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Steven Kampfer the hero as Bruins win wild one over Flyers 01.13.11 at 9:37 pm ET
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Steven Kampfer saw to it that the Bruins had the last laugh in a back-and-forth affair, scoring with just 1:34 remaining in regulation to give the B’s a 7-5 win over the Flyers at TD Garden.

The rookie scored his fourth goal of his career in dramatic fashion, capping a game that featured five lead changes between the two teams. Gregoy Campbell added an exclamation point with an empty net goal with 6.8 seconds left.

The Bruins came up with three third-period goals, getting timely tallies from Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder, and Brad Marchand. Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins. It was Chara’s second goal in three games, while Bergeron has now scored six over his last four.

Tim Thomas earned the victory, allowing five five goals on 35 shots.

The Bruins will face the Penguins in a matinee on Saturday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins scored goals in the first 45 seconds of both the seconds. Bergeron redirected a Steven Kampfer shot past Boucher at 0:45 of the second, while Recchi tied it up just 38 seconds into the third.

Recchi got a very lucky bounce on his goal. With Boucher going to behind the net to play a puck that had been dumped in the zone, the puck bounced right off the end boards and in front of the net, where Recchi easily sent it into an empty goal.

- It was good to see Shawn Thornton challenge Jody Shelley in the first period. Thursday marked Shelley’s first game at the Garden since his shove from behind on Adam McQuaid that got him suspended for two games. The B’s didn’t have their chance to get back at Shelley after the play on Dec. 11, as he was tossed, but Thornton sent a good message with fisticuffs on Thursday.

- This can be a game that gives Marc Savard some confidence that he desperately needs. He was the star of the team’s 5-on-3 that led to Chara’s goal in the first period. He nearly scored himself in front of the net on the two-man advantage, but the puck was blocked by Recchi’s skate.

- Marchand has had success on the Merlot Line and second line this season, and it seems he can handle any sort of mix-and-match situation he’s thrown in. Greogory Campbell and Blake Wheeler contributed to the undersized winger’s ninth goal of the season.

- Nathan Horton is crawling back to being the asset he’s capable of being. He still has just one goal in his last 13 games, but he had three shots on Boucher through the first two periods and got a helper on Ryder’s tally. It still is Horton’s second game back from missing two contests with an undisclosed injury, but he’s back to playing strong games and just needs to see more production.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins squandered two leads in the game, one of which came in the third period. All in all there were five lead changes on the night, with neither team leading by more than one goal until Campbell’s empty netter.

- The five goals that Thomas allowed are the most he’s given up this season. The Vezina wasn’t at is top form, but he had to deal with lots of odd man rushes given up by the B’s.

The good news for Thomas was that he picked up his third assist of the season on Recchi’s goal. He now has three helpers on the season.

- Andrew Ference missed the third period, though it’s unclear what kept him from playing. We smell an undisclosed injury.

- Chara had a bad turnover in the second period that led to the Flyers tying it at two in the second. With the B’s up, 2-1, following a Bergeron’s goal, the captain took a shot from the point that was blocked and sent up to Nikolay Zherdev, who beat Thomas on a breakaway.

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Steven Kampfer scores, Bruins and Wild tied after two 01.06.11 at 8:38 pm ET
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Bad refereeing, a sprawling save, and a pair of goals made it an interesting second period, and after two, the Bruins and Wild are tied at one.

Shawn Thornton was called for a phantom hook on Brent Burns in front of the Wild net. Thornton actually made a nice play in getting possession of the puck after Burns lost an edge. Thornton’s stick appeared to lightly tap off one of Burns’ skates prior to him losing an edge, but the penalty was called nonetheless, with a clearly irate Thornton screaming in the penalty box. Four second into the penalty, Martin Havlat beat Tuukka Rask from low in the circle for his ninth goal of the season.

Later in the period, Patrice Bergeron fired a shot on net from the dot, and with Tyler Seguin in the slot awaiting the rebound, Jose Theodore seemed too concerned with one rookie to turn his attention to the other in time. Steven Kampfer raced in to grab the rebound and fire it in for his third goal in the last five games. Seguin and Bergeron picked up assists on the play, though it was unclear at full speed whether Seguin got a stick on the puck.

Late in the period, Rask was treated to a Garden-wide “Tuukka” chant after he robbed Martin Havlat with a diving save. Through two, the Wild are outshooting the B’s, 25-23.

