RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Bear Cave


September 26, 2009 7:15 AM

Another Close One, but Bruins Come Out on Top

If the preseason has taught the fans anything, it is that the Boston Bruins certainly have the ability to win the close, low scoring hockey games. Boston entered Friday's tilt with a 4-1-1 record, winning three of those games by identical 2-1 scores. The fourth win in that stretch was a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. As if it was on cue, the Bruins repeated themselves yet again. Brad Marchand and Drew Fata each found the back of the net, while Tim Thomas made 35 saves, leading the visiting B's to a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.

Playing in their final tuneup before the start of the regular season, it was Ottawa who started the game with plenty of jump. Friday night's host squad fired each of the game's first nine shots on goal, putting early pressure on Tim Thomas and the Bruins' defense.

The visitors held up well for the most part, until Andy Wozniewski took a cross checking penalty at the 12:31 mark of the opening stanza. The minor was Wozniewski's second of the night, and unlike his first one, this trip to the sin bin didn't last the full two minutes. Jason Spezza controlled the puck on the left side of the offensive zone, waiting for his teammates to get into position. Once that happened, he was able to set up Chris Campoli for a one-timer from the middle of the blueline. Thomas made a left pad save on Campoli, but gave up a big rebound into the right circle. Ryan Shannon bobbled the puck at first, but had plenty of time to collect himself, before netting the game's first goal.

At that point, the game began to get physical. Shawn Thornton was the first player interested in a battle, as he took on Matt Carkner at center ice. The fight was a quick one, with Thornton scoring the takedown after a few jabs from each side. A little more than three minutes later, Milan Lucic and Chris Neil dropped the gloves after a couple of whacks with their respective sticks. Lucic was the clear winner in fight number two, cutting Neil open above the left eye, while delivering a cluster of quality punches. Drew Fata nearly completed the rough hat trick with Christoph Schubert, but the Ottawa forward turned down multiple invitations.

Shortly after the fighting was over, Carkner and Neil received company in the penalty box, as Anton Volchenkov was sent off for cross checking. Over a minute into the power play, Boston cashed in. Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara exchanged passes on the left side of the ice, before Savard ultimately sent a pass back to the opposite point for Derek Morris. Morris fired a low slap shot toward the net, hoping for a screen or a deflection. The deflection came from Brad Marchand, who got his stick on Morris' shot, tipping it up and over Pascal Leclaire's left shoulder. Marchand's second tally of the preseason came with one minute remaining in the opening stanza, sending the game into intermission knotted at one.

The second period was a slow one. Zdeno Chara's penalty for delay of game and Marc Savard's minor for slashing were the only two notes on the scoresheet in a frame that featured a combined total of 15 shots on goal. The Senators had nine of those 15 attempts, bringing their lead in the game to 19-11.

A little less than five minutes into the third period, it appeared that the Bruins would be going on another power play, as Christoph Schubert took a penalty for interference. However, a retaliatory roughing call on Drew Fata evened things up at four players per side. Looking to make up for his lack of judgment, Fata was able to bail himself out, 24 seconds after exiting the penalty box. Vladimir Sobotka won an offensive zone face-off over to Jeff LoVecchio on the outside of the left circle. LoVecchio used his backhand to nudge the puck back to the point, hoping to set up a play. The pass ended up being hard enough for Fata to get off a one-timer. With bodies filling the slot area and creating a screen on Leclaire, the Boston blueliner's shot flew into the top part of the cage.

With approximately five minutes left in regulation, there was a bit of amusement for those watching the game. Zdeno Chara lost his stick in Boston's defensive zone. While that in itself isn't a big deal, the customary move in that scenario is for a forward to give his stick to the defenseman. As luck would have it, the 6-foot-9 Chara ended up getting a stick handed to him by 5-foot-9 Brad Marchand. Chara and his new miniature stick nearly led to a scoring chance by the Senators, but the Bruins were eventually able to clear the puck, leading to a few laughs.

Trailing by a goal, the Senators turned up the pressure during the third period, directing 17 shots on Tim Thomas. However, the Boston backstop looked to be in midseason form, stopping all 17, en route to a 35-save performance for his second win in as many nights. Pascal Leclaire came up with 18 saves on 20 shots for the Senators, but suffered the loss.

The Boston Bruins have one game remaining on their preseason schedule. That game takes place at 7:00 on Saturday, as the Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets at the TD Garden. The Providence Bruins will also put the finishing touches on their preseason schedule on Saturday, as they visit the Springfield Falcons at 7:00.

Scoring Summary:
1. OTT Shannon (1) (Campoli, Spezza) (PP) 12:43
1. BOS Marchand (2) (Morris, Savard) (PP) 19:00
3. BOS Fata (1) (LoVecchio, Sobotka) 7:16

Penalty Summary:
1. BOS Wozniewski- Delay of Game 6:05
1. BOS Wozniewski- Cross Checking 12:31
1. BOS Thornton- Fighting 13:29
1. OTT Carkner- Fighting 13:29
1. BOS Lucic- Fighting 16:47
1. OTT Neil- Fighting 16:47
1. OTT Volchenkov- High Sticking 17:40
2. BOS Chara- Delay of Game 5:00
2. BOS Savard- Slashing 8:05
3. BOS Marchand- High Sticking 0:45
3. BOS Fata- Roughing 4:52
3. OTT Schubert- Interference 4:52

Goalies:
BOS Tim Thomas (2-1-0): 36 shots, 35 saves
OTT Pascal Leclaire (1-2-0): 20 shots, 18 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 5-6-9=20
OTT 10-9-17=36

Power Plays:

BOS 1-for-1
OTT 1-for-5

Three Stars of the Game:
1- BOS Tim Thomas
2- BOS Brad Marchand
3- OTT Pascal Leclaire

A Member Of