|Five things the Bruins must do to win Game 5 vs. Canadiens||04.22.11 at 10:55 pm ET|
The Bruins are coming off one of the more exciting victories they have had in recent memory, as they came back three times to beat the Habs in overtime on a Michael Ryder goal less than two minutes into overtime in Game 4. With the B’s having tied the series at two games apiece, they can prove that there is such thing as a home ice advantage by beating the Habs in Game 5 Saturday night. Here’s what they’ll need to do in order to grab the series lead Saturday at TD Garden.
1. Believe in momentum
Claude Julien thinks that momentum is overrated, but if the B’s can keep Game 4 fresh in their minds, they should be able to go with a full head of steam. Coming from behind the way the Bruins did at the Bell Centre is no easy task, and it was a rather embarrassing game for the Habs to lose given that they blew three leads in their own building. The B’s confidence combined with whatever the slipping Canadiens are feeling is probably a good thing for Boston.
2. Find Milan Lucic
The Bruins are still waiting for their leading goal-scorer from the regular season to pick up his first postseason point. So far, he’s been kept off the scoring sheet and has compiled a minus-2 rating. An indication that he probably isn’t working his way out of it is that he has had one or zero shots on goal in three of the four games thus far in the series. He is definitely off for some reason, but if he can get more involved in the play and show signs of life, the Boston’s top line may actually resemble a top line.
3. Pepper Carey Price early
The Bruins have had nine shots on goal or less in the first period of three of the series’ first four games. That’s no way of finding out whether they can get to Price, and it has shown. Aside from the two pucks they were able to get past Price on nine shots in the first period of Game 3, the Bruins haven’t scored on Price until the second period. Here’s a breakdown of the B’s shots on goal and goals per period in this series:
Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins with 16 shots on goal this series.
4. Remember March 24
This series has been all about the road team thus far. The got the two goals in both Games 1 and 2 and sat back with the lead en route to big road victories. The Bruins scored a pair of first-period goals Monday and mounted a terrific comeback victory on Thursday. For whatever reason, the home team just can’t seem to win.
If the Bruins can think back to their March 24 win, they can change that trend. Johnny Boychuk scored 1:01 into the game, and the Canadiens seemed to give up at TD Garden from there, with the B’s grabbing a lopsided 7-0 win. The game was also Tim Thomas‘ lone shutout vs. the Habs, and though he’s looked fantastic at stretches during games this postseason, he has yet to dominate for 60 minutes.
5. Limit the turnovers
When the Canadiens have scored this series, it has often been because of uncharacteristic turnovers by the Bruins. It started when Tomas Kaberle put too much zip on a reverse in Game 1, and it has continued throughout the series. The B’s still have yet to play the type of game they need to, though the last half of Thursday night’s contest displayed guts like no other.
MONTREAL — To say that Michael Ryder has been the whipping boy of Bruins fans is an understatement. The $4 million man was far from that for too long after the Bruins' Feb. 9 win over the Canadiens. The free-agent-to-be totaled just two goals over his final 25 games, and was even a healthy scratch three times.
Since the playoffs began, fans and some media members have lobbied for Ryder to watch them from the press box in order to make room for Tyler Seguin in the lineup.
On Thursday, Ryder showed that Claude Julien's decision to stick with him was the right one, ending his lengthy disappearing act with a pair of goals in Game 5 against the Canadiens, including the game-winner in overtime. Julien has coached Ryder everywhere from juniors to the AHL to Montreal to Boston, so it was only fitting that Ryder prove Julien right at Bell Centre.
'I've been with him for a while,' Ryder said of Julien. 'Just for him to give me the ice time and give me the confidence, for me, it just gives me that extra boost to show people that I can still play and still got it.'
Ryder's big night began when he tied the game at one in the second period, beating Habs netminder Carey Price with a wrist shot after taking a pass from Tomas Kaberle. From there, the weight was finally off the struggling winger's shoulders.
'You always get a little frustrated when you don't score and you don't get that many opportunities, but it was definitely a confidence boost,' Ryder said. 'Hopefully now our line keeps generating stuff, helping to do whatever we can to help this team.'
He would go on to assist Chris Kelly's game-tying goal at 13:42 of the third period, which marked the third time in the game that the B's came back to tie it up. They actually never led in the game until Ryder beat Price for the game-winner just 119 seconds into overtime.
