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Bruins get lost in Minnesota’s Wild

02.19.12 at 6:29 pm ET
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Hockey Day in America was a day the Bruins might want to forget, as Boston lost its second consecutive game of a six-game road trip Sunday afternoon when it fell to the Wild, 2-0, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Boston was doomed by a pair of second-period Wild goals. Chad Rau gave the Wild their first goal of the game off a wrist shot in transition 10:15 in the middle frame. Minnesota native Matt Cullen doubled the Wild lead with a power-play goal a little over five minutes later.

The Bruins put together a better effort offensively than they did in Winnipeg, but a hot goaltender spoiled their afternoon. Niklas Backstrom put together an outstanding game for the Wild in net, making 48 saves on the afternoon to shut out the Bruins.

Tim Thomas stopped 27-of-29 Minnesota shots.

The Bruins are back in action on Wednesday in St. Louis.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins took just one penalty in the first 40 minutes of the game, but the Wild made them pay via Cullen’s power-play tally on a Chris Kelly tripping infraction. The goal was a bad sign for the Bruins, who entered the game ranked seventh in the NHL on the penalty kill (85.1 percent) while the Wild power play was ranked 25th in the NHL (15 percent).

– The Bruins top defensemen struggled again on Sunday afternoon. Zdeno Chara was unable to keep up with Rau on his goal in the second period, and Dennis Seidenberg was facing the net with his back to Cullen on Cullen’s power-play tally. Chara is now a minus-9 over his last six games. Ironically, the game matched Chara’s best performance in his last four games as he finished with a minus-1 on the afternoon.

– The loss marked the fourth time this month that the Bruins offense was shut out. Aside from the Wild, the Bruins were unable to score against the Hurricanes, Sabres and Rangers. The offensive struggles are especially painful when considering that the Rangers are the only one of those teams in the top 10 in their conference. Prior to February, the Bruins were shut out just twice on the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– This is the first time in his last five games that Thomas has allowed less than three goals, as Thomas allowed three goals in all four starts before Sunday’s game against the Wild. Thomas had to make some difficult saves in the game, as the Wild heavily pressured the Bruins for a five-minute stretch early in the third period. He stoned the Wild on multiple odd-man rushes and was beat only on a power play and on a semi-breakaway.

– The Bruins had many good offensive chances and put 49 shots on goal. Milan Lucic was robbed by Backstrom on a one-timer from the right side of the net, a shot that caused Lucic to slam his stick against the ice in frustration. David Krejci and Tyler Seguin both put six shots on net, but none of the Bruins could figure out a way to beat Backstrom.

– The fourth line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille was reunited after spending a game apart in Winnipeg. The threesome played well, combining for eight shots on net. Paille had a breakaway chance but shot directly into Backstrom’s chest.

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