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Canucks cut lead 02.06.10 at 2:43 pm ET
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Boston kept the Canucks defensive in the second period by getting on the power play early. Vancouver forward Mason Raymond went to the box for a delay-of-game call at 1:58 and was joined by Henrik Sedin for a slash at 3:50. The Bruins had opportunities in front of Roberto Luongo but could not bury the puck that would give them a 3-0 advantage.

The Bruins would pay for it later in the period when Raymond was fed off the back wall by Ryan Kesler. Raymond handled the puck and took two steps left before putting it passed Tuukka Rask at 8:51.

Boston took two penalties in the period but were able to kill them both. The first was a trip against Michel Ryder at 5:36 and the second interference against Zdeno Chara at 10:12. The Bruins had a couple more opportunities on the power play when Canucks defenseman Shane O’Brien interfered with Bruins forward Mark Recchi (really, he checked him into the back of the net behind Luongo) but the Canucks were able to earn the kill.

Bruins still lead, 2-1 at the end of two.

Shots:

Bruins — 25

Canucks — 12

Read More: Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler, Zdeno Chara,
Power play puts Bruins ahead 02.06.10 at 1:51 pm ET
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The Canucks have come to visit Boston on the fourth of a NHL record 14 game road trip as they are being displaced because of the Olympics which start after next week. For their part, the Bruins have not played the welcoming hosts.

The Bruins got on the power play early when Canucks forward Tanner Glass took a boarding penalty 38-seconds into the game. Boston wasted no time in turning it into an one goal lead when Marc Savard cycled the puck to Marco Sturm in the corner who sent it across the crease Zdeno Chara. Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo did not shift back in time and Chara, who made a perfect pinch from the point, slammed it home at 1:56. Activating Chara from the point was a play that worked often last season but has been missing from the Bruins game this year.

A few minutes later Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton got to fisticuffs with Darcy Hordichuk immediately after a faceoff at 4:27. Thornton took a couple punches and held Hordichuk’s sweater and eventually wrestled him to the ground. Thornton was a healthy scratch last game and the Bruins have not had many fights in the nine-game losing streak so Thornton getting back to his bruising ways was a welcome sight to the fans at TD Garden.

A scary moment occurred at 8:22 when Canucks forward Mikael Samuelsson let go of a wild slap shot from the left point that struck Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk in the temple right in front of the goal. Boychuk went down in a heap and bled in the crease. He was treated on the ice for several minutes and helped off the ice. His return is doubtful.

The Bruins struck again on the power play at 14:20 off an interference call to Rick Rypien. Savard crept along the blue line and let a wrist shot at Luongo that Michael Ryder redirected with his stick just enough to find the back of the net. It is the 10th time this year that the Bruins have scored multiple goals on the power play.

2-0 Boston heading into the second period.

Read More: Michael Ryder, Zdeno Chara,
Bruins try to keep focus 02.05.10 at 1:43 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — After Thursday’s disappointing loss to the Canadiens, the Bruins talked a lot of about getting good traffic, screens and rebounds in front of the net. It is the equivalent of “small ball,” but a quintessential way to score in the NHL — get the dirty goals when the goaltender is obstructed or out of position. Mark Recchi has made a good living doing it for years. This is how most of the league scores and how the Bruins are forced to play without a top-notch goal scorer who creates his own offense like Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or Ilya Kovalchuk.

Concerning Kovalchuk, if the Bruins players are crestfallen that he is now a member of the New Jersey Devils after Thursday’s trade, they are hiding it well.

“He is a great player and it would have been a nice addition but you are not going to lose sleep over it,” center Marc Savard said. “It would have been nice to get him but that is over with so you move on.”

Forward Milan Lucic did not want any part of the conversation.

“Obviously he could not get a deal done in Atlanta, he’s been a part of them for a long time. Good on New Jersey, looks like they got another lead scorer on their team and we will see what happens,” Lucic said. When asked if the players are looking for the front office to make a move, Lucic was noncommittal. “That is the least of my worries, it is nothing that I can control. Management does what they do and whatever they do, as a player, we have to be happy with their decision.”

