|Bruins lose to Blues in shootout||11.06.10 at 9:57 pm ET|
Michael Ryder and Patrice Bergeron couldn’t score in the Bruins’ first shootout of the season, and the Blues walked away 2-1 winners on Saturday night.
It seemed as though Jaroslav Halak was set to surpass Tim Thomas for the league lead in shutouts throughout the night, but for the second straight night, a Bruins’ fourth liner threw a monkey wrench at the system.bGregory Campell took a pass from Michael Ryder at 13:00 of the third period to beat Halak and tie the game and give the Bruins new life. It was Campbell’s first goal as a member of the Bruins.
While no goals were scored in overtime, the Bruins suffered a potential big loss as David Krejci left early on with an injury (see below).
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins got hosed a bit with the instigator call. Andrew Ference danced with David Backes in defense of Mark Recchi and got called, but when B.J. Crombeen went after Stuart following a hard hit on Jay McClement, nothing outside of the traditional fighting major was charged to Crombeen.
- Nathan Horton played one of his best games in a Bruins uniform but was horribly snakebitten. Twice he had to watch from the bench as near-goals were reviewed, neither of which yielded the Bruins any good news on the scoreboard.
For Horton to beat Halak twice with nothing to show for it is certainly frustrated, but he seemed to play harder as the game went on and the bad news piled up. He seemed to get progressively physical but not to the point where he was taking himself out of the play or costing the Bruins (his roughing call at 8:39 of the third was matched by Erik Johnson). Quite a departure from his reputation as a guy who faded over the course of games in Florida.
- T.J. Oshie laid a perfectly legal but still scary hit on David Krejci along the boards in overtime, and the first-line center was down on the ice for a couple of minutes with trainer Don DelNegro before leaving the game. More on Krejci’s condition to come.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Campbell couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first goal as a member of the B’s, but it isn’t exactly surprising behavior from the fourth line. After all, Thornton did tie the game against the Capitals a night earlier.
- The penalty kill continues to be an impenetrable fortress. The B’s had to deal with four minor penalties throughout the game and sillenced the Blues’ power play throughout the night.
St. Louis entered the game 20th in the league in power play percentage, so while their unit may not be anything to write about, the consistency that continues to be displayed by the top penalty killing unit in the league has been a great sign on the young season.
- Horton had season-high and game-high eight shots on goal on Saturday. He said before the game that he knew he wasn’t shooting enough and intended to fire off more shots.
Horton entered the game sixth on the Bruins in shots on goal with just 19 through 10 games. Of his 148 career goals, 26 of them have been scored on his only shot of the game.
-Tyler Seguin scored the B’s lone shootout goal in beautiful fashion, deking Halak and beating him top shelf on the backhand. A scorer like Seguin was designed for shootouts, and it showed Saturday.
- Rask gave up some big rebounds early on, but he really found his rhythm. He had the save of of the game to keep it tied when he stopped David Backes late in the third low, laying out and getting a pad on Backes’ bid along the post.
|Bruins trail Blues entering the third period||11.06.10 at 8:47 pm ET|
Nathan Horton experienced deja vu in the second period, and the Bruins remain down, 1-0, entering the third period.
Horton had his second goal of the game waved off when he appeared to beat Jaroslav Halak top shelf. Much like with his non-goal in the first, the puck did not cross the line, much the dismay of the Bruins’ bench.
Andrew Ference defended Mark Recchi but the Bruins got the worst of it. Ference squared off with David Backes, who who had himself gone after Recchi, and Ference got an instigating minor tacked onto his five for fighting. With Shawn Thornton serving the penalty, the Bruins stopped the Blues on the man advantage. The Blues are 0-for-4 on the power play through two periods.
Interestingly enough, the Bruins didn’t benefit when the shoe was on the other foot. Mark Stuart laid out Jay McClement in the neutral zone and was immediately invited to dance with B.J. Crombeen. Crombeen did not receive an instigator penalty for the play.