'I'm happy for Rydes,' Shawn Thornton said of the winger. 'A couple of guys talked about it before, he usually plays pretty well in this building,' Shawn Thornton said of the former Canadien. 'I'm happy his hard work paid off. Maybe some people in Boston will lay off him now. He's a good guy.'
|Michael Ryder lifts Bruins past Canadiens in Game 4 thriller||04.21.11 at 10:04 pm ET|
MONTREAL — The Bruins grabbed a gutsy win Thursday, sinking the Canadiens, 5-4, in overtime and tying the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at two games apiece. Michael Ryder, who had three points on the night, scored the game-winner 1:59 into OT.
The Habs jumped out to a 1-0 lead 8:13 into the first period on a shot from Brent Sopel. With just over eight minutes of scoreless play, Game 4 had the most scoreless time of any so far in the series. Ryder would tie the game in the second period, though goals from Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn made it a 3-1 game. The B's were able to battle back in that same period, getting goals from Andrew Ference and Patrice Bergeron to tie it at three at the end of two.
With Patrice Bergeron in the penalty box for hooking, Habs rookie defenseman P.K Subban scored to make it 4-3 early in the third. Once again, the Habs' lead would not stick, as the Bruins would tie it on a Chris Kelly goal at 13:42 of the third, setting the stage for Ryder's overtime heroics.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
'¢Michael Ryder scoring after taking a pass from Tomas Kaberle? Ryder later setting up a critical goal? That's something the Bruins had been waiting to see. While it's been a while since either of those two have proven capable of playing to their potential (in Kaberle's case, the argument could be made that he hasn't proven it since joining the B's) the thought of some of their 'money' players stepping up their play is something the B's would welcome.
'¢It was almost unbelievable the two teams were tied after Ryder's goal, as the B's were being handled by the Habs. Being able to tie it once may have given them a dose of resiliency, as they were able to battle through and later make up a two-goal deficit. Kelly's goal gave tied it once again, proving that the team is capable of playing well from behind, an area that plagued them in Games 1 and 2.
'¢The Brad Marchand – Bergeron – Mark Recchi line continues to be the lone Boston trio with a consistent pulse. Bergeron has two goals in four games, while a lucky bounce helped give Marchand an assist on the Ference goal.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
'¢Going down a man just 32 seconds into the third period of a tied playoff game isn't what a team is looking for, and when Subban scored on the power play with Bergeron in the box on a questionable hooking call. It was the Bruins' only penalty of the game, but it was very costly.
'¢Terrible sportsmanship on the part of Ference after his goal. Cameras caught him giving the middle finger to Habs fans after beating Price to make it 3-2. For a series with as much chirping and after-the-whistle activity, Ference would have aplenty opportunity to do that stuff to the guys on the ice. Ference is one of the better people in the game, so there's no doubt he would like to have those few seconds back.
'¢Milan Lucic needs to make a difference in this series, and it turns out his lack of presence has made a big difference. The underperforming winger was the B's best scorer in the postseason, and his quiet playoffs continued Thursday. He did have a nice pass to set up David Krejci all alone in front of Price, but the center wasn't able to finish.
|Matt Bartkowski joins Bruins for first postseason practice||04.12.11 at 11:18 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins began their first practice of the postseason Tuesday in preparation of their first-round matchup with the Canadiens. A couple of reinforcements are in town in the form of Anton Khudobin and Matt Bartkowski. Bartkowski is here as a depth guy in place of Steven Kampfer, who is out at least two weeks with a knee injury suffered over the weekend while playing for Providence. Kampfer is with the Bruins at Ristuccia, but will do off-ice work and will work with the medical staff.
The color-coded lines are no different than one would expect. They are as follows:
The B’s also announced their Black Aces. In addition to Bartkowski, Khudobin and the injured Kampfer, they are Michael Hutchinson, Jamie Arniel, Jordan Caron, Zach Hamill, Lane MacDermid, Trent Whitfield and Yury Alexandrov.
|Welcome back, Michael Ryder. The Bruins might be able to use you in the playoffs||04.02.11 at 8:37 pm ET|
By his own admission, the last three weeks haven’t exactly been a joyride for Michael Ryder.
He is a player talented enough to serve the same capacity as Miroslav Satan did in last year’s playoffs. He is a veteran sniper who has playoff experience finishing his chances.
But, in the second half of this season, it’s been a different story. His penalty shot score to win Saturday’s game against Atlanta and clinch the Northeast title for the Bruins was his 18th goal but first since Feb. 27, a span of 12 games.
“Yeah, I've struggled to find goals lately,” Ryder said. “Last game goal post, then [Saturday] crossbar. Just got to try and stay with it. If I keep just working hard and shooting the puck, it'll go in for me.”
In that stretch, he has been benched twice by coach Claude Julien, once last Saturday against the Rangers and once on March 10 against the Islanders.