Away from what has been happening in the rest of the NHL, the Bruins are focused entirely on themselves. Most of the work at Ristuccia Arena was focused on creating opportunities. The Bruins brought out shooting pads to elevate the puck off the ice and contain rebounds in screen drills. There was not a lot of contact but rather there will be some bruises where players took pucks off the body while standing in front of the goaltender as defensemen whipped shots from the blue line. Overall it was a day that the Bruins wanted to maintain a good work ethic and demeanor heading into Saturday’s matinee against Vancouver.

“It is kind of the way it has been going,” Savard said. ” We worked on the power play this morning, get some chop work and gets some shots.”

In terms of the goal drought in Boston, Savard said that he has never been a part of anything like it.

“For the amount of shots we put up and the scoring opportunities, I am not sure how many but I am sure it has been a lot over the past few games,” Savard said.

He was informed by a reporter that the Bruins have had 45 scoring opportunities in the last two games, good for one goal every 15 chances. “So, I don’t know what to say.”

Defenseman Andrew Ference skated with the team again and said that he “is making steps” towards a return from groin injury. He sounded doubtful that he would return next week but said that he was definite for after the Olympic break.

“Just keep taking steps. Stops and starts. Just another baby step,” Ference said. “I don’t know if it is going to get well enough before the break. Everyday I try to push it and see how it feels the next morning. You can only push it so fast so, honestly, I do not know. It has been going well so far so hopefully something before the break but I won’t know until I get to that day where I am taking full contact and full speed starts and stops.”

Forward Marco Sturm did not skate with the team. Coach Claude Julien said that he was taking a “maintenance day.”

Here is the practice participation by sweater color:

White — Miroslav Satan, Marc Savard, Milan Lucic.

Grey — Michael Ryder, David Krejci, Blake Wheeler.

Yellow — Daniel Paille, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi.

Red — Shawn Thornton, Steve Begin, Vladimir Sobotka, Byron Bitz.

Defense — Zdeno Chara, Derek Morris, Dennis Wideman, Andrew Ference, Matt Hunwick, Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid.

Goaltenders — Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask.

Read More: Andrew Ference, ilya kovalchuk, Marc Savard, Marco Sturm
Bruins rain shots, do not get wet 02.04.10 at 11:27 pm ET
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It is raining shots in Boston.

This is not a weekend bender at The Fours but rather a deluge from the Boston Bruins of pucks on opposing goaltenders. Yet, like a large man with a penchant for good whiskey, the shots are having little effect.

In Thursday’s loss to the Canadiens the Bruins dumped 47 shots on Jaroslav Halak and came away with two goals in the 3-2 shootout loss. Add to that the 42 shots Boston had against Washington on Tuesday and the totals comes to 89 shots in two games with only three goals to show for it. The stat is hard to believe, especially if you are the Bruins who know they have significantly outplayed their opponents in the last two contests.

‘€œWell, that is what happened,’€ Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. ‘€œIs it hard to believe? We have to stay positive and do the same thing, you know?” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Claude Julien, Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron, Steve Begin
Canadiens come back to down Bruins 02.04.10 at 9:45 pm ET
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Summary — The Bruins had a solid overall defensive game against Montreal on Thursday but relinquished a two goal lead to the Canadiens in the second period en route to a shootout loss in front of a sold out crowd at TD Garden. Brian Gionta scored the game-winner in the shootout to give Canadiens the two points. Tuukka Rask took the loss for the Bruins with 23 saves and Jaroslav Halak was decent in stopping a barrage of 45 Boston shots in the win. The nine-game losing streak is the longest since the Bruins lost 11 straight from Dec. 8, 1924 to Feb. 17 1925.

Former Bruin Glen Metropolit got the Habs on the board at 17:06 when he crashed the net off his own shot and stuffed the puck past Rask. 39-seconds later Roman Hamrlik beat Rask again with a shot from the left point to erase the Boston advantage and send the game into the third tied at two.

The Bruins got on the board in the first period at 15:48 when Derek Morris set up a nice lead pass for Dennis Wideman to wind up and slap a shot from the point on Halak. Mark Recchi, as he has been known to do in his career, was camped in front of the net and deflected the puck just enough to get it into the net and give Boston a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.

