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The Bear Cave

March 7, 2010 2:26 AM

Road Trip Starts with Win on Long Island

If they were given the opportunity to choose where they played, most teams around the NHL would prefer to play on home ice. This season, the Boston Bruins might disagree with that statement, as they are only one game over .500 at the TD Garden. On the other hand, the Bruins entered Saturday's tilt with a 14-10-5 mark on the road, including four straight wins. With that being said, the timing could not have been better, as Boston began a seven-game road trip against the Islanders at Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. After controlling the first half of the game offensively, the Bruins leaned on the goaltending of Tim Thomas, which got the job done in a 3-2 win.

With the game taking place in the earlier hours of the afternoon, it was only fair to say that both teams would need some time to get their game legs underneath them. The Bruins got off to the better start, outshooting New York 16-4 during the first period. Luckily for the Islanders, Dwayne Roloson was prepared, as he kept his team in the game with some timely saves.

Roloson had a perfect period going into the final two minutes, but that's when Boston struck to open the scoring. Shawn Thornton tossed a shot in on goal, with the Islanders' netminder knocking the puck into the corner of the rink. Milan Lucic chased down the rebound, fending off his defender, before dropping a pass back to Dennis Wideman at the right point. Wideman wristed a shot into a pile of bodies, but the rebound kicked out to Lucic, who ripped the puck into the top corner before Roloson could recover. Lucic's sixth goal of the season gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead after one period of play.

In the early stages of the second period, Boston's penalty kill was put to the test, as Patrice Bergeron was sent off for interference. The Bruins were successful in killing off the first minute, but New York ultimately capitalized on the man advantage, tying the game at one. The Islanders carried the puck into the offensive zone, with Kyle Okposo stickhandling in the left circle. After a few seconds, Okposo dished a pass to Mark Streit, who took a shot from the top of the right circle. Tim Thomas made the original save, but the puck trickled behind him into the crease. Josh Bailey crashed the net, poking the loose puck in over the line.

The tied score didn't last long, as the Bruins retook the lead less than three minutes later. Dennis Wideman started the play with a hit in his own zone, freeing the puck for a breakout by David Krejci. Krejci touched the puck forward for Miroslav Satan, who flipped a pass into the opposite corner of the rink. Blake Wheeler chased down the dump-in, leaving a pass for Mark Stuart. Stuart quickly sent a cross-ice pass back to Satan, who made a beautiful move, freezing the defense. That move allowed a pass to Krejci, who had a wide open net in front of him.

After allowing a power play goal earlier in the period, Boston was eager to get one back. The visitors got that chance at the 8:26 mark, when Dylan Reese picked up an interference penalty. The Bruins' power play needed less than a minute to convert, getting a lucky bounce from New York's ancient facility. Zdeno Chara tapped a pass across the blueline, setting up Patrice Bergeron for a one-timer from the left point. Bergeron fired a shot over the cage, drilling the glass. However, this missed shot worked in Boston's favor, as the rebound whipped back to Marc Savard in the bottom of the left circle. Savard kicked the puck to his stick, before sliding a backhander past a confused Roloson.

Later in the middle frame, the Bruins were put in a very challenging position. Michael Ryder hit Blake Comeau into the boards from behind, receiving a five-minute major, as well as a game misconduct. Comeau didn't return to the game for precautionary reasons, but appeared to be okay after a bit of a rest. That didn't make things easier for Boston. However, Thomas and his teammates did what they had to, killing the first 3:54 of the penalty during the second period, before finishing off the penalty kill in the third.

After compiling just four shots on goal during the first period, the Islanders turned things around in the second, putting 22 on Tim Thomas. However, only one of those shots found the back of the net, as Boston carried a 3-1 lead into the third period.

Although they were successful in killing Ryder's major penalty, the Bruins weren't completely off of the hook yet. With 14:17 left in regulation, New York cut the lead down to one. Johnny Boychuk chased down a loose puck in his own zone, but couldn't gain possession cleanly. Instead, the puck bounced to Frans Nielsen, who gave a pass to Matt Moulson in the right circle. Moulson let a wrist shot go from that location, beating Thomas on his stick side.

Now leading by a goal, Thomas and the Bruins got to business, finishing off the win. The Islanders pulled Roloson in the final minute, but couldn't muster anything else on the scoreboard. When the final buzzer sounded, Boston had a 3-2 victory, extending the club's current winning streak away from home to five games.

For the second game in a row, Tim Thomas was instrumental in getting his team the much needed two points. On Saturday, the Boston netminder made 37 saves on 39 shots, evening his record at 15-15-7. Dwayne Roloson suffered the loss for the Islanders, stopping 31 of the 34 shots he faced.

The Boston Bruins will have very little time to celebrate, as they will face a serious test on Sunday afternoon. Game two of the seven-game road trip finds the Bruins in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins.

Scoring Summary:
1. BOS Lucic (6) (Thornton, Wideman) 18:26
2. NYI Bailey (14) (Streit, Okposo) (PP) 2:14
2. BOS Krejci (12) (Satan, Stuart) 5:04
2. BOS Savard (10) (Bergeron, Chara) (PP) 9:20
3. NYI Moulson (23) (Nielsen) 5:43

Penalty Summary:

1. NYI Sim- Tripping 1:27
2. BOS Bergeron- Interference 0:50
2. NYI Reese- Interference 8:26
2. BOS Ryder- Checking from Behind (Major) 16:06
2. BOS Ryder- Game Misconduct 16:06

Goalies:
BOS Tim Thomas (15-15-7): 39 shots, 37 saves
NYI Dwayne Roloson (20-14-6): 34 shots, 31 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 16-12-6=34
NYI 4-22-13=39

Power Plays:
BOS 1-for-2
NYI 1-for-2

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Tim Thomas
2- BOS Marc Savard
3- NYI Matt Moulson
March 5, 2010 2:47 AM

Boston's New 81 Steals the Old 81's Show

When the Boston Bruins traded away Phil Kessel, many fans worried, as Boston's offense took a significant hit. On Thursday night, Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs made their final visit of the season to the TD Garden, and number 81 proved to be the hero. No, not that number 81 - the Bruins' number 81. Miroslav Satan scored in the third round of the shootout, lifting Boston to a 3-2 win on home ice.

Following Tuesday night's disappointing loss to Montreal, the Bruins wanted to get off to a strong start. Barely one minute into the contest, the home team nearly took the lead. Steve Begin wrapped the puck around the back of the net, centering a pass to an oncoming Michael Ryder. Ryder deflected the puck in, appearing to have given Boston a 1-0 lead. However, video replay revealed a kicking motion by Ryder, wiping the goal off of the scoreboard.

Boston continued to play strong throughout the beginning of the game, and that eventually paid off with a goal that counted. Tomas Kaberle spun the puck around the boards of the Maple Leafs' offensive zone, hitting it so hard that Shawn Thornton was able to gain possession at his own blueline. Thornton kept the play moving forward, springing Miroslav Satan ahead with an outlet pass on his backhand. Satan carried the puck to the top of the left circle, before beating Jean-Sebastien Giguere with a wrist shot through the legs.

A few minutes later, the two teams really got to know each other well, as a pair of fights took place. Milan Lucic and Colton Orr got things started, dropping the gloves on a face-off in center ice. Lucic hung in their against his experienced opponent, but Orr had the final say, landing more punches. The next face-off took place in the Bruins' defensive zone, and it took one second for Shawn Thornton and Wayne Primeau to start firing. This time, the Boston player picked up the win, as Thornton gained the edge in the short tussle.

