|Slow start dooms Bruins in loss to Canadiens||12.16.10 at 9:46 pm ET|
It was a game that featured plenty of back and forth, but the Bruins didn’t join in until they had fallen behind early on and the Canadiens took a 4-3 victory Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
The Bruins started slow, allowing a penalty shot goal to Mike Cammalleri at 1:04 when Zdeno Chara hooked the winger on a breakaway that was the result of a Milan Lucic turnover, while Maxim Lapierre added his fifth of the season at 6:24.
The Bruins were able to come within a goal of the Habs in each period thanks to goals from Blake Wheeler, Marc Savard, and Milan Lucic, respectively, but goals in the first and second from Mac Pacioretty and Brian Gionta extended Montreal’s lead throughout the night.
With the loss, Tim Thomas fell to 14-3-3 on the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins didn’t give Tim Thomas much of a chance when they gave Mike Cammalleri a penalty shot just 64 seconds into the night, and they didn’t give themselves much of a chance when they fell behind by two goals less than seven minutes in. It was a tight and competitive game for most of the night, but the B’s dug themselves too big a hole in the game’s opening minutes.
- The four goals allowed by Thomas tied for the most he’s allowed this season. He also allowed four goals in the B’s 7-4 come-from-behind win over the Penguins on Nov. 10. It was also the third time this season he has faced 40 or more shots, as he faced 46 in the Pittsburgh game, 41 against the Flyers on Dec. 1 and 40 on Dec. 4 against the Maple Leafs.
- The Bruins are now winless in their last three games, and they will face the Capitals for the fourth and final time this season Saturday at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Steven Kampfer eclipsed the 20:00 mark for the second straight night. For a comparison, Matt Hunwick saw 20 minutes of ice time twice in his 22 games with the Bruins this year.
It wasn’t the prettiest night for Kampfer, as he nearly gave the puck away in front of his own net in the second and had a shot blocked in the third that led to a Tomas Plekanec breakaway. Neither play did any damage on the scoreboard.
- Marc Savard scored his first goal of the season on a play set up by Michael Ryder and Tyler Seguin. The line is finally forming some chemistry and Seguin had one of his better games of the season a night after sitting out as a healthy scratch
- Blake Wheeler picked up his first point in the last six games when he beat Carey Price from an odd angle in the first period. The 24-year-old now has seven goals on the season.
- David Krejci dropped the gloves for the first time in his NHL career (he’d done it once in both the QMJHL and in the AHL). He went against Mike Cammalleri, another unlikely fighting candidate, and cut the winger above the eye in a tussle that ended with Cammalleri taking Krejci down.
The fight was symbolic of the majority of the second period: the Bruins had more pep in their step and were grabbing at anything to give them momentum.
|Bruins trail Canadiens, 4-2, after two||12.16.10 at 8:50 pm ET|
The Bruins brought themselves within one with a goal from Marc Savard, but a bounce off Dennis Seidenberg has the Canadiens leading the B’s, 4-2, after two periods.
The Seguin – Savard – Ryder line had its coming out party Michael Ryder creed a 2-on-1 with Marc Savard and Tyler Seguin. The pass to the rookie seemed just out of reach, but he sent it back to Andrew Ference, who fired a shot from the point that Savard redirected past Carey Price for his first goal of the season.
How about David Krejci and Mike Cammalleri doing the twist? It was the first fight of the Czech center’s career, and despite losing was able leave the Montreal winger bloodied with a cut above the eye.
Later in the period, Max Pacioretty, who scored his first goal of the season in the opening period, send a puck in front of the net that bounced off Brian Gionta, then Seidenberg, then in. It made for Gionta’s team-leading 11th goal of the season.
|Bruins trail Canadiens, 3-1, after one||12.16.10 at 7:56 pm ET|
Two goals in the first seven minutes and an unnecessary penalty by the Bruins have the Canadiens leading Boston, 3-1, after a period.
A Milan Lucic turnover in the neutral zone led to a Mike Cammalleri breakaway, which in turn yielded a penalty shot when Zdeno Chara hooked the Montreal winger. Cammalleri beat Tim Thomas to give him his 11th goal just 1:04 into the game.
Maxim LaPierre made it 2-0 by beating Thomas in a scrum in front of the net — a play that began when Shawn Thornton had to take a faceoff in his own end — while Blake Wheeler broke a five-game pointless streak by notching his seventh goal of the season at 15:52.
The Bruins found themselves guilty of an unnecessary crime when Gregory Campbell found himself in the box for roughing following an incredible hit by P.K. Subban on Brad Marchand. The undersized B’s winger had a full head of steam from taking the puck into the offensive zone from his own end and was absolutely leveled on a beautiful open-ice hit from the Canadiens blueliner. Less than two seconds after Campbell got out of the box, Max Pacioretty scored his first goal of the season to make it a two-goal lead again.
The truth of the matter is that it could have been much worse for the Bruins. Thomas made a couple of huge saves on the likes of Brian Gionta and Benoit Pouliot.
|Tyler Seguin back in the lineup for the Bruins||12.16.10 at 7:08 pm ET|
Dry your tears, Bruins fans, Tyler Seguin is back in the lineup as the B’s take on the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday night. The second overall pick missed the last two games with flu-like symptoms and as a healthy scratch, respectively. They were the first two games he’s missed this season.
With Seguin in, Daniel Paille is back to being a healthy scratch. Seguin has five goals and five assists in 27 games this season.
|Bruins at Canadiens preview||12.16.10 at 4:57 pm ET|
The Bruins are in Montreal Thursday to take on the Canadiens for the second time this season. They were handed a 3-1 loss on Nov. 11 at the Garden in a game started by Tuukka Rask, but it appears Thursday will feature a dream matchup between two of the league’s best goalies.