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Mark Recchi scores game-winning goal in final 20 seconds to lead Bruins past Lightning 12.28.10 at 10:12 pm ET
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Mark Recchi sent a wrist shot past Dan Ellis with 19.7 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Bruins a 4-3 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday night in Tampa.

Recchi’s goal was the B’s second power play tally of the night, as the Bruins were on the man advantage late in the contest thanks to a Steven Stamkos boarding call for a hit on Gregory Campbell.

Michael Ryder, Steven Kampfer, and Brad Marchand scored in the first, second, and third periods, respectively to give the Bruins leads in each period. Kampfer’s second-period tally was his first career NHL goal, while Marc Savard got his 700th point in assisting it.

The Lightning were able to tie the game following each of the B’s first three goals, getting tallies from Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

Tim Thomas made 31 saves on the night and improved to 18-4-3 on the season. The Bruins will travel to Atlanta to face the Thrashers on Thursday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Kampfer’s goal was the latest reminder that he has been just what the Bruins needed when they traded Matt Hunwick. Monday night’s blunder that led to David Booth‘s was the only time the 22-year-old’s style of play has cost the B’s, and he remains their best (and only) puck-moving D-man.

- The Bruins got Brad Marchand back. After missing three games with soreness caused by the crushing hit he took from P.K. Subban. Daniel Paille filled in admirably, but Marchand’s return to the lineup saw him grab his fifth goal, giving him as many as Tyler Seguin.

- The Bruins were able to draw penalties early on the penalty kill twice. With Milan Lucic in the box for hooking in the first, the Lightning power play lasted just five seconds before Stamkos went off for tripping Zdeno Chara.

In the second period, Blake Wheeler went off for high-sticking Dominic Moore, but Teddy Purcell was in the box 16 seconds later for holding. On the night, the B’s were 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Lightning went 1-for-5.

From the WEEI.com Stat Truck: In firing the shot that’s rebound led to Marchand’s goal, Shawn Thornton picked up his second assist of the season. That ties him with Thomas, who also has a pair of helpers.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Milan Lucic has now gone five games without a point. Prior to this stretch, which began Dec. 18 against the Capitals, Lucic had only gone two games without a point once. Lucic is a minus-2 throughout the streak. His linemate isn’t faring much better, as Nathan Horton had a season-low 11:36 of ice time, including a 3:09 first period.

- While a couple of rookies shined in Kampfer and Marchand, Seguin has been very quiet. He failed to get a shot on goal, and has now gone 10 games without a goal. He has just two points in those games.

- The B’s blew three leads in the game. The game featured plenty of back-and-forth, but the Bruins had the opportunity to close it out following Marchand’s goal in the third and failed to do so until the Stamkos penalty.

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Steven Kampfer, Vincent Lecavalier score in the second at 9:15 pm ET
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For the second straight period, the Bruins jumped out to a lead only to see Tampa Bay tie it, and the two teams are knotted at two as they head for the final 20 minutes of regulation.

After costing the Bruins a night before with a turnover in his own end that led to a Panthers goal, Steven Kampfer scored his first career NHL goal after the final seconds of a too-many-men penalty on the Lightning ticked away. In sending a puck to Kampfer from the corner to set up the tally, Marc Savard picked up his 700th career point.

Tampa was able to tie it when Vincent Lecavalier picked up his fourth goal in the last three games at 14:02. With Tim Thomas cutting down the angle perhaps a bit too much, Lecavalier went wide and around the net to jam home a wrap-around.

Through two periods, the Bruins are 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Lighting are 1-for-4. The Lightning are outshooting the B’s, 21-14.

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Capitals at Bruins preview 12.18.10 at 10:26 am ET
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A couple of teams in dire need of a win will hit the Garden ice on Saturday night as the Bruins (16-10-4), winless in their last three, take on the Capitals (18-11-4). Despite dropping their last seven games, Washington still leads the Southeast division with 40 points.

WHERE IT’S AT

Alexander Ovechkin is on pace for a career-low 30 goals this season. (AP)

- The Bruins are 7-5-3 in home games this season, a mark that was brought over .500 with a 2-0-1 showing in their most recent home-stand. Saturday marks the first of three home games in a row before they play seven of the following eight on the road.