The two fights might have sparked the Maple Leafs, as they got the equalizer less than two minutes later. Francois Beauchemin started the play in his own zone, passing the puck ahead to Jamie Lundmark. Lundmark quickly tapped a cross-ice pass to Viktor Stalberg, who picked up steam as he skated up the left side of the ice. Once he reached the face-off dot, Stahlman let a wrist shot go, finding a hole underneath Tim Thomas' right arm.

With one minute remaining in the first period, Toronto had an opportunity to take the lead. Phil Kessel stole the puck at his own blueline, and skated the other way on a breakaway. The former Bruin went from his forehand to his backhand, but a right pad save by Thomas kept the game tied at one.

The score stayed that way for most of the middle frame, until the Bruins regained their lead with 4:36 remaining. Mark Recchi carried the puck in on the right side of the offensive zone, attempting a pass for David Krejci behind the net. The pass was blocked, but Marco Sturm stepped up to help his teammate, tossing a pass back to Johnny Boychuk at the right point. Boychuk stepped into Sturm's pass, blasting an absolute laser past Giguere. The goal was the third of Boychuk's career, and all three have been hammered.

Boston carried the 2-1 advantage into the third period, but at the 6:12 mark, another rookie tied the game for the Maple Leafs. Luca Caputi had just finished serving a penalty for Colton Orr, and immediately inserted himself into the play. Caputi got the puck on the left side of the offensive zone, before handing off for Nikolai Kulemin. Kulemin centered a pass through the crease to Tyler Bozak, who crashed the net for his fourth goal in the NHL.

With approximately eleven minutes left in regulation, the Bruins came inches away from going up by one. Marc Savard had Giguere down and out on the right side of the crease, but rang a shot off of the far post. Meanwhile, Toronto was also getting frustrated, as Thomas continued to deny some golden opportunities from in close.

Neither team was able to score in the final minutes of the game, sending the tilt into overtime, and eventually into a shootout.

David Krejci led off for Boston, but lost control of the puck before getting a shot off. The Maple Leafs immediately turned to Phil Kessel for their first shot, but he also came up empty, as Thomas made a glove save. Michael Ryder and Jamie Lundmark each missed in round two, sending the shootout into the third round with no scoring. Miroslav Satan broke the deadlock for the Bruins, faking a shot, before sliding a backhander inside of the right post. That left the game in the hands of Tyler Bozak. The Toronto rookie tried to split the legs of Thomas, but the netminder kept it out, giving his team the important extra point.

In three games at the TD Garden this season, Phil Kessel was held without a point, and the Maple Leafs were held without a victory.

Despite only making 24 saves during the game, Tim Thomas turned in a spectacular performance. Three of those stops came on Toronto breakaways, while a few odd-man rushes led to some more frustration for the visitors. Thomas earned the win, while also getting the game's first star. After a bit of a shaky start, Jean-Sebastien Giguere settled down, turning aside 29 of the 31 shots he faced for the Maple Leafs. However, a 2-for-3 effort in the shootout found him on the short end.

The Boston Bruins will now head on the road for seven straight games, starting Saturday afternoon against the New York Islanders.

Scoring Summary:
1. BOS Satan (4) (Thornton) 9:36
1. TOR Stalberg (3) (Beauchemin, Lundmark) 15:27
2. BOS Boychuk (3) (Sturm, Recchi) 15:24
3. TOR Bozak (4) (Kulemin, Caputi) 6:12

Shootout:
TOR Phil Kessel- S
TOR Jamie Lundmark- S
TOR Tyler Bozak- S

BOS David Krejci- S
BOS Michael Ryder- S
BOS Miroslav Satan- G

Penalty Summary:
1. TOR Stalberg- Holding 6:03
1. BOS Seidenberg- Delay of Game 11:10
1. TOR Orr- Fighting 13:45
1. BOS Lucic- Fighting 13:45
1. TOR Primeau- Fighting 13:46
1. BOS Thornton- Fighting 13:46
1. TOR Phaneuf- Slashing 14:37
1. BOS Sturm- Hooking 14:44
2. BOS Hunwick- Tripping 2:47
2. BOS Wideman- Holding 8:17
3. TOR Orr- Roughing (Double-Minor) 3:58
3. BOS Begin- Roughing 3:58

Goalies:

TOR Jean-Sebastien Giguere (6-11-6): 31 shots, 29 saves
BOS Tim Thomas (14-15-7): 26 shots, 24 saves

Shots on Goal:
TOR 8-6-8-4-0=26
BOS 9-11-9-2-1=32

Power Plays:
TOR 0-for-4
BOS 0-for-3

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Tim Thomas
2- BOS Steve Begin
3- BOS Miroslav Satan
March 4, 2010 1:44 AM

Quiet Deadline, as Seidenberg is Boston's Lone Acquisition

The National Hockey League has been back in action for three days since the Olympic Break, and just like that, the trade deadline has flown right by. In terms of quantity, Wednesday served as the busiest trade deadline since the 2004-05 lockout. However, in terms of quality, most of the excitement happened prior to the Olympics. When all was said and done at 5:00 (it took two hours for all of the extra paper work to be filed), 31 trades were made on Wednesday, with 55 players and 25 draft picks getting moved.

For the hometown Boston Bruins, this was a quiet trade deadline. Last season, the Bruins made some noise, acquiring Mark Recchi from the Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as Steve Montador from the Anaheim Ducks. For the second year in a row, Boston pulled the trigger on a blueliner, bringing in Dennis Seidenberg from the Florida Panthers. However, in terms of NHL players, that was it.

On the other side of the trade equations, the Bruins saw two NHL players leave town, as Derek Morris was shipped to Phoenix, while Byron Bitz was part of the trade with the Panthers.

Two other players were involved in trade deadline deals with the Bruins. Providence forward Craig Weller joined Bitz on his way to Florida, while Matthew Bartkowski came the other way. Boston also swapped a pair of picks, sending a second round pick to the Panthers, while acquiring a fourth round pick in 2011 from the Coyotes.

With the Bruins currently sitting in last place in the NHL in goals scored, it's easy to see why fans around Boston might have been upset about Wednesday's news. Raffi Torres was one of the names drawing interest during the day, but when the dust settled, the Buffalo Sabres pulled the trigger on that trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Other than Torres, very few significant names went for forwards, leaving the Bruins exactly where they started the day.

In terms of what the team did acquire, Dennis Seidenberg joins the Bruins as his fifth NHL team, and third in as many years. The German defenseman began his career with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2002-03, and spent parts of four seasons within that organization. During the 2005-06 campaign, Seidenberg was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes, where he completed the second half of the season. 2006-07 saw a similar fate for the 6-foot-1 blueliner, as Phoenix elected to trade him to the Carolina Hurricanes. After a shortened 2007-08 season, Seidenberg experienced his best professional season one yer ago, scoring 30 points in 70 games, while helping Carolina to the Eastern Conference Final. This past offseason, Dennis signed on with the Florida Panthers, where he scored two goals, 21 assists, and 23 points in 62 games. In 357 career games, Dennis Seidenberg has 16 goals, 91 assists, 107 points, and 146 penalty minutes.

Boston's other acquisition was defenseman Matthew Bartkowski. Bartkowski was originally taken with the 190th overall pick by the Panthers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The 21-year old is currently in his sophomore season at Ohio State University. The Pittsburgh, PA native has recorded nine goals, 27 assists, 36 points, and 133 penalty minutes in 75 career games at the collegiate level.

In the first trade of the day, the Bruins lost Derek Morris to the Phoenix Coyotes. Morris didn't get to spend much time in a Boston uniform, as the team had signed him to a free agent contract this past summer. In fact, the former first round draft pick played just 58 games as a Bruin, picking up three goals, 22 assists, 25 points, and 26 penalty minutes. However, one of Morris' best moments with the club came during the Winter Classic, when he set up Mark Recchi's tying goal in the third period.

