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Canadiens halt Bruins win streak

03.02.10 at 9:31 pm ET
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Summary — The Bruins and Canadiens got the stretch run started in earnest Tuesday night at TD Garden with a three period tango that Montreal won 4-1. Tuukka Rask got a career-high seventh consecutive start for Boston and but lost for the first time in five games with 29 saves. Carey Price was the goaltender of record for the Canadiens and stopped 23 pucks for the win. The Bruins have now lost 10 straight at home (0-7-3) with their last victory in Boston coming at Fenway Park for the Winter Classic Jan.1.

The Bruins entered the third period with a 1-0 advantage before Montreal came back with two goals to take the lead and seal the victory. The game-winner was scored by Maxim LaPierre on a rebound that he swept up in the crease to beat Rask.

Boston opened the scoring in the first period on the power play when Zdeno Chara hit a blast from the point that got tangled in the crease with Marco Sturm, Price and Habs defenseman Josh Gorges. As Gorges pushed Sturm over Price, Sturm dislodged the puck and swept it into the goal to send the Bruins into the second period with a 1-0 lead.

The Habs came at the Bruins with some momentum midway through the second period but Rask was able to put the clamps down on any Montreal scoring chances including two point-blank chances by Maxim LaPierre to preserve the shutout going into the third period.

The Bruins had shutout the Canadiens for 129:55 of gameplay before former Bruin Geln Metropolit tied the game up when he beat Rask with a wrist shot from the slot on the rush at 2:40 in the third period. Metropolit has haunted his former team with four goals in five games against Boston this year.

Bruins’ center Patrice Bergeron did not play with a groin strain and will be day-to-day.

Three Stars

Carey Price — The much maligned Montreal goaltender started the Candiens’ stretch run off on a good foot by holding the Bruins to one goal to pick up his 13th win of the year.

Maxim LaPierre — The Canadiens’ center is rumored to be on the trading block and played a spirited game. He was rewarded with his sixth goal of the year in the third period that (proved to be the game winner) (put Montreal uo 2-1).

Marco Sturm — The German Olympic team may not have made a splash but Sturm continues to make waves for the Bruins. His first period power play goal was his 19th of the year which leads the team.

Turning Point — Michael Ryder took a holding penalty at 4:10 in the third that gave the Canadiens momentum to score the go-ahead goal by LaPierre at 7:24. Rask killed the penalty for the Bruins with a series of solid saves but could not hold them all back as he bobbled a shot by Travis Moen at the baseline that LaPierre cleaned up in the crease.

Key Play — Boston’s Marc Savard had a break away in the second period and attempted to dance in on Price but was harried by LaPierre from behind enough that Savard could not get a shot away. LaPierre was called for a slashing penalty that put the Bruins on the man-advantage but the Canadiens killed it and the Bruins  would not threaten again. Hence, a smart penalty by LaPierre gave the Canadiens a chance to come back and win the game.

Second period summary: Bruins-Canadiens

03.02.10 at 8:40 pm ET
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The game settled into a back and forth with each team just missing on golden opportunities in close as the Bruins maintain their 1-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Mark Recchi came barreling down the right wing and was stuffed by Carey Price, who has recovered nicely after allowing a shaky goal in the first period.

Price also came up big late in the second when Marc Savard came down the slot and was able to get a point-blank shot off despite being hooked from behind by Maxim Lapierre. The Bruins had two power plays in the second period and did not look quite as sharp as they did in capitalizing in the first period.

The Bruins outshot the Habs, 10-8, in the period and trail 18-17 for the game.

Tuukka Rask finished the second with a shutout streak of 127 minutes, 15 seconds and hasn’t seen much rubber in the game so far. Fortunately he didn’t see a shot from Andrei Kostitsyn with 30 seconds remaining as Kostitsyn, wide open with an open net, couldn’t get his stick on a cross-slot pass.

The Bruins are 1-for-3 on the power play while Montreal is 0-for-1.

The Bruins are 20 minutes away from snapping a nine-game home losing streak, having lost every contest on their own ice since beating Philadelphia at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day.

Read More: Bruins, Canadiens, NHL,

First period summary: Bruins-Canadiens

03.02.10 at 7:43 pm ET
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The first period of the first game back from the Olympic break for the Bruins featured solid goaltending, high energy skating and low-and-behold hard work in front of the net that paid off in a goal and a 1-0 Bruins lead after one.

With Montreal center Dominic Moore in the box for interference, Zdeno Chara let fly a shot from the high slot that caught Habs goalie Carey Price in the midsection. Price couldn’t control the rebound and Sturm fell over Price and one-handed the puck into the net behind Price.

Sturm leads the Bruins with 19 goals.

Tuukka Rask started in net and stopped all 10 Montreal shots on net, including a nice glove save on Roman Hamrlik midway through.

The Bruins had only seven shots on goal and ended the period on the penalty kill. Montreal will begin the second period with a 69-second power play after a slash on Vladimir Sobotka.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Canadiens, Marco Sturm, NHL

Minor deals: Bruins active as deadline nears

03.02.10 at 5:40 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has been busy on Tuesday as the NHL trade deadline nears at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. He added a pair of minor league defensemen to the Bruins organization by trading for the rights to Anaheim’s Steve Kampfer in the afternoon and adding Cody Wild from the Oilers’ organization in the evening. Boston is sending a conditional fourth round pick to the Ducks while Matt Marquardt goes to Edmonton.

From the press releases for each transaction:

The 21-year old Kampfer has skated in 37 games for the University of Michigan this season, recording two goals, 15 assists and 48 PIM. Over four seasons with the Wolverines, Kampfer has played in 139 games, registering 6-51=57 totals and 132 PIM.