- The Capitals are one of only three teams with 12 home wins (despite dropping their last five at the Verizon Center), but the road has been a different story. They’re 6-7-1 outside of the nation’s capital, and are looking for their first win as the away team since Dec. 1, when they picked up a 4-1 win in St. Louis. It remains the team’s only win this month.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

- Milan Lucic is a goal away from tying his career-high of 17. The 22-year-old power forward hasn’t just led the Bruins in goals this season, he’s been cold-streak-proof. The longest stretch without a point this season for Lucic is two games, something he’s only done once (11/20 vs. LA, 11/22 at TB). Lucic scored his 16th goal of the season Thursday.

- In their seven-game winless streak, the Capitals have scored two goals just three times. They have been shutout twice in that span.

- I promise this is the last time that we’ll mention that Steven Kampfer has had 20-plus minutes of icetime twice despite being only four games into his NHL career, and that Matt Hunwick had two 20-minute nights in his 22 games for the B’s this season.

Playing with Zdeno Chara and seeing the time he’s seen of late on the power play helps, and Kampfer should continue to get big minutes as a result. It’s rather clear the B’s made the right choice in making Kampfer the guy when it came time to call someone up from Providence following the Mark Stuart injury.

STORYLINES GOING IN

- This will be the fourth and final meeting between the two teams. The Bruins won the first two before dropping a 5-3 decision on Nov. 5. In that game, the B’s climbed back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game at three. This came after a goaltending switch and Tuukka Rask‘s entrance into the game in the third period. The loss, in which Rask allowed just one goal, remains perhaps the best single representation of the luck the Finnish goaltender has fallen on this season.

- It’s a good thing the Bruins are getting all of their games with Washington out of the way so early, because Alexander Ovechkin is bound to bust out of his season-long goal-scoring slump (by his standards, anyway) eventually. Ovechkin has just 12 goals this season, which puts him on pace for a career-low 30 goals. His lowest total in a season is the 46 he scored in 2006-07, his sophomore campaign. It is the only season of his five in which he did not register at least 50 goals.

Over his last 15 games, the 25-year-old has scored just twice. Ovechkin has one goal against the Bruins in three games thus far, an empty netter in the Nov. 5 contest.

Although he hasn’t scored nearly as much as one would expect from the 6-foot-2 winger, Ovechkin is on pace for a career-high 60 assists. He had 59 a season ago.

- The Capitals’ leading goal-scorer this season, Alexander Semin, will not play vs. the B’s after not traveling with the team to Boston, according to the Washington Post. Semin is out with a lower-body injury.

Semin has 18 goals this season despite not notching one in his last seven games.

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Steven Kampfer got pointers from Matt Hunwick as prep for NHL debut 12.09.10 at 12:49 pm ET
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It’s safe to say that Bruins rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer was up last night thinking about his NHL debut. Kampfer said Thursday morning that he didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 a.m. as he readied himself for a moment he’s been waiting for all his life.

Kampfer is stepping in for the injured Mark Stuart, who is out four-to-six weeks with a broken hand and dislocated ring finger. Yet Kampfer, a right-handed puck-mover, is nothing like the bigger, tougher, left-handed-er (?) Stuart. He’s more or less a better fit to replace Matt Hunwick. The two players went to college together at Michigan, and spoke on Wednesday night.

“I talked to Matt last night. We had a good conversation,” Kampfer said. “It was funny, because I had watched some clips of him. I was telling him how [the Bruins] wanted me to watch him, see how he played, and did a couple of things.”

Kampfer isn’t assuming that just because he was called up that he’ll stay with the big club until Stuart returns from injury in January or February. The B’s have options with their young defensemen and Kampfer knows it.

“I don’t think it’s a long opportunity. I think it’s day by day,” Kampfer said. “That’s how you go about it. You’re still on a two-way, and they can send you down at any time. You’ve just got to play well every day and show you deserve to be here. That’s my goal, is to be able to play strong every day and make sure I earn a spot here.”

The 22-year-old was in the last group of cuts before the team departed for Belfast on Sept. 29. The team elected to bring former Ohio State blue liner Matt Bartkowski over Kampfer, but Claude Julien said Thursday that they “could have flipped a coin” at the time.

The competition between the young defenders is a plus for an organization that hasn’t been able to carry a seventh defenseman since the trade of Hunwick. The kids know that someone could get the call at any time. They’re just using their time in the AHL to make sure it’s them when the time comes.