In the second trade, Byron Bitz saw his career in the organization come to an end. Bitz was originally taken with the 107th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. After a four-year collegiate career at Cornell, the Saskatoon, SK native broke into the professional ranks with the Providence Bruins in 2007-08. After a season and a half in the AHL, Bitz was recalled to Boston, and never looked back. In 80 games with the Boston Bruins, the 25-year old had eight goals, eight assists, 16 points, and 49 penalty minutes. One of the best moments for Bitz was his goal in game seven against the Carolina Hurricanes last spring.

Craig Weller also leaves the Bruins' organization after 55 games with the Baby B's. In that time, Weller had four goals, ten assists, 14 points, 62 penalty minutes, and was considered one of the veteran leaders on a relatively young squad.

Dennis Seidenberg is expected to make his Boston Bruins' debut on Thursday night, when the team plays host to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
February 14, 2010 2:40 AM

Bruins Cruise into Olympics with Four Straight Wins

Most teams are looking at the upcoming Olympic break as an opportunity to rest up and prepare for the stretch run. However, due to their play this past week, the Boston Bruins might want to decline the break, as they have begun to turn the corner. After losing ten consecutive games, the Bruins have won each of their last four, cruising into the break on a bit of a roll. The fourth victory in that stretch came on Saturday, as Boston picked up a 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.

The Bruins got off to a rather interesting start in the game, as Derek Morris was whistled for hooking at the ten-second mark of the first period. Tuukka Rask and Boston's penalty killers came ready to play, as Morris' penalty came to an end without any damage being done on the scoreboard.

Midway through the opening stanza, the first goal was scored by an unlikely player. Shawn Matthias cycled the puck around the boards to Victor Oreskovich behind the cage. Oreskovich turned, backhanding a pass into the slot for Nick Tarnasky. Oreskovich's pass was right on target, as Tarnasky used a one-timer to beat Tuukka Rask over the glove. The goal was Tarnasky's first of the season.

A little less than six minutes later, Boston drew even. Dennis Wideman started the play off in his own zone, tossing a cross-ice pass ahead to David Krejci at the offensive blueline. Krejci carried the puck deep into the offensive zone, sending a shot on goal from the bottom of the right circle. Tomas Vokoun put his glove down behind his stick, but missed, as the puck snuck through his legs.

Exactly three minutes later, the Panthers regained the lead on a goal that will certainly appear on a variety of sports stations across the continent. Shawn Thornton was in the penalty box for holding, giving Florida a power play to work with. Bryan McCabe tapped the puck to Stephen Weiss in his own zone, not knowing what was about to happen. Weiss took the pass and dashed through the neutral zone. After crossing the offensive blueline, Weiss made a quick move to freeze Zdeno Chara, sending him in alone on Rask. The Florida forward found room inside of the left post, giving his club a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes of play.

In terms of offense, the second period was on the quiet side. However, there was one set of fireworks, as Adam McQuaid dropped the mitts with Victor Oreskovich in front of the Bruins' bench. Both players started the fight by exchanging some punishing rights. As the battle wore on, McQuaid gained a serious edge, beating Oreskovich with a flurry of right-handed punches. Shots on goal in the middle frame were 11-8 in favor of Florida, with the score remaining the same.

With just over ten minutes left in regulation, Stephen Weiss was sent off for tripping, giving the Bruins their first power play of the evening. Boston came up empty on the man advantage, but scored the equalizer less than a second later. Radek Dvorak was unable to clear the rebound of Marc Savard's shot, as Andrew Ference kept the play alive at the left point. Ference dished a pass across the blueline to Dennis Wideman, who sent a shot in toward the net. The shot appeared to be headed wide, until a deflection from Mark Recchi changed the direction of the puck. That change of direction was enough to get the best of Vokoun, as the game was tied at two.

After recording just 18 total shots through the first two periods, Boston exploded in the third, firing 19 shots in Vokoun's direction. The Panthers were only able to muster six shots in the third period, giving Rask a relatively easy period. Both netminders held on through the end of regulation, as well as overtime, sending the two teams into a shootout.

In the shootout, both teams got off to difficult starts, as Michael Frolik, Marco Sturm, Stephen Weiss, and Michael Ryder came up empty. David Booth put the Panthers ahead in the third round, only to see David Krejci send the shootout into extra frames in the bottom of the third. From there, the offensive struggles continued, as each of the next six shooters failed to score. In round seven, Florida took the lead on a tally by Kamil Kreps. However, the Bruins had another answer, as Marc Savard dribbled the puck through Vokoun's legs. Jeff Taffe's miss in the top of the eighth round set the stage for Mark Recchi, who picked off Vokoun's water bottle for the winning goal.

The Bruins have now participated in 17 shootouts this season, putting them two away from the all-time record of 19.

Tuukka Rask played well once again for the Bruins, earning his fourth straight win with 26 saves on 28 shots. Tomas Vokoun also put together a strong performance for the Panthers, turning aside 37 of the 39 shots he faced. Rask did have the upper hand in the shootout, making six saves, while Vokoun had five.

The Providence Bruins also received a tremendous effort in goal, as Kevin Regan's 37 saves led the Baby B's past the Springfield Falcons 3-1. Brad Marchand, Zach Hamill, and Jordan Knackstedt had the goals for Providence, while Trent Whitfield registered a pair of assists. Chris Armstrong had the lone goal in the losing effort for the Falcons, while Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves. The P-Bruins will look for their fifth straight win on Sunday, when they host the Syracuse Crunch.

The Boston Bruins are now off for the Olympics, and will not have another game until March 2nd against the Montreal Canadiens.

Scoring Summary:
1. FLA Tarnasky (1) (Oreskovich, Matthias) 10:13
1. BOS Krejci (11) (Wideman) 15:54
1. FLA Weiss (21) (McCabe, Kulikov) (PP) 18:54
3. BOS Recchi (12) (Wideman, Ference) 11:44

Shootout:
BOS Marco Sturm- S
BOS Michael Ryder- S
BOS David Krejci- G
BOS Zdeno Chara- S
BOS Blake Wheeler- S
BOS Patrice Bergeron- S
BOS Marc Savard- G
BOS Mark Recchi- G

FLA Michael Frolik- S
FLA Stephen Weiss- S
FLA David Booth- G
FLA Cory Stillman- S
FLA Steven Reinprecht- S
FLA Shawn Matthias- S
FLA Kamil Kreps- G
FLA Jeff Taffe- S

Penalty Summary:
1. BOS Morris- Hooking 0:10
1. BOS Thornton- Holding 18:27
2. BOS McQuaid- Fighting 15:06
2. FLA Oreskovich- Fighting 15:06
3. FLA Weiss- Tripping 9:44
3. BOS Bergeron- Holding 12:02
4. BOS Wheeler- Goaltender Interference 3:56
4. FLA Stillman- Hooking 4:02

Goalies:
BOS Tuukka Rask (14-7-4): 28 shots, 26 saves
FLA Tomas Vokoun (19-21-10): 39 shots, 37 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 10-8-19-2-1=40
FLA 8-11-6-3-0=28

Power Plays:
BOS 0-for-1
FLA 1-for-4

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Mark Recchi
2- FLA Stephen Weiss
3- FLA Nick Tarnasky
February 13, 2010 11:34 AM

Early Blowout, but Close Finish, as Bruins Edge Lightning

Thursday night's tilt between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning was the story of two completely different games, combined into one. The first 30 minutes belonged to the Bruins. Boston jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period, before extending that lead to five in the second. At that point, the visiting Bruins appeared to be on their way to an easy blowout win. However, the Lightning had other ideas, scoring twice each in the final two periods, trimming Boston's five-goal advantage to 5-4. Luckily for the Bruins, that was as close as Tampa Bay would get, giving the B's their third straight win.