Blake Wheeler scored his 13th goal of the year in the second period when he put a rebound off a David Krejci shot of Halak’s shoulder and in at 5:25. Krejci’s assist gives him a goal and two assists in the last three games.

Through three periods and overtime the Bruins outshot the Canadiens 47 to 25.

Three Stars

Jaroslav Halak – The Canadien’s goaltender stood up to the barrage and stared it down to the tune of 45 saves.

Mark Recchi — The Bruins veteran forward does what he has done so many times in his career — camp in front of the net and deflect pucks past goaltenders. Recchi scored his 11th of the season in the first period for the first goal of the game.

Scott Gomez — The Canadiens center was credited with assists on Montreal’s two goals late in the second period to give him 30 helpers on the season.

Turning Point

Boston defenseman Matt Hunwick took an interference penalty at 16:08 in the second period that helped Montreal back into the game. The Canadiens scored their first goal 58-seconds later and would tie it less than a minute later to erase the Bruins two goal advantage and sully what had been a solid defensive effort to that point. It was the Bruins first penalty of the game and their tied-second penalty kill could not keep Montreal off the board.

Key Play

Gionta went to the backhand against Rask in the third round of the shootout to nail down the victory for the Canadiens. Gionta was the only player to score in the shootout as Tomas Plekanec and Gomez were stuffed by Rask while Krejci, Michael Ryder and Marc Savard missed for the Bruins.

Read More: Blake Wheeler, Glen Metropolit, Jaroslav Halak, Mark Recchi
Habs storm back late in second 02.04.10 at 8:35 pm ET
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The Bruins were putting together a good defensive effort through two periods against the Canadiens. They were clamping down and forcing odd shots out of Montreal and not letting any Habs get comfortable in front of the net. It took the Canadiens 5:06 to get their first shot of the second period and the scoring opportunities had been few and far between.

Boston lit the red light again at 5:25 when Jaroslav Halak deflected a rebound off the stick of David Krejci that Blake Wheeler corralled and spit back at the Habs’ goaltender, off his shoulder and into the net for the 2-0 advantage. It is only the second time in the last six games that Boston has scored two goals, let alone two through the first two periods.

The only penalty of the period was to Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick who took at a hooking call at 16:08. It led directly to the Canadiens first goal of the game as former Bruin Glen Metropolit crashed the net after his own shot from the point as the puck bounced around in front of Tuukka Rask and crashed the rebound home at 17:06. Montreal followed up immediately with an even strength goal from Roman Hamrlik at 17:45 to erase the Bruins lead and send the game to the third period tied at two.

Shots in the second period (total):

Bruins – 17 (32)

Canadiens – 9 (14)

Read More: Blake Wheeler, Glen Metropolit, Roman Hamrlik,
Recchi strikes for first period lead 02.04.10 at 7:45 pm ET
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Neither the Bruins nor the Canadiens looked sharp in the early minutes of the first period at TD Garden. Boston had a couple power play opportunities in period when Brian Gionta went to the box at the :46 mark for hooking and then again when Jaroslav Spacek took an interference call at 9:13. The Bruins tied-17th ranked power play unit could not muster much against Habs goaltender Jaroslav Halak or the Montreal defense.

Boston looked a little tight in the early going and had trouble in making crisp passes out of its defensive zone. The Canadiens were up to the challenge though as they looked equally inept at sustaining offensive pressure and only managed to put five shots on Tuukka Rask.

As the period wore on, Boston was able to start asserting itself more and the defense clamped down and the offense started to put pucks on Halak.

Montreal continued to rack up penalty minutes and it eventually cost it a goal at 15:48 when Andre Markov went to the box for a delay of game. The Bruins set up their power play offense and Derek Morris was able to move the defense by sliding down the right wing before cycling back up to Dennis Wideman at the point. Wideman had plenty of time and space and released a slap shot towards the goal that deflected of Mark Recchi past Halak for the 1-0 lead.

First period shots:

Boston  - 15

Montreal – 5

Read More: Dennis Wideman, Jaroslav Halak, Mark Recchi, Tuukka Rask
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