Tim Thomas, who will man the pipes for the Bruins, is first in nearly every statistical category. He’s tops in save percentage (.954), goals against average (1.51) and is tied with Henrik Lundqvist with five shutouts. Carey Price, meanwhile, is tied with Jimmy Howard with 17 wins, the most in the NHL.
WHERE IT’S AT
- The Habs are 11-5-2 at home, most recently dropping a 5-3 decision to the to Flyers at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night.
- After the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Sabres in Buffalo on Wednesday, the team is now 9-4-1 on the road. The Bruins are 2-2-1 in their last five road contests.
- Zdeno Chara had the Bruins’ lone goal the last time the B’s played the Habs. He hasn’t scored in the 16 games since, though he came close when he rang a shot off the post Wednesday in Buffalo.
With his four goals, Chara is on pace to pick up 11 this season. He scored seven goals last season after picking up a career-high 19 in 2008-09.
- After a slow start to the season, Habs captain and former Boston College standout Brian Gionta is tied for the team lead with 10 goals this season. He had eight shots on goal and scored one the Canadiens’ three goals in their loss to the Flyers on Wednesday.
- The Bruins lead the NHL is goals against (1.9 per game) while the Canadiens (2.1) are second in the league. If you’re a fan of goaltending duels, this is about as good as it gets.
STORYLINES GOING IN
- The Habs have struggled of late, as they’ve lost three in a row. Only the Islanders’ at six games have a longer current losing streak.
- This is a matchup of the top two teams in the Northeast division, as the Canadiens have 38 points to the Bruins’ 36. With a victory, the B’s can tie the Habs for the division lead despite having played two less games.
- Tyler Seguin could be handed his second consecutive healthy scratch and third straight game missed if he spends Thursday night in the press box with Doug Jarvis. It’s worth noting that Steven Stamkos was also a healthy scratch as a rookie and responded pretty well.
Habs defenseman P.K. Subban also missed three games as a healthy scratch this season. Bruins fans might remember him for scoring the first goal of the Nov. 3 game (and his career) by notching a power play tally against Tuukka Rask.
|Bruins fall to Sabres||12.15.10 at 9:36 pm ET|
Drew Stafford provided all the offense for Buffalo as the Sabres beat the Bruins, 3-2, on Wednesday.
The Bruins relinquished the lead twice in the game, as they went up in first and third periods, respectively, on goals from David Krejci and Michael Ryder.
Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Brad Marchand, who make up the popular “Merlot line” tied one another for the team lead with four shots apiece on reigning Vezina winner Ryan Miller.
Tuukka Rask made 32 saves on 35 shots and fell to 2-7-1 on the season. The B’s were forced to finish the game shorthanded due to a Milan Lucic unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at 18:22, though they applied significant pressure, including a great opportunity from Patrice Bergeron with Miller down. A brawl broke out following the final horn after Miller took a shot at B’s captain Zdeno Chara in front of the net.
The game also marked the first time this season that second overall pick Tyler Seguin was a healthy scratch. Daniel Paille played in the rookie’s place.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins weren’t exactly masters at holding a lead in the game, as they allowed game-tying goals to Drew Stafford shortly after scoring their first two goals. There was just 48 seconds of play between Krejci’s goal and Stafford’s first of the night, while Stafford picked up his second 32 seconds following Ryder’s tally.
- Penalties hurt the Bruins, notably Lucic’s in the third period. Likely not thrilled with his boarding penalty in the penalty, Lucic probably said something to a ref in the third, which was why he was sent from the bench to the box.
- Brad Marchand had a goal waved off in the third period due to goaltender interference on Thornton’s part. Marchand sent a bouncing rebound into the net but Miller was caught up with Thornton. Stafford scored the game-winning goal on the ensuing power play.
Thornton also had a pass intercepted in the third that led to Stafford’s goal. Thornton was hot and cold on the night, and despite getting shots on goal and drawing a key penalty, certainly had a couple of low moments.
- The Bruins have generally been able to get up to kick off these stretches of four games in three nights. Wednesday marked the first time they lost the first game in such a stretch. They were 4-0-0 in those games entering Wednesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- David Krejci has been able to do damage against the Sabres this season. He entered the night with three points against them in two games and now has four points through three against Buffalo.
- The Bruins have faith in Steven Kampfer, and there isn’t much reason for them to not trust the 22-year-old. The latest example came in the first period when, after skating on the power play unit in Tuesday’s practice, he got significant time at the point on the man advantage.
The decision to give Kampfer time (4:19) on the power play paid off when he set up Ryder’s power play goal in the third. It was the rookie’s first career point.
- Shawn Thornton drew a penalty for the sixth time this season, which led to Ryder’s goal. Of course, his penalty in the third led to the Sabres’ game-winning goal, but Thornton, as well as his linemates, were among the most productive Bruins on Wednesday.
|Bruins remain tied with Sabres after two||12.15.10 at 8:37 pm ET|
The Bruins had their chance at regaining the lead, but they enter the third period tied, 1-1, with the Sabres.
Boston had a 5-on-3 when Tyler Myers sent the puck over the glass in his own zone with Jochen Hecht already in the box, but the B’s failed to convert. They are now 0-for-3 on the night.
Zdeno Chara had probably the Bruins’ best chance when his shot rang off Ryan Miller’s post early on in the period. Nathan Horton had a slap shot stopped by the reigning Vezina winner in the period’s final minutes.
Myers appeared to be setting up a Sabres goal when he sent a puck across the net in front of Tuukka Rask to Tyler Ennis. Though Ennis couldn’t handle the pass and allowed Rask time to get in position, Myers did draw a Patrice Bergeron hooking penalty on the play.
The Bruins outshot Buffalo, 12-9 in the period and are being outshot, 27-26, in the game.
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