Physical play was a frequent occurrence in this game, and it got started early. Shawn Thornton and Matt Walker met outside of the Bruins' offensive zone, electing to drop the gloves at the 3:16 mark of the first period. Thornton controlled the fight, landing a few punches of his own, while not allowing Walker to throw much of anything.

Thornton's domination of the fight sparked the Boston bench, and the visitors opened the scoring just over a minute later. Miroslav Satan chipped the puck down the left wing boards, connecting with Marc Savard below the goal line. Savard carried the puck around the back of the cage, wrapping a pass through the slot to Satan. Satan had a tough angle to work with, but still managed to knock the puck into the wide open side of the net.

Midway through the opening stanza, the Bruins extended their lead. Tampa Bay tried to clear the puck out of the defensive zone, but Andrew Ference kept the play alive at the left point. Ference tried sending a shot through, but a defender got in the way. However, the puck deflected to Michael Ryder, who hammered a slap shot in toward the net. Milan Lucic got a piece of Ryder's attempt, tipping it in past Antero Niittymaki.

A little more than four minutes later, Boston continued the offensive surge, building the lead to three. Blake Wheeler started the play in his own zone, passing ahead to Michael Ryder in center ice. Ryder carried the puck into the offensive zone, before returning the favor by passing back to Wheeler. Wheeler went to his right, while Ryder went left. With Niittymaki committing to Wheeler, that left Ryder open in front. Wheeler found his open teammate, and Ryder had little issue slamming home the goal.

Less than a minute after that, the Lightning got caught being undisciplined. Miroslav Satan and Steve Downie got tangled in the corner, with Downie delivering an extra shot, thus earning an extra minor penalty. Looking to stick up for their teammate, the Bruins made Downie pay the hard way, lighting the lamp for the fourth time in the opening stanza. Patrice Bergeron got the puck at the left point, tapping a pass low to Marc Savard in the left circle. Savard wristed a shot on goal that got stopped by Niittymaki. The rebound of Savard's shot deflected out to Michael Ryder, who roofed his second tally of the period. With his two goals, Ryder now has eight goals in nine games against Niittymaki.

The Bruins' offensive outburst in the first period brought an early end to Niittymaki's night between the pipes. Tampa Bay's starting goaltender was pulled at the end of the opening stanza, after allowing four goals on 21 shots. Boston outshot the Lightning 21-13 in the first period, while grabbing a commanding 4-0 lead on the scoreboard.

Mike Smith took over between the pipes in the second period, and he was greeted with a goal less than five minutes in. Marc Savard chased down a loose puck in the right corner of the offensive zone, centering a pass into the slot to Daniel Paille. Paille backhanded the puck toward the middle, with a Lightning player deflecting the pass out to Zdeno Chara at the point. Chara spun and fired a slap shot in on goal, getting a tip from Milan Lucic, as well as Martin St. Louis. Those two redirections fooled Smith, beating him through the legs.

As the period wore on, Steve Downie took center stage once again, getting under the skins of the Bruins' players. This time, Downie got caught up with Zdeno Chara. Downie gave Chara a few shots, leading the Bruins' captain to respond, dropping his gloves, and drilling the Tampa Bay forward with a series of punches. Chara did pick up the extra minor, but Boston's penalty kill was successful in keeping the Lightning off of the scoreboard.

Unfortunately for Tuukka Rask and the Bruins, the shutout didn't last much longer, as Tampa Bay finally scored a few minutes later. Steven Stamkos won an offensive zone face-off back to Victor Hedman at the right point. Hedman threw a shot in on goal that Rask stopped, but the rebound kicked out to Martin St. Louis. With Rask scrambling to recover, St. Louis calmly tapped in the rebound with his backhand.

In the final few minutes of the middle frame, Boston's defense was put to the test, as it was forced to kill a 4-on-3 power play. The Lightning took advantage of the extra ice, scoring once more before the period came to an end. Kurtis Foster got the puck at the right point, cycling the puck around the boards for Martin St. Louis behind the cage. St. Louis stickhandled briefly, before passing back to Foster. For the second time on the play, Foster went to St. Louis, setting him up with a slap pass at the top of the crease. St. Louis kept his stick on the ice, tipping in his second goal in less than four minutes.

St. Louis' two goals gave Tampa Bay some life, but the Bruins still had a pretty solid 5-2 lead when the seconds period concluded.

The score stayed that way for the first half of the third period, and Boston appeared to be in good shape. However, the Lightning had other ideas, continuing their comeback with 8:51 left to play. Martin St. Louis flipped the puck into the offensive zone, connecting with Steven Stamkos on the right side. Stamkos spun off of his defender, while also dropping a pass back to Victor Hedman at the point. Hedman sent a wrist shot in through traffic, getting a deflection from Steve Downie for Tampa Bay's third goal of the evening.

With less than four minutes remaining in regulation, Tampa Bay cut the lead even more, causing fans around Boston to worry. Derek Morris turned the puck over in his own zone, allowing Martin St. Louis to create an offensive chance for the Lightning. St. Louis curled around the back of the goal, tossing a pass out to Victor Hedman for a shot from the point. Hedman's shot got stopped by Rask, as well as a rebound chance by Steve Downie. However, the Bruins' netminder wasn't as fortunate on Downie's second shot, as he made the score 5-4 in favor of the visitors.

The Lightning did get close, but that was as close as they would get. The Bruins tightened up defensively in the final few minutes, holding on for a 5-4 victory.

Tuukka Rask picked up his third straight win for Boston, making 31 saves on 35 shots. Antero Niittymaki was pulled after allowing four goals on 21 shots in the first period, but received a no-decision, as the Lightning scored four goals of their own. Instead, it was Mike Smith getting the loss for Tampa Bay, despite allowing just one goal on 15 shots.

The Boston Bruins will look for their fourth straight win on Saturday night, when they conclude the pre-Olympic portion of the schedule against the Florida Panthers. The Providence Bruins are in action on Friday night, as they play host to the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Scoring Summary:
1. BOS Satan (3) (Savard, Morris) 4:24
1. BOS Lucic (4) (Ryder, Ference) 11:21
1. BOS Ryder (14) (Wheeler, Morris) 15:44
1. BOS Ryder (15) (Savard, Bergeron) (PP) 17:19
2. BOS Lucic (5) (Chara, Paille) 4:53
2. TBL St. Louis (21) (Hedman, Stamkos) 16:10
2. TBL St. Louis (22) (Foster, Stamkos) (PP) 19:02
3. TBL Downie (12) (Hedman, Stamkos) 11:09
3. TBL Downie (13) (Hedman, St. Louis) 16:47

Penalty Summary:
1. BOS Thornton- Fighting 3:16
1. TBL Walker- Fighting 3:16
1. BOS Satan- Tripping 7:55
1. TBL Ohlund- Cross Checking 7:55
1. BOS Satan- Roughing 16:41
1. TBL Downie- Roughing (Double-Minor) 16:41
2. TBL Ohlund- Holding 7:47
2. BOS Chara- Holding 13:35
2. BOS Chara- Roughing 13:35
2. TBL Downie- Roughing 13:35
2. TBL Fedoruk- Interference 17:04
2. BOS Ryder- Holding 17:15
2. BOS Krejci- Holding 18:40
3. BOS Chara- Delay of Game 2:47
3. BOS Wideman- Hooking 11:51

Goalies:
BOS Tuukka Rask (13-7-4): 35 shots, 31 saves
TBL Antero Niittymaki (replaced at 0:00 2nd): 21 shots, 17 saves
TBL Mike Smith (10-13-6): 15 shots, 14 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 21-5-10=36
TBL 13-9-13=35

Power Plays:
BOS 1-for-3
TBL 1-for-5

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Michael Ryder
2- TBL Steve Downie
3- BOS Marc Savard

February 10, 2010 1:18 AM

Rask Stops 43 in Shootout Win at Buffalo

In the last four years, the Boston Bruins participated in a grand total of 46 shootouts, with 13 being the most in one season. The 2009-10 team has already eclipsed that mark, and is getting dangerously close to the league record of 19. On Tuesday night, the Bruins played in their 16th shootout. Unlike the previous four, this time, Boston came out on top, as David Krejci's goal in the fourth round gave the Bruins a 3-2 road victory over the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.