“You want to be in the lineup, nobody wants to be out,” Ryder said. “It's frustrating and I've been there before, so I kind of know what it takes to get back in. It's just working hard and finding your game, and not letting the little things get to you. Just make sure when you get back in that you take advantage of the chances that you get.”
Sometimes you get a break and Ryder made his own break with just under eight minutes left when he forced a neutral zone turnover by the Thrashers and broke in alone. He was hooked from behind by Johnny Oduya and was awarded a penalty shot.
I was just trying to skate and get away from the guy behind me. I don't really know what happened. Just fell down and they called a penalty shot. I was just trying to catch my breath, that's it.
Thursday night, during the shootout, Ryder went up top and missed the net during Boston’s loss. This time, he made sure to get it on net. And when he went up top on Ondrej Pavelec, above his right shoulder, the crowd exploded. Ryder had finally snapped his goalless streak at 12 games.
“I was just excited to get the goal,” Ryder said. “I was tired on the penalty shot, so I didn't know what I was going to do. Like I said, that was a big win for us. I knew if we got the lead and I scored there, it would get the team going and hopefully we could pull out the win. Last game I missed the net, [Saturday] I hit it. It was a big goal for us, we wanted to make sure we got the win, and I think we've played better games but as long as we get the two points that doesn't mean anything.”
By benching him twice and putting him on the third and fourth lines, Julien wanted to give him time to think about what it will take to rediscover that touch in time for a Stanley Cup run in two weeks.
“I think it's just a matter of it was nice to see him score that goal,” Julien said. “Obviously it turned out to be a big goal for us, but these are steps in the right direction. I think, you know, when he starts feeling confident about doing those things and doing them without over-thinking, he's going to be a good player again.”
|Bruins Ryde penalty shot goal to division title||at 3:27 pm ET|
Michael Ryder ended his scoring slump and gave the Bruins a 3-2 win over the Thrashers that clinched the Northeast Division Saturday at TD Garden.
Ryder, who entered the contest having gone 12 games without a goal, beat Ondrej Pavelec on a penalty shot at 12:31 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie. It was Ryder’s second game back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two consecutive games due to lack of production. Ryder’s penalty shot goal was the Bruins’ first since Marco Sturm did it back in 2007, and it was their first at home since Ray Bourque in 1994.
Tuukka Rask, who allowed a shaky power-play goal in the first period and was caught out of position on the second goal, improved his record to 11-13-2 with the win.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Brad Marchand, who received the 7th Player award prior to the game, continued his recent hot streak with a first-period assist on Recchi’s goal. The helper gave him five points (2 G, 3 A) over his last four games. Marchand’s linemate, Patrice Bergeron, has assists in his last three games.
- Good to see Paille making the most of his time in the lineup while the opportunity is there. He did all the work for his shorthanded tally, knocking down a puck from Zach Bogosian and circling back to beat Pavelec.
- A stick-tap to Michael Berger from Mut & Merloni, who drove the WEEI.com stat truck Saturday, pointing out that Paille’s shorthanded goal was the 11th of the season for the Bruins, which put them in a tie with the Rangers for fourth in the NHL. The Islanders have a league-best 14, while the Flyers and Penguins each have 12.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Dustin Byfuglien continues to be a problem for the Bruins. In scoring his first-period tally to tie the game at one, the Thrashers defenseman picked up his third goal against the Bruins this season in four games.
- If Nathan Horton’s performance on Saturday took place in mid-to-late December, fans would throw fits. He’ll get a break for his zero-shot game Saturday due to the fact that he had five points over his previous five games.
- Shawn Thornton was held out of the lineup once again due to the stitches he received Tuesday night. The game was a rather sleepy affair on both sides, and a guy like Thornton is the type you want in your lineup to ramp up the energy.
|Shawn Thornton out for Bruins, Michael Ryder and Steven Kampfer make return to lineup||03.31.11 at 12:11 pm ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, who recieved around 40 stitches for a gash above his right eye after being cut by a skate in Tuesday’s game, is not medically cleared to return to the lineup and will not play Thursday against the Maple Leafs. Coach Claude Julien said the forward is considered day-to-day. In Thornton’s place, Michael Ryder will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the last two games.
Thornton participated in the morning skate wearing a helmet with a shield. Tuesday will be the first game Thornton has missed all season, leaving Zdeno Chara, Mark Recchi and Dennis Seidenberg as the only Bruins to play in each game this season.
Thornton’s absence isn’t the only lineup change for the B’s Thursday. Rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer, who has not played since March 17 in Nashville, will play in place of Johnny Boychuk as part of Julien’s plan to keep everybody fresh for the playoffs. Julien suggested that Shane Hnidy, who has not played an NHL game this season, could play Saturday
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