|Tim Thomas helps Bruins head to All-Star break with win over Panthers||01.26.11 at 9:30 pm ET|
Fans braved the weather on Wednesday night in traveling to TD Garden, and were rewarded with a 2-1 Bruins victory behind Tim Thomas’ 24th win of the season.
Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic scored in the first and second period, respectively. Marchand is now fourth on the B’s with 13 goals, while Lucic improved his team-leading total to 20. Defenseman Bryan Allen scored the Panthers’ lone goal at 8:37 of the third period.
Thomas, now 24-5-6 on the season, is now tied with Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price for second in the NHL lead in wins. Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller leads the league with 25. Thomas sits atop the league in save percentage, goals against average, and is tied for the league lead in shutouts. He made 34 saves Wednesday night, with the B’s firing 35 shots on Tomas Vokoun.
The Bruins will now break for the All-Star weekend. The skills competition will take place Saturday, with the actual game being played Sunday in Raleigh, N.C. The B’s will will return to action Tuesday in that very city, taking on the Hurricanes in the fourth meeting between the teams this season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
-Milan Lucic reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career. Less than two minutes into the second, linemate David Krejci won a faceoff straight back to Lucic at the top of the left circle, and the 22-year-old winger didn’t waste any time firing a quick snap shot into the top right corner. Lucic now has four goals in his last six games. Coming into the season, he said getting 20 goals was one of his targets. Time to raise the bar a little higher.
- The Bruins didn’t see another center suffer an injury, which was certainly a concern when David Krejci was down on the ice after crashing into the boards following a hit from Panthers forward Rostislav Olesz. Trainer Don DelNegro came out to tend to him, and Krejci left the ice and went down the tunnel. Moments after the scare, Krejci was back on the bench and returned to the ice in short order, not missing any shifts in the process.
Krejci went on to play a huge role in Lucic’s second-period tally, winning the face-off clean in the Panthers’ zone early in the period and drawing it to Lucic, who fired a quick snapshot past Vokoun from high in the circle.
- Brad Marchand remains hot for the Bruins. The surprising offensive contributor now has 11 points (7 G, 4 A) in his last 11 games and has 13 goals thus far in his rookie year. He beat Vokoun on a wraparound in the first period for the game’s first goal. Linemate Patrice Bergeron picked up the primary assist and now has 15 points over his last 10 games.
- The Bruins stayed out of the box. The Bruins avoided the sin bin until the refs found Dennis Seidenberg guilty of a hold 5:37 into the third. The one infraction matched a season low for the B’s.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Nathan Horton now has one goal over his last 20 games. His line had a much stronger effort on Wednesday than in the team’s 2-0 loss Monday in which he was demoted to a line with Blake Wheeler and Tyler Seguin.
- Thomas lost what would have been a league-leading eighth shutout of the season when Bryan Allen made it a 2-1 game at 8:37 of the third. Thomas remains tied with Henrik Lundqvist with seven blankings on the season.
The Panthers outshot the B’s, 16-9, in the third.
- With how well Marchand has been playing, you almost wish he didn’t have to take five days off for the All-Star break.
Scott McLaughlin contributed to this report.
|Milan Lucic adds to Bruins lead in second period||at 8:37 pm ET|
Milan Lucic is a 20-goal-scorer for the first time, and after two periods the Bruins lead the Panthers, 2-0.
David Krejci, who had an injury scare on the first period after crashing into the boards, made the second period memorable for a more positive reason. The pivot won a face-off clean in the Panthers zone and drew it back to Lucic, who scored on a snapshot at 1:52. Lucic’s career-high for goals in a season was 17, which he scored in 2008-09, a season in which he played 72 games.
There were no penalties in the period, and through two the only penalty came in the form of a first-period high-sticking call on Panthers forward Christopher Higgins.
The shutout remains intact for Tim Thomas, with the B’s outshooting the Panthers, 26-19.
|Brad Marchand puts Bruins on top in first||at 7:46 pm ET|
The Bruins lead the Panthers 1-0 after one thanks to the latest contribution from Brad Marchand.
The gritty rookie beat Panthers netminder Tomas Vokoun on a wraparound for his 13th goal of the season at 13:31. The play was reviewed, but the replay showed the puck clearly cross the goal line. Marchand now has 11 points (7 G, 4 A) over his last 11 games.
There was another scary moment for the Bruins when David Krejci took a hit into the corner from Rostislav Olesz. Krejci stayed down on the ice, holding his left shoulder as trainer Don DelNegro tended to him. He skated off the ice and went down the tunnel, though he returned to the bench in short order and did not miss a shift.
Tim thomas has stopped all 11 shots he has faced. The Bruins are 0-for-1 on the power play.
|Gameday Notes: Thomas expected to start||at 1:18 pm ET|
Tim Thomas was the first Bruins goaltender off the ice at the team’s morning skate, an indication that he will be the starting goalie against the Panthers on Wednesday. Thomas, who was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week last week, took a 2-0 loss to the Kings Monday night in Los Angeles.
Thomas is 23-5-6 on the season and leads the league with a .945 save percentage, 1.83 goals against average. He is tied with Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with seven shutouts.
While the goaltender for the night appears to be known, it isn’t so easy regarding Boston’s blue line. Mark Stuart has been a healthy scratch the last two games, and Claude Julien said following the skate that the team will make a game-time decision regarding who sits.
Here are some notes from the morning skate:
- The lines were similar to what they were Monday night:
- Marc Savard returned home to Peterborough, Ontario to rest, with Julien saying “that’s all you can do when you’ve got a concussion.” There remains no timetable on when the center might be able to rejoin the B’s.