Earlier this season, the Bruins and Sabres became trading partners for the first time ever, as Buffalo shipped Daniel Paille to Boston. Tuesday was the forward's second trip to his former home city, and he celebrated in grand fashion, mucking around the net for the first goal of the contest. Miroslav Satan chipped the puck down the boards for Paille, who tried setting up Marc Savard behind the cage. Savard couldn't get a clean handle of the puck, but managed to return the feed to Paille. Thanks to a moving screen by the referee, Paille lost his defender, allowing him to get a wraparound off, sneaking the shot through Ryan Miller.

Shortly after the midway mark of the opening stanza, Boston struck again, and for the second time, it was the former Sabre doing the damage. Miroslav Satan and Daniel Paille exchanged passes on the left side of the offensive zone, with Paille ultimately curling around the net and tossing a pass back to Derek Morris at the right point. Morris dished a pass across the blueline to Zdeno Chara, who fired a slap shot in toward the net. Paille set himself up in the slot, tipping Chara's blast home for his ninth goal as a Bruin.

The Sabres outshot the Bruins 17-11 in the first period, but Boston had the better of the opportunities, including Daniel Paille's two goals.

In the early stages of the second period, the dislike began to set in for the two divisional rivals. With a delayed penalty upcoming to Boston, Shawn Thornton and Craig Rivet elected to drop the gloves. Thornton had the clear upper hand on Rivet, taking the Buffalo captain down with relative ease.

The penalty on the play was a hooking minor to Milan Lucic, putting the Sabres on their first power play of the night. Less than a minute later, Steve Begin was flagged for holding, making it a two-man advantage for the home team. With time ticking away on Lucic's penalty, Jason Pominville quickly regrouped in center ice, sending a cross-ice pass over to Tim Connolly. Connolly crossed the blueline, before handing off for Derek Roy in the high slot. After receiving the pass, Roy repositioned the puck on his stick, ripping a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the goal.

Despite the goal by Roy, Boston was successful in killing off the remainder of Begin's penalty, keeping the 2-1 lead.

Midway through the period, another disagreement took place, as Zdeno Chara and Paul Gaustad had a less than pleasant exchange. Gaustad threw both of his gloves down to the ice, challenging the Bruins' captain. However, due to a splint on his finger, Chara wasn't able to engage in a fight. Chara's refusal made him the biggest enemy of the Buffalo crowd.

With less than two minutes left to play in the middle frame, the Sabres got the equalizer. The Bruins came inches away from scoring a goal of their own, before Buffalo started transition the other way. Paul Gaustad lobbed the puck ahead from deep in his own zone, trying to connect with a teammate. Adam McQuaid knocked the puck down, but put it onto the stick of Tyler Myers. Myers glided into the offensive zone, used Andrew Ference as a screen, and surprised Tuukka Rask with a low wrist shot on his glove side.

Suddenly, things were looking all too familiar for Boston, who saw a 2-0 lead evaporate into a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes of play.

In comparison to the first two periods, the third period was relatively slow. However, with 5:44 remaining, another fight took place. Adam Mair threw a late hit on Milan Lucic, drawing a response from the Bruins' forward. Mair landed the first couple of punches in the fight, but Lucic answered, drawing blood with his first shot. After getting cut, Mair ducked out of the way, preventing any further punches.

The scariest opportunity of the third period came late, when Dennis Wideman turned the puck over to Jason Pominville. Pominville wrapped the puck around the back of the cage, but Rask was ready, making his 41st save of regulation.

In overtime, the Bruins had a couple of great chances to end the game. The first came on a 2-on-1 break, as Marco Sturm tapped a pass over to Matt Hunwick. Hunwick had most of the net to shoot at, until a lunging save by Miller kept the game alive. A hooking penalty to Thomas Vanek gave Boston a second opportunity, but the visitors failed to score, ultimately sending the game into a shootout.

Both teams got off on the right foot in the shootout, as Jason Pominville scored through Tuukka Rask's legs, while Marco Sturm found a hole underneath Ryan Miller's arm. Rounds two and three were scoreless, as Jochen Hecht, Michael Ryder, Tim Connolly, and Marc Savard all came up empty. Drew Stafford took Buffalo's shot in the first round, and tried to go through Rask's legs, but the Boston netminder turned the shot away. That gave David Krejci the chance to be the hero for the Bruins. Krejci took the puck in on his forehand, beating Miller glove side for the winning goal.

Both goaltenders were phenomenal in the game, as the two combined to allow just four goals on 79 shots. Tuukka Rask earned his second straight win for Boston, making 43 saves on 45 shots during the game, before a 3-for-4 effort in the shootout. Ryan Miller suffered the shootout loss, allowing two goals on four attempts, after a 32-save performance during the game.

The Boston Bruins have now won two straight games, and will be looking to make it three in a row on Thursday night, when they visit the Florida Panthers. The Providence Bruins are off until Friday, when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Scoring Summary:
1. BOS Paille (8) (Savard, Satan) 4:51
1. BOS Paille (9) (Chara, Morris) 11:58
2. BUF Roy (13) (Connolly, Pominville) (PP) 4:35
2. BUF Myers (8) (Gaustad) 18:35

Shootout:
BOS Marco Sturm- G
BOS Michael Ryder- S
BOS Marc Savard- S
BOS David Krejci- G

BUF Jason Pominville- G
BUF Jochen Hecht- S
BUF Tim Connolly- S
BUF Drew Stafford- S

Penalty Summary:
2. BOS Lucic- Hooking 2:54
2. BOS Thornton- Fighting 2:54
2. BUF Rivet- Fighting 2:54
2. BOS Begin- Holding 3:46
2. BUF Gaustad- Unsportsmanlike Conduct 9:52
3. BOS Wideman- Cross Checking 11:08
3. BOS Lucic- Fighting 14:16
3. BUF Mair- Fighting 14:16
4. BUF Vanek- Hooking 1:27

Goalies:
BOS Tuukka Rask (12-7-4): 45 shots, 43 saves
BUF Ryan Miller (29-14-6): 34 shots, 32 saves

Shots on Goal:

BOS 11-11-8-4-1=35
BUF 17-14-12-2-0=43

Power Plays:
BOS 0-for-2
BUF 1-for-3

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Daniel Paille
2- BUF Paul Gaustad
3- BUF Tyler Myers
February 8, 2010 6:54 PM

Losing Streak Ends with Super Sunday Shutout

Hockey fans around Boston can now breathe a little bit easier, as the second longest losing streak in Bruins' history has finally come to an end. On Sunday afternoon, the Boston Bruins found themselves in a similar position to each of their last two games, leading the Montreal Canadiens 2-0. However, Tuukka Rask wasn't about to give an inch, stopping all 36 shots he faced, while Marco Sturm supplied one more goal of insurance, giving the visiting team a 3-0 win at the Bell Centre.

