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The Bear Cave


September 27, 2009 9:31 AM

Disappointing Finale Leads to 5-2-1 Preseason Mark

Believe it or not, the Boston Bruins have only been at training camp for exactly two weeks now. The reason that might seem surprising to some is because the team played eight preseason games in that short amount of time. Saturday night was the final preseason tuneup for the Bruins, as they played host to the Columbus Blue Jackets. For the second time this week, it was Columbus who got the upper hand, as the visitors netted three goals during the third period for a 4-2 win at the TD Garden.

Earlier this week, offense was the name of the game between Boston and Columbus, as the two clubs combined for ten goals in regulation, before a shootout decided the ultimate winner. Saturday night's tilt looked like it might be headed that way early, as the Blue Jackets needed less than three minutes to take the lead. Derek Dorsett sent a shot toward the net that Tuukka Rask turned aside. However, Matt Calvert was there for the rebound, putting away his second goal in as many games against the Black and Gold.

Approximately seven minutes into the opening stanza, the Bruins responded with their first goal of the night. Michael Ryder chased the puck down behind the Columbus goal, before spinning a pass to Milan Lucic along the boards. Lucic spotted Vladimir Sobotka in the slot, giving him the perfect opportunity to even the score. The remainder of the period was on the slow side, with each team accumulating a total of eight shots on goal.

After coming up empty on three power plays during the first period, Boston received another opportunity in the second, as David Liffiton was sent off for holding at the 5:35 mark. Using a play that worked on multiple occasions last season, the home team went ahead. Derek Morris got the play started at the right point, when he received a cross-ice pass from Michael Ryder. Morris and Marc Savard kept the puck moving deep in the zone, eventually connecting with Milan Lucic behind the net. With the Columbus defense beginning to slide over toward the right, Zdeno Chara cheated in from the point. Lucic slipped a backdoor pass through to his blueliner, who redirected it in past a helpless Mathieu Garon. Chara was the only player to find the back of the net during the middle frame, as the Bruins carried their 2-1 lead into the dressing rooms.

During the third period, the game began to turn around, thanks to the Blue Jackets' line of Raffi Torres, Derick Brassard, and Nikita Filatov. 6:43 into the period, that line netted the equalizer. Torres skated the puck into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 break, before firing a low slap shot toward the cage. Rask made the easy save, kicking the rebound out to the top of the left circle. Marc Methot thought about a slap shot, but opted to pass to Brassard along the goal line. Brassard had a plan in mind, as he immediately one-touched a pass to Torres at the top of the crease. All Torres had to do was tap it in for the tie game.

A little less than six minutes later, that line was at it again. Nikita Filatov gloved down an Andrew Ference centering pass in the Columbus defensive end, leading to an odd-man rush in the other direction. Filatov snapped an outlet pass ahead to Raffi Torres, who turned on the jets, as he carried the puck into the offensive zone. Filatov quickly joined him, allowing Torres to saucer a pass into the middle of the ice. With the defense trailing the play, Filatov shifted from his forehand to his backhand, roofing a shot stick side on Rask.

With a little more than three minutes remaining, the teams began to develop a disliking for one another. Michael Blunden lost his edge around the Boston crease, taking the feet out from under Tuukka Rask. Despite the fact that it was an innocent move, the Bruins stood up for their netminder, as Chuck Kobasew challenged Blunden along the back boards. Toward the end of that fight, Shawn Thornton and Jared Boll opted for a go, throwing down in the corner. The first fight was even for the most part, with Blunden gaining the edge. The second fight went to Thornton, who landed a few punishing shots. On the play, Kobasew and Blunden each received fighting majors, Thornton and Boll were each ejected (second altercation on the same play), and Kobasew received an extra minor for roughing.

On the ensuing power play, the Blue Jackets added to their lead. Grant Clitsome and Kris Russell exchanged passes at the point, before Clitsome eventually fired off a one-timer from the right side. Dennis Wideman got in the way of the shot in the slot, but the rebound kicked over to an open area of the ice. Derek Dorsett stepped in with a slap shot, beating Rask high on his glove side.

Mathieu Garon picked up his second win in as many tries against the Bruins this week, making 22 saves on 24 shots for Columbus. Tuukka Rask suffered his only loss in three preseason appearances for Boston, stopping 31 of the 35 shots he faced.

Prior to face-off, the Bruins made a significant amount of transactions, trimming their active roster down to 24 players. Mikko Lehtonen, Jeff LoVecchio, and Adam McQuaid were each directly assigned to Providence. Kirk MacDonald was also sent to the Baby B's, although his was with the term "returned," as he was on a tryout basis with the big club. Drew Fata, Drew Larman, Guillaume Lefebvre, Dany Sabourin, Trent Whitfield, and Andy Wozniewski were each placed on waivers, with the intention of being assigned to the P-Bruins. Teams around the league have until noon on Monday to put in a claim on those players. If there aren't any claims, those players will be Rhode Island bound. Lefebvre was also signed to a one-year contract earlier in the day, as he was in training camp on a tryout basis. There will likely be one or two more moves before the start of the season.

The next game on the docket for the Boston Bruins is the season opener, as they host the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at the TD Garden. Make sure to have this page bookmarked all week (and all season for that matter), as we'll take a look at the final rosters for both Boston and Providence, while I make my predictions on the 2009-10 NHL Standings!

Scoring Summary:
1. CBJ Calvert (2) (Dorsett, Murray) 2:42
1. BOS Sobotka (1) (Lucic, Ryder) 7:03
2. BOS Chara (1) (Lucic, Savard) (PP) 5:56
3. CBJ Torres (2) (Methot, Brassard) 6:43
3. CBJ Filatov (2) (Torres, Russell) 12:35
3. CBJ Dorsett (1) (Clitsome, Russell) 17:38

Penalty Summary:
1. BOS Wideman- Roughing 3:31
1. CBJ Dorsett- Tripping 4:39
1. CBJ Methot- Holding 9:30
1. CBJ Clitsome- Hooking 15:47
2. BOS Wideman- High Sticking 0:40
2. BOS Wheeler- Slashing 2:21
2. CBJ Liffiton- Holding 5:35
2. CBJ Blunden- Hooking 8:05
2. BOS Hamill- Tripping 11:26
2. BOS Stuart- Slashing 19:44
3. BOS Hamill- Slashing 9:15
3. CBJ Blunden- Fighting 16:39
3. CBJ Boll- Fighting 16:39
3. CBJ Boll- Game Misconduct 16:39
3. BOS Kobasew- Roughing 16:39
3. BOS Kobasew- Fighting 16:39
3. BOS Thornton- Fighting 16:39
3. BOS Thornton- Game Misconduct 16:39

Goalies:
CBJ Mathieu Garon (2-0-0): 24 shots, 22 saves
BOS Tuukka Rask (2-1-0): 35 shots, 31 saves

Shots on Goal:
CBJ 8-13-14=35
BOS 8-9-7=24

Power Plays:
CBJ 0-for-7
BOS 1-for-5

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