to Campbell for a B’s goal. With Thornton’s assist (his fourth), he jumped back out in front of Thomas in their assist race. Thomas has three helpers on the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Milan Lucic thought he’d scored his 17th goal of the season when he beat Ward at 9:15 of the first, but he was in fact touching up on a delayed penalty on Zdeno Chara. It wasn’t exactly costly for the B’s, as Chara returned to the ice following the penalty and scored on a 2-on-1.
Lucic has now gone 12 straight games without a goal, though he grabbed an assist on Chara’s third goal.
– This was a game in which just about as much went right for the Bruins as possible. All four lines had strong showings, and the defense and goaltending were stout. They even won the fisticuffs battle, as McQuaid pounded Troy Bodie in the third period. There will be plenty of games for the bad to stand out, but there simply wasn’t much of it Monday.
|01.17.11 at 2:40 pm ET|
The Bruins continued piling on in the second period against the Hurricanes, striking twice in 13 seconds to establish a 5-0 lead entering the third.
Patrice Bergeron continued his hot streak, as he scored his 15th goal of the season immediately following Campbell’s. Bergeron now has 12 points in his last seven games, and 21 in his last 16.
The B’s goals weren’t the extent of Hurricanes netminder Justin Peter’s bad day. He took a holding penalty when he grabbed onto Blake Wheeler’s leg late in the period.
The B’s are outshooting the Hurricanes, 29-23.