The Bruins and Canadiens were meeting for the second time in four days, and the early part of the game reflected that heated rivalry. In fact, Marco Sturm and Scott Gomez picked up matching penalties for roughing at the 39-second mark of the opening stanza. Pushing and shoving continued throughout the first period, culminating with a fight that may have surprised the majority of the fans. Blake Wheeler dropped the gloves for the first time in his career, taking on Montreal's Ryan O'Byrne. Wheeler got in a couple of quick punches, before losing his balance, thus putting an end to the bout.

Wheeler's fight put some energy onto the Boston bench, as the visitors began to play better as the period progressed. With 2:28 left in the first period, that energy resulted in the first goal of the game. Marc Savard poked the puck free along the left wing boards, carrying it deep behind the Canadiens' net. After hesitating for a few seconds, Savard banked a pass off of the boards to Adam McQuaid at the right point. McQuaid let a slap shot go, getting a deflection from Montreal's Ryan White to beat Jaroslav Halak. The goal was the first of McQuaid's NHL career.

As time ticked away in the first frame, it looked like the Bruins would carry their 1-0 lead into the intermission. However, Marco Sturm had other ideas, doubling the edge on the scoreboard. Derek Morris flipped the puck into the left corner, leading to a race for possession. Patrice Bergeron won the race, tapping the puck to Sturm. Sturm curled around the cage, before swinging a pass back to Zdeno Chara at the left point. Chara wristed a shot toward the net that got blocked, but the rebound kicked out to Sturm, who had little trouble potting his team's second goal. Sturm's 17th of the season came with just 3.6 seconds remaining in the first period.

For the third game in a row, Boston had a two-goal lead. When the second period got underway, fans had every right to be nervous, as the Canadiens came out with a new sense of life. Montreal limited the Bruins to just three shots on goal during the second period, while peppering the Boston goal with 15. The best opportunities came off of the stick of Tomas Plekanec, who was stopped on a breakaway, as well as on a chance from the high slot. Tuukka Rask stopped the other 13 shots as well, keeping the home team off of the scoreboard, and helping his club dodge a major bullet.

One area that had plagued the Bruins in recent weeks had been the ability to finish teams off, scoring a third goal for some extra insurance. Midway through the third period, they got that goal, essentially putting the Canadiens away. Patrice Bergeron won a defensive zone face-off, with Mark Recchi chipping the puck forward on the right side. Montreal had possession briefly, before turning the puck over to Bergeron. Bergeron tapped a pass ahead to Marco Sturm, sending his linemate into the offensive zone. Sturm snapped a shot from high in the slot, using a deflection by Josh Gorges to completely change the direction of the shot, fooling Halak.

From there, victory was all but locked up for the Bruins, who kept the Canadiens at bay for the remainder of the afternoon. When the final buzzer sounded, the losing streak was over, and Boston had a second straight win on Super Sunday, shutting out Montreal 3-0 on the road.

Tuukka Rask picked up his third shutout of the season between the pipes for the Bruins, stopping all 36 shots he faced. Jaroslav Halak was the losing goaltender for the Canadiens, allowing three goals on 27 shots.

At the AHL level, the Providence Bruins were 2-1 this past weekend, losing to Portland on Friday, before back-to-back wins over the Worcester Sharks. Friday night's game was a 3-0 loss, as Portland's Jhonas Enroth came up huge with a 38-save effort. On Saturday, the Baby B's erased a 3-2 deficit with three goals in the third period, including two by Mikko Lehtonen, as well as the second goal of the game by Trent Whitfield. Sunday was another high scoring tilt, as Providence used six different goal scorers to beat the Sharks 6-2.

Despite all of the losses, the Boston Bruins are still in okay shape, as they are tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins will try to build on this victory on Tuesday night, when they visit the Buffalo Sabres. The Providence Bruins are back in action on Friday night, when they play host to the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Scoring Summary:
1. BOS McQuaid (1) (Savard) 17:32
1. BOS Sturm (17) (Bergeron, Chara) 19:56
3. BOS Sturm (18) (Bergeron) 9:49

Penalty Summary:
1. BOS Sturm- Roughing 0:39
1. MON Gomez- Roughing 0:39
1. BOS Wheeler- Fighting 12:17
1. MON O'Byrne- Fighting 12:17
2. BOS Morris- Tripping 12:39

Goalies:
BOS Tuukka Rask (11-7-4): 36 shots, 36 saves
MON Jaroslav Halak (17-9-2): 27 shots, 24 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 13-3-11=27
MON 10-15-11=36

Power Plays:
BOS 0-for-0
MON 0-for-1

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Tuukka Rask
2- BOS Marco Sturm
3- BOS Patrice Bergeron

February 3, 2010 2:01 AM

Theodore Shines, Extending Streaks

Throughout his career, Jose Theodore has tended to save some of his best performances for when he plays against the Boston Bruins. Boston entered Tuesday night's contest on a seven-game winless streak, facing red hot goaltenders in practically every game. That situation arose once again, as Theodore stood on his head, making 41 saves in a 4-1 victory for the Washington Capitals at the TD Garden.

Looking to put an end to their recent struggles, the Bruins got off to a strong start. The home team controlled the play early, drawing Washington into taking three of the game's first four penalties. Matt Bradley and Alexander Semin committed the final two penalties, giving Boston a two-man advantage. Marc Savard won an offensive zone face-off back, as the Bruins quickly moved the puck around the perimeter. Three passes later, the puck was back on Savard's tape at the bottom of the right circle. Savard snapped a cross-crease pass to David Krejci, who beat Jose Theodore on his glove side. Boston went on to outshoot the Capitals 13-5 in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The beginning of the second period was similar to the start of the first, with one exception. This time, it was the Capitals who came out strong. Washington buzzed around the offensive zone, needing approximately two minutes to tie the game. Jose Theodore started the play in his own zone, swinging the puck around the boards for Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom carried the puck through center ice, before sending Tom Poti in on the left side of the offensive zone. Poti looked over his options, eventually finding Mike Knuble at the top of the crease. Knuble kept his stick on the ice, redirecting Poti's pass in before Tim Thomas could slide over.

Midway through the game, Boston was given an opportunity to regain the lead. While playing shorthanded, David Krejci received a pass, springing him in on a breakaway. The Bruins' forward was hooked from behind by Mike Knuble, forcing a penalty shot to be called. Unfortunately for the home team, Krejci wasn't able to take advantage of his chance, snapping the penalty shot wide on Theodore's stick side.

The Bruins had another terrific scoring chance in the latter stages of the middle frame, but a diving swipe by Theodore kept Blake Wheeler off of the scoresheet. Despite the missed opportunities, the B's still found themselves tied at one with the Eastern Conference leaders after two periods of play.

Five minutes into the third period, the Capitals took their first lead of the game. Alexander Semin skated in with a slap shot from the right circle that was blocked by Matt Hunwick. Rather than clearing the puck off of the boards, Hunwick opted for a backhand pass behind the net. Semin swooped in for the steal, spinning a pass to Brooks Laich in the left circle. Laich kept his shot low, scoring his eighth goal in 18 career games against Boston.

At that point, the Bruins began to feel some frustration. Less than three minutes later, Washington doubled the lead, making matters even worse for the home team. Brian Pothier gathered in the puck in his own zone, leaving a pass off for Tom Poti. Poti cruised through the middle of the ice, dangling his way into the offensive zone. As he began to close in on the bottom of the right circle, Poti centered a pass into the slot. The pass found Boyd Gordon, who beat Thomas with a one-timer.