Through two periods the shots are 25-18 in favor of the Blues.
|Bruins trail Blues, 1-0, after one period||11.06.10 at 7:47 pm ET|
The crowd cheered for what they thought was a Bruins goal, but by periods’ end it was only an ex-Bruin who had scored, and the B’s trail the Blues 1-0.
Vladimir Sobotka, traded to the Blues for David Warsofsky during the draft, picked up his first goal of the season late in the first period. Matt Hunwick was in a tough spot, trying to account for Sobotka and Alexander Steen. When poking the puck from Steen was just out of reach for Hunwick, Steen sent it to Sobotka, who had plenty of time to beat Rask.
Nathan Horton seemed to have his seventh of the year when he beat Halak low from the bottom of the circle at a tough angle, but the play was ruled no goal, The play was reviewed, with it being determined that the puck hit the post and never crossed the goal line.
The Bruins took a page out Friday’s book in the first period. After mustering just nine shots through the first two periods on Friday, the Bruins put only six shots on Blues netminder Jaroslav Halak. Rask stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced, and aside from a couple of juicy rebounds looked good.
|Tuukka Rask to start for Bruins vs. Blues||11.06.10 at 6:30 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien said late Saturday afternoon that Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes for the B’s when they take on the Blues. Rask took the loss on Friday night in relief of Tim Thomas. The 23-year-old played the third period and saw the B’s come back from a 3-0 deficit against the Capitals before John Carlson scored the game-winner for Washington.
In two starts this season, Rask has allowed seven goals and taken a pair of losses. He is 0-3-0 after falling to the Capitals on Friday.
Former Canadien Jaroslav Halak, who has put together an outstanding start to his first season in St. Louis (7-1-1, 1.53 goals against average, .940 save percentage) will be in net for the Blues. The Blues have an impressive 16 points to start the season, but have gone just 1-1-2 on the road.
Here are the anticipated lines for the B’s:
Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Caron – Bergeron- Recchi
Wheeler -Seguin- Ryder
Marchand – Campbell- Thornton
Chara – Ference
Hunwick – Seidenberg
Stuart – McQuaid
|Nathan Horton knows he needs to shoot more for Bruins||11.06.10 at 5:43 pm ET|
There isn’t much that Nathan Horton hasn’t brought to the Bruins since coming from the Panthers in June. Entering Saturday night’s bout with the Blues, he leads the team in both goals (6) and points (11), and even treated the Garden crowd to a bout with Dion Phaneuf.
One statistic of his that is rather surprising is shots on goal. Considering that he’s buried more shots than any of his teammates it’s rather peculiar that he is not in the top five on his team in shots on goal, as Horton has put just 19 shots on net in 10 games this season. The good, of course, is that he has scored on nearly one third of his shots this season, while the bad is that the low shot total stands out in games in which he can’t find his way onto the box score.
“I definitely need to take more shots,” Horton admitted upon being told that 26 of 148 career goals have come on his only shot of the game. “The only way to score goals is to have more shots. It’s definitely something that I need to get better at, and don’t pass up an opportunity to score.”
Horton said that he has been told as much throughout his career, and that Claude Julien is among those who has encouraged him to fire the puck as much as he can.
“I think that’s one thing that I want to get better at in my game, is when the opportunity is there, to get a good opportunity to score,” Horton said. “When you’re doing too much, too fancy, you miss an opportunity to score.”
|Bruins shock Capitals but fall in DC||11.05.10 at 9:36 pm ET|
The Bruins woke up big time in the third period in Washington and rallied to nearly steal a point or two in a game in which they were left for dead on Friday night. Ultimately, it was Natick-born John Carlson who did the Bruins in as the Capitals escaped the game with a 5-3 victory.
The Bruins were offensively nonexistent through the first two periods, putting just nine shots on Washington netminder Michal Neuvirth, all of which the 22-year-old stooped. The Capitals, on the other hand, were able to to put three past Tim Thomas, who for the first time this season was pulled from the game.