The 5’€™11, 188-pound native of Ann Arbor, MI was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round (93rd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

The 22-year-old Wild has split this season between the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League and the Stockton Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League. Wild played 37 games with Springfield and recorded 14 assists and 24 PIM and skated in four games with Stockton, registering one assist and 4 PIM. In 109 career games with the Falcons, Wild had 5-30=35 totals and 74 PIM.  The 6’€™1’€ 205-pound native of North Providence, Rhode Island was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round (140th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  He
appeared in 100 collegiate games in his three years at Providence College from 2005-08, with 16 goals and 41 assists.

The 22-year-old Marquardt has split this season between Providence (American Hockey League) and Reading (East Coast Hockey League), with 1-9=10 totals in 41 games for the P-Bruins and 1-2=3 totals in nine games with the Royals. The North Bay, Ontario native recorded 10 goals and 22 assists in 113 career games during his one-plus seasons with the P-Bruins. Marquardt was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh round (194th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded by Columbus to Boston on May 27, 2008 for Jonathan Sigalet.

Read More: Cody Wild, Matt Marquardt, Peter Chiarelli, Steve Kampfer

Garden to show off Olympic wares

03.02.10 at 2:08 pm ET
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The Bruins will show off Patrice Bergeron’s Olympic gold medal and Team Canada jersey as well as Tim Thomas‘ Olympic silver medal and Team USA jersey to fans at TD Garden during tonight’s return game against the Canadiens.

At 6:40 p.m., Bergeron will bring the medals and jerseys to the Patrice’s Pals Suite (Suite 530) for children currently being treated at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

The children from Spaulding will be Bergeron’s Patrice’s Pals VIP guests for the game tonight. “Patrice’€™s Pals” is a program that Bergeron started in 2006, which gives sick and underprivileged children the opportunity to watch Bruins games from Bergeron’€™s private suite and meet with him after the game.

At 6:50 p.m., Bergeron will bring medals and jerseys to the Partners Room (Level 6) for a TD Garden Premium Club event, where they will remain through the first intermission.

Throughout the second intermission, all Bruins fans in attendance will have the chance to see the medals at the Comcast Zone on the TD Garden Concourse (Level 4, Section 7).

Read More: Boston Bruins, NHL, Olympic medals,

Thomas: My game was never really lost

03.02.10 at 1:20 pm ET
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Tim Thomas, fresh from his Olympic silver medal-winning experience in Vancouver, chimed in on Tuesday at TD Garden about those who said he’s not having the Vezina-type season he had last year with the Bruins as Boston finished first in the Eastern Conference.

“I don’t think my game was ever really lost, contrary to what a lot of the media in Boston has liked to focus on,” he said. “The numbers aren’t exactly the same as last year but not every year goes exactly the same and not every goalie wins the Vezina every year.”

Thomas, who is expected to serve as the back-up to Tuukka Rask for the Bruins tonight against the Canadiens, is 13-15-7 this season with a 2.52 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.

“I feel good about where [I’m] at. I felt in a good enough spot where I could’ve helped stepped in for USA and done the job if I needed to. Ryan Miller was exceptional, I’m not saying that. I think it was the right move. I’ll just be ready when called upon here.”

Thomas also compared the crowd at Canada Place on Sunday for the Gold Medal game to those for playoff games between the Bruins and Canadiens.

“It was exciting but the emotions of the crowd went from elation when they got up 2-0, to very nervous and tense when we tied it up with 24 seconds left and then all through overtime it was pretty tense until [Sydney] Crosby got that goal and then there was elation again,” Thomas said Tuesday at the Bruins morning skate.

“We had a good portion of USA fans there, too. It was a great atmosphere but as far as just crowds go, still nothing has matched the Montreal-Boston games in the playoffs, even the Olympics.”

Thomas also chimed in about those who said he’s not having the Vezina-type season he had last year with the Bruins as Boston finished first in the Eastern Conference.

“I don’t think my game was ever really lost, contrary to what a lot of the media in Boston has liked to focus on. The numbers aren’t exactly the same as last year but not every year goes exactly the same and not every goalie wins the Vezina every year.

“I feel good about where [I’m] at. I felt in a good enough spot where I could’ve helped stepped in for USA and done the job if I needed to. Ryan Miller was exceptional, I’m not saying that. I think it was the right move. I’ll just be ready when called upon here.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Tim Thomas

Bergy: ‘A perfect way to end it’

03.02.10 at 12:43 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron arrived back in Boston Monday evening and had barely gotten his legs back when he addressed the media Tuesday morning at TD Garden.

The gold medal winner on Team Canada came back to rejoin his Bruins teammates but did not skate. He was nursing a sore groin that was tweaked in Canada’s 3-2 OT win on Sunday afternoon in Vancouver.

That hardly took away from the experience for Bergeron.

“It was awesome,” he beamed with a tired but very satisfied smile. “It was a great experience. It was a lot of fun and obviously winning that gold medal means even more and it was really a special moment.”

As for the medal, he was very careful to keep it in his possession as he made his way across the continent to Boston on Monday.

“It’s here right now. I wanted to show it the guys and to the trainers and all that so I brought it with me. At the airport, it was on me at all times. I didn’t want to lose it.”

For Bergeron, the experience of the last two weeks is finally starting to settle in.

“Today a little bit more. Yesterday and after the game on Sunday it was more of a surreal kind of experience and it was hard to kind of sink of everything in. Obviously, it was a great two weeks but just a perfect way to end it.

“It was unlike anything I’ve seen before. Obviously, it was amazing, as soon as we won, people in the streets went crazy. We could see on TV that everywhere across Canada was going wild. It was awesome. It was great to see all of that.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Patrice Bergeron, Team Canada
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