From there, the usually offensive-minded Capitals turned their attention on defense, shutting down any and every opportunity that the Bruins tried to create. With 32 seconds left in the game, Alex Ovechkin capped the scoring, putting his 497th career point into Boston's vacant cage.

Jose Theodore earned the win for Washington, turning in a spectacular 41-save performance. Tim Thomas suffered the loss for the Bruins, making 22 saves on 25 shots.

The Capitals have now won eleven straight games, breaking the club's franchise record. The Bruins have now lost eight straight games, going 0-6-2 in that stretch.

If there's one team that the Boston Bruins would love to turn things around against, it would be the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal will be the opponent on Thursday night, as the teams collide for the first of two meetings this week. Thursday's battle takes place at the TD Garden.

Scoring Summary:

1. BOS Krejci (10) (Savard, Wideman) (PP) 6:58
2. WAS Knuble (19) (Poti, Backstrom) 2:04
3. WAS Laich (17) (Semin) 5:04
3. WAS Gordon (2) (Poti, Pothier) 7:51
3. WAS Ovechkin (36) (Unassisted) (EN) 19:28

Penalty Summary:
1. WAS Backstrom- Holding 1:03
1. BOS Wheeler- Interference 2:16
1. WAS Bradley- Tripping 5:30
1. WAS Semin- High Sticking 6:50
1. WAS Semin- Hooking 12:02
2. BOS Ryder- Hooking 3:25
2. BOS Sturm- Holding 9:24
2. BOS Bergeron- Hooking 11:09
2. WAS Semin- Hooking 15:26
3. WAS Ovechkin- Slashing 1:15

Goalies:
WAS Jose Theodore (18-7-4): 42 shots, 41 saves
BOS Tim Thomas (13-15-7): 25 shots, 22 saves (1 en)

Shots on Goal:
WAS 5-12-9=26
BOS 13-16-13=42

Power Plays:
WAS 0-for-4
BOS 1-for-6

Three Stars of the Game:
1- WAS Jose Theodore
2- WAS Tom Poti
3- BOS David Krejci
January 31, 2010 3:59 AM

Bruins Gain One Point, but Second Point Slips Away

The Boston Bruins entered Saturday night's contest on a five-game losing streak, with their last point coming on January 16th, when they fell in a shootout against the Los Angeles Kings. As luck would have it, Los Angeles was the opponent at the TD Garden, as Boston looked to put an end to the current slump. The Bruins did register one point in the standings, but that was all, as Jarret Stoll's goal in the sixth round of the shootout gave the visiting Kings a 3-2 victory.

It didn't take long for the Bruins to get an opportunity in the game, as Drew Doughty found himself in the penalty box at the 39-minute mark. However, Los Angeles' penalty kill was up to the task in the early going, killing Doughty's penalty, as well as a minor to Ryan Smyth.

On the other hand, Boston's penalty kill got off to a difficult start. Milan Lucic picked up the Bruins' first penalty with 8:13 remaining in the first period. Lucic's stay in the sin bin lasted for a mere 19 seconds, as the Kings made quick work on the man advantage. Los Angeles won the ensuing face-off, with Drew Doughty and Jarret Stoll exchanging passes at the point. Stoll ultimately opted to go to his right, setting up Anze Kopitar for a slap shot. Kopitar drove his shot in toward the slot, with Dustin Brown redirecting the puck in past the stick side of Tim Thomas. Brown had the lone tally of the first period, as the Kings took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

In the early stages of the second period, the Kings looked like they had doubled their lead. Randy Jones took a shot from the point, with Wayne Simmonds deflecting the puck down and into the net. The referee to the right of the cage immediately called the goal off, and video replay agreed, wiping Simmonds' goal off of the board.

Shortly after dodging the bullet, the Bruins got an injection of energy. Peter Harrold passed the puck forward from his own zone, trying to send Anze Kopitar ahead in center ice. Mark Stuart had other ideas, belting Kopitar with a punishing hit. Stuart was quickly challenged by Wayne Simmonds, as the two dropped the gloves, engaging in a fight. The bout was quick and beneficial for Boston, as Simmonds picked up 19 penalty minutes, while Stuart only received the five for fighting.

Moments later, a part of Simmonds' penalty was erased, as Tim Thomas got his stick up in retaliation on Brad Richardson. The Kings went on to kill the remainder of Simmonds' penalties, while also preventing any damage on a penalty to Rob Scuderi.

Finally, on their sixth power play of the night, the Bruins cashed in. Brandon Segal made the mistake, shooting the puck over the boards for a delay of game penalty. Los Angeles won the ensuing face-off, but Drew Doughty's clearing attempt was blocked by one of the linesmen. The puck deflected to Marc Savard, who centered a pass to Marco Sturm. Sturm waited out Doughty, before beating Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot to the stick side.

With less than one minute left in the period, the Kings were shorthanded once again, as Scott Parse was sent off for tripping. Boston was unable to score during the final 20 seconds of the middle frame, but the home team took advantage of the fresh ice in the third. Mark Recchi picked up the puck behind his own net, turning on the jets as he dashed through center ice. After crossing the red line, Recchi handed off for David Krejci, who skated in on the right side of the offensive zone. As he got close to the goal line, Krejci gave the puck back to Recchi, who tipped the go-ahead goal in past Quick. Recchi's marker gave the Bruins their first lead since January 21st against Columbus.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, that lead didn't last long. Just over a minute later, David Krejci was whistled for hooking, putting Los Angeles on the power play. Boston was successful in killing the majority of the penalty, but with nine seconds to go, the Kings finally capitalized. Anze Kopitar got the puck from Michal Handzus on the right side of the offensive zone. After a brief display of puckhandling, Kopitar fired a shot in on goal. Thomas got a piece of the puck, but it wasn't enough, as the game was tied at two.

The Kings put the pressure on in Boston's defensive zone during the final minute of regulation, but Thomas and the Bruins stood tall, giving both teams one point in the standings.

In overtime, the Bruins had a few chances to get the winning goal, but this time, Quick and the Kings did well defensively, sending the tilt into a shootout.

As the home team, the Bruins elected to shoot first, sending Zdeno Chara out to put his team ahead. However, Chara fanned, barely making contact with the puck. Anze Kopitar took advantage of that opportunity for the Kings, using the well-known move by Peter Forsberg for a 1-0 lead. A pair of misses by Blake Wheeler and Dustin Brown put the game on Michael Ryder's shoulders. He kept Boston alive, beating Quick with a snap shot over the glove. Michal Handzus came up empty for Los Angeles, sending the shootout into extra frames.

The first two frames saw results that mirrored each other. In round four, Marc Savard faked out Quick for a goal, only to see Ryan Smyth answer by sneaking a shot through Thomas. In the fifth round, Patrice Bergeron's miss was matched by Oscar Moller, who was also denied. In round six, Mark Recchi took the shot for the Bruins, missing high with a backhander. That gave Jarret Stoll a chance to be the hero, which he was, beating Thomas high over the glove.

Jonathan Quick earned his 30th win of the season for the Kings, making 31 saves on 33 shots, before a 4-for-6 effort in the shootout. Fellow Olympian Tim Thomas came up on the short end for the Bruins, stopping 27 of the 29 shots he faced during the game, before allowing three goals in the shootout.