“We have  a lot of good defensemen down in Providence. There’s a handful of guys that could have come up,” Kampfer said. “I was fortunate that I got the call, but at the same time, I have to prove why I’m here and I have to make sure that I’m helping this team win.”

Kampfer led all Providence defensemen with 16 points (3, 13) at the time of his call-up.

——–

Kampfer said on Wednesday that he spoke to his mom immediately following his call-up and that she was scurrying to get tickets to Boston from Michigan. Turns out she had success, as both of Kampfer’s parents, as well as his agent (Alex Schall) will be in attendance for Kampfer’s NHL debut.

His folks didn’t come out to Boston for the two rookie games, though they made two trips to Providence to see him play.

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At least there’s dexterity? Looking the Bruins without Mark Stuart at 3:11 am ET
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Mark Stuart will now have back-to-back seasons in which he missed a stretch of time with injury. (AP)

With Mark Stuart out for four-to-six weeks with a broken hand, the Bruins for the third time this season have lost a defenseman for an extended period of time. First, there was Johnny Boychuk from Oct. 23 to Nov. 18. More recently, the team lost Matt Hunwick for, you know, ever when they sent the 25-year-old to the Avalanche in exchange for Colby Cohen.

If one were to meet the Bruins’ estimation in the middle and assume that Stuart will miss exactly five weeks from Wednesday, the day of the announcement, the B’s would be without his services for 16 games.

Amidst the one-at-a-time manner in which players have dropped off the Bruins’ blue line, it is no surprise that the Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont tweeted Wednesday that the team’s efforts in the trade market will not be limited to solving salary cap issues. Dupont noted that the team could try to swing a deal with a Western Conference team — he singled out the Stars and the Coyotes — to grab a defenseman.

Yet without having taken care of the first order of business — dumping salary — the team now instead must look at the in-house alternative for blueline help. Though the guess here (and likely everywhere else) is that Marco Sturm will be out of town before long, the team, cuffed by the cap, can only look to the kids of Providence for now.

Matt Bartkowski, who had already gotten his free trip to the Europe when the B’s brought him along for the final two preseason games, was not the lucky guy when it came time to choosing who would be recalled. Instead it was Steven Kampfer, one of the six guys they released from camp the day they left for Belfast. Kampfer has 16 points for Providence Bruins this season, good for second on the team.

In speaking to the media following practice on Wednesday, Kampfer said the same thing any player stepping in due to injury says with the “I’m not trying to come in and replace _____” line. That makes plenty of sense, as he is smaller and less physical than Stuart. He’s more of a puck mover, while Stuart’s fists come in handy more than his hands.

As far as skill sets go, that actually isn’t a problem. If you think about it, and this dates back to last week’s trade of Matt Hunwick, Kampfer isn’t replacing Stuart. Adam McQuaid is. Kampfer is replacing his former Michigan teammate in Hunwick. McQuaid is the bigger, tougher and maybe safer defenseman, like Stuart. Kampfer fills the role of puck-mover that was left unoccupied following the trade of Hunwick.

Another plus for Kampfer that isn’t getting much attention — and perhaps a factor in the team’s decision to give him the call over Bartkowski — is that he’s a right-handed shot. With Kampfer in the lineup, the defense’s dexterity is now even at three lefties and three righties. Considering they opened the season with Johnny Boychuk as the only righty on the blueline, they have, through injury and loss via trade, seen a bit more balance in one respect.

It should also be interested in seeing how this impacts Stuart. He’s playing on a one-year deal worth $1.675 million and is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He took the one-year pact after missing 26 games last season with a broken left pinky and an infection in his pinky.

The B’s probably wanted to see Stuart stay healthy before they showed him the money (and the years), and Stuart likely wanted to sign a big contract — the very one in which he’d play his prime years — after a season that warranted a bigger deal.

“I expected after the season that I had if I was going to get a deal it was going to be a one-year deal and then see how I played,” Stuart said after signing the one-year deal in July. ”Hopefully, I can have a great year this year and then hopefully, yeah, a long-term deal is in the future.”

Stuart has averaged 16:43 of ice time, which is right around where he sat last season (17:01). He’s got two assists, 23 penalty minutes, and is a plus-3 through 26 games.

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