With the Bruins down, 3-0, entering the third, the team rallied with Tuukka Rask in net and had goals from Michael Ryder, Nathan Horton, and Shawn Thornton to tie the game and chase Neuvirth, who ended the night with just 11 saves on 14 shots. Carlson negated the sting of the Bruins’ rally when he beat Tuukka Rask from the point at 13:25 of the third. Alexander Ovechkin added an empty netter with 51.5 seconds remaining. Braden Holtby, who made his NHL debut in replacing Neuvirth, picked up the win.
The Bruins will take on the Blues Saturday night at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Similar to the case of Tuukka Rask in the B’s two losses entering the game, the Bruins essentially burned a good performance from Tim Thomas. The team came out flat, and after Thomas was bombarded with 25 shots through two periods and allowed a season-high three goals, he was relegated to the bench for the third period.
The good that came of the goaltending switch, of course, was that it both gave Rask the playing time he simply hasn’t been able to find in the midst of Thomas’ outstanding streak to begin the season, and he nearly was able to see the return on his solid play that he still has not been treated to all season. Even so, Rask is now 0-3-0 on the season while Thomas remains unbeaten.
- Wednesday night, shorthanded goals were a happy topic for the Bruins, but the same can’t be said for Friday. After scoring two shorthanded goals against the Sabres in a Bruins victory, the B’s allowed Alexander Semin to beat Thomas late in the second with Boston on the man advantage. The goal proved to be major given the B’s unprecedented comeback in the following period.
- The Bruins fell victim to some rough penalty calls in the first period. First, Tyler Seguin was handed a boarding minor for what appeared to be a clean hit on Dave Steckel. Brad Marchand soon followed Seguin into the box thanks to a tripping call that raised some eyebrows. The Bruins were able to kill off the 5-on-3, but spending unnecessary time shorthanded in the first period sure is an easy way to start off a night of lackluster offensive productive.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Michael Ryder had his second goal in as many games, and though it wasn’t prettiest, somehow getting it past Neuvirth in the midst of a scrum may have been what the B’s needed to get something going.
The Ryder goal did just that, sparking life that the B’s hadn’t shown in front of Thomas the entire game, and they rode the momentum to make it a one-goal game minutes later.
- Nathan Horton picked up his sixth goal of the season with a slapshot from right outside the top of the circle to bring the Bruins within one with more than 15 minutes to play in the third.
Horton once again had a low shot total (two), but it seems that such is simply the norm for Horton. He won’t take many shots, but it’s a safe bet that a high percentage of them will find their way to the back of the net.
- Shawn Thornton was beyond instrumental in the team’s comeback. First, he was able to draw a penalty at a key point in the third when he induced an interference minor on John Erskine. It was on the ensuing power play the Horton was able to make it a one-goal game.
Thornton later made it a tie game when he beat Michal Neuvirth, who seemed far more concerned with Tyler Seguin than the fourth-line winger. With two goals, Thornton has now doubled his total from last season.
|Bruins trail Capitals, 3-0, after two periods||11.05.10 at 8:38 pm ET|
The Bruins continued their offensive struggles from the first period and the Capitals found their way to Tim Thomas, and the B’s trail Washington, 3-0, after two periods.
Tyler Sloan picked up his first goal of the season through traffic less then a minute in. At 7:35, defenseman Mike Green, who did not play in either of the first two contests between the two teams, made up for lost time by adding to the lead and extending his point streak to four games. He was able to beat Thomas after wisely holding the puck as a sliding Gregory Campbell went through the lane.
There were two penalties in the period, the first of which was slashing call on Alexander Ovechkin at 16:52. The Capitals got the last laugh, as a 3-on-1 shorthanded bid resulted in Alexander Semin’s eighth goal of the season. Mark Stuart also went off at 19:27 for a trip.
Despite the un-Thomas-like numbers from the period, Thomas still made timely saves, notable stopping Semin by the skin of his teeth more than halfway through the period.
Through two periods, the Bruins have just nine shots on Michal Neuvirth.
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