In the AHL, the Providence Bruins had a night to remember, as they lit the lamp eight times in an 8-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center. Defensemen Jeff Penner and Andy Wozniewski gave the Baby B's a 2-0 lead in the first period, before Colton Fretter scored, cutting the lead to 2-1. It was all Providence from there, as Brad Marchand, Jordan Knackstedt, Jamie Arniel, and Mikko Lehtonen blew the game open at 6-1 after two. Fretter scored his second of the game in the third period, but Lehtonen and Knackstedt answered, giving the Peebs the commanding 8-2 win. Dany Sabourin was the winning netminder, making 22 saves on 24 shots. Jean-Philippe Levasseur allowed six goals in the loss, while Andrew Penner received a no-decision. The power play was Providence's biggest success, as the visitors were 5-for-6.

The Boston Bruins have two days off, before they continue their current four-game homestand on Tuesday. The visitors on Tuesday will be the Washington Capitals, who currently lead the Eastern Conference with 78 points. The Providence Bruins will finish their home-and-home series with the Springfield Falcons on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

Scoring Summary:
1. LAK Brown (13) (Kopitar, Stoll) (PP) 12:06
2. BOS Sturm (16) (Savard) (PP) 15:16
3. BOS Recchi (10) (Krejci) (PP) 1:20
3. LAK Kopitar (23) (Handzus, Jones) (PP) 4:29

Shootout:
LAK Anze Kopitar- G
LAK Dustin Brown- S
LAK Michal Handzus- S
LAK Ryan Smyth- G
LAK Oscar Moller- S
LAK Jarret Stoll- G

BOS Zdeno Chara- S
BOS Blake Wheeler- S
BOS Michael Ryder- G
BOS Marc Savard- G
BOS Patrice Bergeron- S
BOS Mark Recchi- S

Penalty Summary:

1. LAK Doughty- Hooking 0:39
1. LAK Smyth- Tripping 8:06
1. BOS Lucic- Cross Checking 11:47
1. BOS Stuart- Slashing 13:51
2. LAK Simmonds- Unsportsmanlike Conduct 4:58
2. LAK Simmonds- Instigating 4:58
2. LAK Simmonds- Fighting 4:58
2. LAK Simmonds- 10 Minute Misconduct 4:58
2. BOS Stuart- Fighting 4:58
2. BOS Thomas- High Sticking 5:27
2. LAK Scuderi- Cross Checking 8:29
2. LAK Segal- Delay of Game 15:08
2. BOS Savard- Hooking 16:35
2. LAK Parse- Tripping 19:39
3. BOS Krejci- Hooking 2:38

Goalies:
LAK Jonathan Quick (30-16-3): 33 shots, 31 saves
BOS Tim Thomas (13-14-7): 29 shots, 27 saves

Shots on Goal:
LAK 10-7-10-2-1=30
BOS 7-13-9-4-0=33

Power Plays:

LAK 2-for-4
BOS 2-for-7

Three Stars of the Game:
1- LAK Anze Kopitar
2- BOS Patrice Bergeron
3- LAK Jarret Stoll
January 30, 2010 3:51 AM

Another One-Goal Game, and Another Frustrating Loss

Last season, the Boston Bruins had lots of success putting the puck in the net, scoring a total of 274 goals, which was the second most in the entire NHL. This season has been the exact opposite for the Bruins, who have struggled mightily to light the lamp. In fact, Boston entered Friday night's game with the fewest goals in the league, potting just 127.

On Friday night in Buffalo, the Bruins' defense had a strong outing overall, limiting the hometown Sabres to two goals on 23 shots. Unfortunately, the offensive woes continued, as Boston fell short, scoring once on 31 shots against Ryan Miller. The 2-1 loss to Buffalo at HSBC Arena gives the Bruins a mark of 1-8-1 in their last ten games, including five straight defeats with a combined total of six goals.

The contest did not get off to the greatest start for the visitors, as the Sabres needed a little more than four minutes to open the scoring. Clarke MacArthur and Dennis Wideman battled for possession in the right corner of Buffalo's offensive zone, with Paul Gaustad digging the puck free for Tyler Myers at the point. Myers dished a pass across the blueline, setting up Henrik Tallinder on the left side. Tallinder tossed a wrist shot in on goal, beating a screened Tuukka Rask on his glove side.

In the latter stages of the opening stanza, Boston ran into penalty trouble, picking up consecutive minors. The Bruins' penalty kill was successful in shutting down Buffalo's first two power plays, but the third penalty was the charm for the home team. David Krejci tried lifting the puck out of the defensive zone, but Chris Butler kept the play alive at the blueline. After a quick exchange with Tim Connolly, Butler fired a one-timer in on goal. Butler's shot was blocked in front, but Thomas Vanek was there to clean up the garbage, backhanding the rebound in past Rask.

All in all the Bruins played a decent first period, outshooting the Sabres 13-10. However, the scoreboard is the only thing that matters in hockey, and that had Buffalo with a 2-0 lead.

The play slowed down in the second period, but halfway through the game, Boston cashed in with a goal. Zdeno Chara started the play in his own zone, sending Marc Savard ahead through center ice. After crossing the blueline, Savard glided to his right, leaving a pass off for Milan Lucic in the middle of the offensive zone. Lucic stepped in toward the puck, ripping a wrist shot past Ryan Miller for his third goal of the season. Two of Lucic's three tallies this season have come against Miller and the Sabres in Buffalo.

Shortly after the goal, the Bruins lost some of their momentum, as David Krejci was flagged for high sticking. Boston did successfully kill the penalty, keeping the Sabres off of the scoreboard during the middle frame. Shots on goal in the second period were 8-6 in favor of Buffalo, with the home team carrying a 2-1 lead into the locker room.

Feeling some desperation, Boston really turned on the heat during the third period. With 8:56 left in regulation, the Bruins finally got their first and only power play of the evening, as Derek Roy received a minor for tripping. However, Miller was more than ready, as he kept the visiting team at bay. Boston outshot Buffalo 12-5 in the third period, but was unable to get the equalizer, as the Sabres held on for the 2-1 victory.

Ryan Miller continued his strong play in goal for the Sabres, making 30 saves on 31 shots for the win. The way Miller has played this season, he seems like the favorite to be Team USA's starting goaltender at the Olympics. Tuukka Rask only allowed two goals on 23 shots for the Bruins, but came up short, getting saddled with another frustrating loss.

At the AHL level, the Providence Bruins also ran into a strong goaltender on Friday night, as they fell 2-0 to the Manchester Monarchs at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Geoff Walker and Jon Rheault scored in the third period for the Monarchs, giving Jonathan Bernier all of the support that he needed. Bernier made 34 saves in the shutout, defeating Dany Sabourin, who turned aside 23 of the 24 shots he faced.

The Boston Bruins will look to put an end to this current slump on Saturday, as they will play host to the Los Angeles Kings. The Providence Bruins will also be looking to right the ship on Saturday as they begin a home-and-home series with the Springfield Falcons on the road.

Scoring Summary:

1. BUF Tallinder (3) (Myers, Gaustad) 4:01
1. BUF Vanek (16) (Butler, Connolly) (PP) 17:32
2. BOS Lucic (3) (Savard, Chara) 10:03

Penalty Summary:

1. BOS Thornton- Roughing 5:47
1. BOS Sobotka- Interference 13:26
1. BOS Savard- High Sticking 16:29
2. BOS Krejci- High Sticking 12:18
3. BUF Roy- Tripping 11:04

Goalies:
BOS Tuukka Rask (10-7-2): 23 shots, 21 saves
BUF Ryan Miller (29-11-5): 31 shots, 30 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 13-6-12=31
BUF 10-8-5=23

Power Plays:
BOS 0-for-1
BUF 1-for-4

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BUF Ryan Miller
2- BUF Thomas Vanek
3- BOS Marc Savard

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