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Axelsson empty netter secures win for the Bruins

03.07.09 at 2:55 pm ET
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18:51: The intensity that the Bruins have put into this one really seems to be wearing down the Blackhawks. A Chicago defenseman wiped out while attempting to change direction, and turned the puck right over to Milan Lucic at the blue line. Looch worked it to Savard in the middle and he found a wide open Phil Kessel at the right faceoff dot, and Kessel slammed it home for his 27th goal of the season.

10:55: Great job of hustling and backchecking by Matt Hunwick to keep the puck in the Chicago zone, and then nearly set up a score to Shawn Thornton barreling down toward the net.

9:34: Old friend Kris Versteeg pops in a long rebound to cut the Bruins lead within two goals. The score came after the Blackhawks had noticeably ramped up the intensity.

5:26: Absolute laser beam of a shot off the stick of Pat Kane during the opening seconds of a Chicago power play (Andrew Ference, interference). The rocket released at the edge of the left faceoff circle and cuts it to a one-goal game.

1:53: Tim Thomas has been immense in the past few moments as the Blackhawks have really turned up the pressure. Crafty shot by Marty Havlat from behind the net that bounced off Andrew Ference’s leg, but Thomas able to smother it.

00:32.2: Great forecheck by P.J. Axelsson and he gets the emtpy-netter to salt away the win for the Bruins.

The B’s lead the Blackhawks by a 4-3 score with 4:31 to go in the third period.

Krejci and Recchi respond for the Boston Bruins and take lead

03.07.09 at 2:22 pm ET
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19:35: Good bid by Milan Lucic from the doorstep after completely cleaning defenseman Matt Walker’s clock in the corner to open the second period.

16:24: The crossbar continues to be unkind to the Blackhawks as Martin Havlat had a great play from the left faceoff circle in looking off Dave Bolland and firing away the Bruins net. The puck beat Thomas, but rocketed off the crossbar and back out of the net. Close call once again for the Spoked ‘B’.

13:07: Juggling save of a Troy Brouwer shot from the high slot by Tim Thomas following a close call to a puck that close to off-sides for the Blackhawks.

12:50: First penalty of the game award goes to Aaron Ward for hooking.

6:51: Great pad save right in front on a bang-bang shot by Dustin Byfuglien, who is having a pretty solid game for Chicago.

6:18: Holding penatly on Andrew Ference as he attempted to break up a furious Martin Havlat rush to the  B’s net.

4:49: Power play goal for Jonathan Toews after a pretty gutsy job of goaltending and penalty killing for the Bruins. Chicago magic man Pat Kane worked the puck down in the right corner for Toews, who wheeled toward the net, shot the puck and got a fortunate bounce off Aaron Ward’s body in front of the net to tie things at 1-1.

4:18: David Krejci answers right back while camped out by the Blackhawks net. He took an Andrew Ference shot off the bread basket, and then tucked the puck in short side before Huet could respond. 

3:48: Mark Recchi shook off a big hit in front of the net and followed with a beautiful tip of a Dennis Wideman shot from the high slot to make it 3-1.

1:47: Great back-to-back stops by Huet on a pair of Patrice Bergeron power play swipes in front of the Chicago net.

The B’s lead the Blackhawks by a 3-1 score after some shock and awe with 00:45 to go in the second period.

Read More: David Krejci, Mark Recchi,

Recchi’s first goal in Black and Gold give the B’s a 1-0 lead

03.07.09 at 1:17 pm ET
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16:00: Near miss by Blackhawks winger Andrew Ladd on a backhanded bid that flipped over the crossbar.

13:57: Good scoring bid by the Bruins fourth line. Shawn Thornton worked the puck into the neutral zone and tried to hit a speeding P.J. Axelsson on the off-wing, but instead a deflection put the puck on Stephane Yelle’s stick. The veteran unloaded a shot from the high slot just inside the blue line that Crystobal Huet was able to catch with some pad, and then cover up without further damage.

11:55: Near miss for the Blackhawks as Dustin Byfuglien hit Thomas and then the crossbar behind Thomas with a wobbly, bad angle forehand bid. Johnson raised his hands in mini-celebration before he hit the pipe.

9:41: That’s exactly why Peter Chiarelli got Mark Recchi.  The 41-year-old camped at the left post, gathered a Chuck Kobasew pass and pushed it through Huet’s pads for his first goal as a Bruin. 

00:10: Great rush up the left wing by Marc Savard in the closing seconds, and an even better dish to Phil Kessel on the right wing that got Huet moving right to left. But Kessel couldn’t handle Savard’s tape-to-tape beauty and the B’s end the period with a fruitless flurry.