With Savard out, Julien doesn’t feel the Bruins necessarily need to call a player up from Providence.
“Right now we’ve got 12 forwards and a lot of that will depend on management and the salary cap and all that stuff and whether is makes sense or not. So that’s probably going to be dealt with as we move on here but as we’re speaking right now, it’s no.”
Some have wondered whether this could mean a promotion for a former first-rounder in Zach Hamill or Joe Colborne, but given the team’s stability with capable centers in Seguin and Wheeler, it doesn’t seem the call-up options should be limited to centers.
- Steven Kampfer said he is not going to get surgery on his nose over the All-Star break after previously considering the procedure. Kampfer broke his nose last Saturday against the Penguins and has worn a full shield since. While his difficulty breathing had led to him considering surgery, he hopes that he will be able to lose the full shield when the team returns from the All-Star break next week.
Instead of surgery, the 22-year-old will return home to Michigan, where he plans on watching his alma mater take on Michigan St. at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday. He’ll be there with some other former Wolverines, including Kings defenseman Jack Johnson.
- While Kampfer is making a name for himself on the ice, but if anyone wants to keep up with him off it, they can do so, as Kampfer is on twitter. While it’s pretty rare to see the B’s on twitter, @SteveKampfer47 says he has fun with it while not going too crazy. Twitter has definitely been used as a sounding board of sorts for professional athletes across all the major sports. Coyotes forward Paul Bissonette is probably the NHL’s equivalent of Chad Ochocinco.
- Brad Marchand, who has pretty much shocked the world (or greater Boston) with his 12 goals so far this season, earned the praise of teammates and his coach on Wednesday. Lucic noted that he saw his talents at the junior level and isn’t ultimately surprised by what he’s brought, while Julien is glad to see that the rookie has made offense a part of his game without the other areas suffering.
“I think he’s building confidence and knows that he can give a little bit more to his team as he gets more experience,” Julien said. “And I think the grit is there, it’s still there but yet productively he’s gotten better.”
- The Bruins All-Stars didn’t appear to be on the same page when it came to discussing the fantasy draft for the All-Star game. Tim Thomas said he’ll watch it from his hotel room — if his room gets VS. — while Zdeno Chara assumed the players had to be there.
|Jonathan Quick blanks Bruins||01.25.11 at 1:06 am ET|
The Bruins were shut out for the third time this season when Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick handed them a 2-0 loss at the Staples Center on Monday night.
The former UMass netminder made 34 saves on the way to the shutout, his fifth of the season. The Kings received goals from Ryan Smyth and Andrei Loktionov in the first and third periods, respectively.
Tim Thomas made 32 saves on 34 shots in the loss. It was Thomas’ first regulation loss since Dec. 20.
The Bruins will return home to face the Panthers on Wednesday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Just a sloppy game all in all for the Bruins, as both of the Kings goals came off of turnovers. An Andrew Ference turnover at the blue line of the offensive zone buried the B’s by making it a 2-0 game. With the way Quick was playing, it was pretty clear scoring for Boston would be hard to come by, and a two-goal deficit in the third period was simply insurmountable.
The B’s case for a comeback was further hurt when they had to kill a Shawn Thornton holding penalty at 10:38. The Kings didn’t convert on the power play, but the 120 ticks off the clock did plenty of damage.
- Here’s proof of an offense that struggled to get going: Through the first two periods, Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi were the only two Bruins forwards with more than one shot on Quick. Ryder had three, all of which which came in the first period, while Ryder had two shots on goal through the game’s first 40 minutes.
- Given that the B’s couldn’t get on the board, it was another night without a goal for Nathan Horton. He now has just one goal over his last 19 games, and has also now posted a minus-1 rating in each of the last four games.
- The Bruins went 0-for-3 on the power play Monday, including their two opportunities in the second period.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- For someone who entered the game having never defeated the Kings (0-0-4), Thomas sure didn’t play like somebody incapable of winning. He turned in another very impressive performance, keeping the B’s in the game in a scoreless second period. Monday made for the fourth straight game in which Thomas allowed two goals or less (3-1-0).
- If watching that regulation road loss for the Bruins felt odd, it’s because it hasn’t happened much of late. Monday marked the first time the B’s lost an away game in regulation since Dec. 16.
|Nothing doing for Bruins in second period||at 12:11 am ET|
Tim Thomas made some big saves in the second period, but the Bruins’ offense was unable to get on the board in the second, so the B’s trail the Kings, 1-0, entering the third period.
Los Angeles outshot Boston for the second straight period, and the B’s went 0-for-2 on the power play after Wayne Simmonds and Alexei Ponikarovsky each took holding penalties.
Through two, the Kings have outshot the B’s 25-20. Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi are the only Bruins forwards with multiple shots on goal through two.
|Tim Thomas named NHL’s First Star of the Week||01.24.11 at 12:34 pm ET|
The NHL announced Monday that Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has been named the First Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 22. Thomas went 3-0-0 over three starts last week, recording a shutout against the Hurricanes Monday and following it with a season-high 43-save effort on Monday. He made 32 saves in the team’s 3-2 win over the Avalanche on Saturday.
Thomas, who will play in this weekend’s All-Star Game, leads the NHL in goals against average (1.83), save percentage (.945), and his tied with Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist for the league lead with seven shutouts. He is second in wins with 23.
This is the fourth time this season a Bruins player has received a “Star” distinction. Thomas was the First Star of the Week for the week ending on Oct. 31 and was October’s Second Star of the Month. Patrice Bergeron was named Second Star of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 15.