Good jump by the Black and Gold here in the early going. B’s out shoot the Hawks 15-7 for the period, and laid out 13 hits over the first 20 minutes.

The Bruins lead the Blackhawks by a 1-0 score with one full period in the books at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Blake Wheeler scratched from the B’s lineup this afternoon

03.07.09 at 1:01 pm ET
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Blake Wheeler, in the middle of some rookie struggles over the last month, was scratched from the Bruins lineup despite being in good health, and Matt Hunwick will take his place along the forward lines with David Krejci and Michael Ryder

Hunwick and Wheeler shared time at the left wing during practice on Friday.

Steve Montador out against Blackhawks this afternoon

03.07.09 at 12:24 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Steve Montador is out for this afternoon’s matinee showdown against the Central Division’s second-place Chicago Blackhawks. Montador came down with the flu on Friday, and Shane Hnidy will jump back into action as the sixth defenseman.

Tim Thomas will again get the start in net for the Bruins.

Steve Montador doubtful for Saturday’s matinee

03.06.09 at 1:13 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — A spirited Bruins practice this morning with a good deal of skating and only one Bruins player missing: Steve Montador. The newly acquired defenseman was suffering from some flu-like symptoms and wasn’t able to make it to practice at Ristuccia Arena after traveling to Boston late Wednesday night to make it for Thursday’s morning skate prior to last night’s loss.

“Because he’s got that flu today and there’s the one o’clock game tomorrow (against the Blackhawks) I’d be very surprised if he’d be ready to go,” said B’s coach Claude Julien. “We’ve got some healthy guys. I don’t think there’s any reason to be a guy out there that isn’t 100 percent tomorrow. I’d put him as doubtful.”

In the first of the many competitions for ice time that Julien will have at his disposal with the depth provided by both Mark Recchi and Montador, Matt Hunwick and Blake Wheeler were splitting time on the left wing of David Krejci’s line — and there’s a possibility that Wheeler could be headed for a Saturday scratch in favor of the hustling, hump-busting Hunwick.

“We’ve looked at different scenarios and we’ll continue to expierament with that going forward,” said Julien. “Today we have Hunny, who we can use at forward and at defense, and we made lines of four for the last couple of lines. I think you’ll see (Hunwick) practicing at both position and we’ll use him at both positions as well.

“Certain players are struggling a little bit and somehow you have to create that competition from within,” added Julien. “I’m just hoping our team can play more like we did in the third period (Thursday) night. The fact that we’re struggling to win games and that every game seems to such a big challenge has taken away a bit from that energy and enthusiasm. If we can bring what we had (in the third period) for 60 minutes, then you’re going to start getting positive results and the emotion and everything else will start to come back.”

Hunwick impressed with his speed and physical intensity during his short stint at forward over the last week. Wheeler finished with 10:35 of ice time in last night’s loss, his lowest total of time on ice since he hit the bench in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers back on Feb. 7.

Read More: Blake Wheeler, Claude Julien, Matt Hunwick, Steve Montador

Sounds of the game… Coyotes 2, Bruins 1

03.06.09 at 12:03 am ET
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Well, a home ice loss to the 14th-best team in the Western conference was not exactly what Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien had in mind when the Bruins dealt for Mark Recchi and Steve Montador on Wednesday at the NHL trade deadline.

The Bruins came out and laid a massive egg against the overhauled roster of the Phoenix Coyotes and fell 2-1 at TD Banknorth Garden.

There are a number of reasons this loss is troubling. First, it comes on the heels of a 4-2 loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Second it comes just a day after the team made two big deals for the stretch run. Third, the return of Milan Lucic to the lineup was expected to give the Bruins a little extra jump. That never materialized.

And finally, the New Jersey Devils are coming fast and this is another loss that brings the No. 2 seed a bit closer to being able to overtake the No. 1 Bruins, who are stuck on 93 points, just six ahead of Jersey.

It’s looking more and more like when the Bruins host the Devils on March 22 at the Garden, first place in the East could be on the line.

But before looking ahead, the Bruins must look back on what was a painful Thursday night on Causeway. And you could sense the frustration, starting with head coach Claude Julien.

Julien said his team, all of sudden, can’t finish on scoring chances.

Julien said when it comes to playing a full 60 minutes, talk is cheap.

Marc Savard said the Bruins were a little too cute on the ice with the puck.

Milan Lucic said the Bruins have to find a way to play 60 minutes.

Even as a newcomer, Steve Montador knows to expect boos when the team isn’t playing well.

Montador said the team is trying to look ahead and gain momentum.

Aaron Ward summed up the Bruins problems.

Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said his Coyotes put forth a good team effort.

Gretzky said his team had a good road effort in Boston.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Milan Lucic, Phoenix Coyotes, Steve Montador
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