The Bear Cave

September 23, 2009 10:33 AM

Slugfest Goes to Columbus

If there's one thing that fans can say about the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets, it is that these are two extremely resilient hockey teams. On Tuesday night, the two clubs met in one of the most back-and-forth games that one will ever see. The host Blue Jackets took the lead on five separate occasions, only to have the visiting Bruins answer each and every time. A 5-5 tie after regulation sent the teams into a shootout, where Columbus came out on top for the eventual victory.

The scoring did take a few minutes to begin, as the two teams used the beginning of the game to feel each other out. At the 8:17 mark, the Blue Jackets got on the board. Nikita Filatov set up Antoine Vermette, who beat Dany Sabourin with a wrist shot over the glove. Jakub Voracek picked up the second assist on the goal.

Just under four minutes later, Columbus gave the Bruins an opportunity to pull even. Jakub Voracek was whistled for elbowing, putting the visitors on their first power play of the night. Patrice Bergeron was the designer of the play, as he slid a cross-ice pass over to Andrew Ference, who was creeping in from his position at the blueline. Ference proceeded to beat Mathieu Garon, with Mark Recchi also drawing an assist.

The tie lasted for a mere 27 seconds, as the Blue Jackets took back the lead. Matt Calvert jammed a shot through Sabourin for his first tally of the preseason. Derek Dorsett took home the lone assist on the play.

Emotion entered the game about a minute after Calvert scored, as Guillaume Lefebvre and Jared Boll found a dislike for one another. Both players received minor players for roughing, with Lefebvre picking up an extra couple of minutes for charging. Despite being down by a man, Boston drew even on the scoreboard. Drew Larman skated hard into the offensive zone, and fired a shot in the direction of the Columbus net. Chuck Kobasew was in the right place at the right time, as he finished the play for the shorthanded goal. That marker completed the scoring in a first period that saw two goals and eight shots for each squad.

Less than one minute into the second period, the Bruins found themselves shorthanded yet again. This time, Marc Savard was the guilty party, as he was given two minutes for cross checking. Savard's stay in the sin bin lasted for 56 seconds, as Columbus took lead number three. The play began at the point, with Nikita Filatov missing a shot wide of the net. Jakub Voracek was there to put away the garbage, registering the power play goal. Alexandre Picard also earned an assist on Voracek's second goal of the preseason.

After that, the scoring slowed drastically, as the teams went over 15 minutes without lighting the lamp. Finally, with 2:53 remaining in the middle frame, Boston's checking line got onto the scoresheet. When Shawn Thornton scores goals, they tend to be of highlight quality. This was no different, as the rugged winger drove into the offensive zone, before lifting a backhander over Garon. Guillaume Lefebvre picked up the lone helper, as the two teams were knotted at three.

The end of the second period and start of the third period saw the evening's fireworks, as three fights took place in a span of four minutes of play (minus intermission). The battles started with 36 seconds left in the second, when Drew Larman dropped the gloves with Alexandre Picard. 15 seconds into the third period, Drew Fata and Michael Blunden decided to go at it. Finally, at the 3:02 mark, it was Mark Stuart and Derek Dorsett.

While all of the fighting was going on, there was a hockey game being played. Unfortunately for the Bruins, a goal was also scored by the home team. Blake Wheeler had taken a penalty for holding, putting the Blue Jackets on their fifth man advantage of the contest. The Columbus power play needed just 40 seconds to covert, with Kris Russell rifling home a slap shot from the point. Jakub Voracek and John Moore recorded the assists.

A little more than two minutes later, it was Boston's turn to show off the power. Marc Savard put the puck on a tee for Johnny Boychuk, who blasted one of his trademark slap shots past Garon. Last season in Providence, Boychuk earned the nickname of "Slap Shot," as he made a habit of scoring with some extra zip. That helped the 25-year old to the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL's best defenseman. Andrew Ference also assisted on Slap Shot's slap shot.

Once again, the score wasn't tied for long, as the Blue Jackets needed just 62 seconds to respond. Matt Calvert put the original shot on goal after receiving a pass from Kris Russell. Sabourin stopped that attempt with relative ease, but allowed a tally on the rebound by Derek MacKenzie.

With 8:20 left in regulation, the Bruins came back for the fifth time. Derek Morris started the play, setting Shawn Thornton up for a shot from the blueline. Garon made the save on Thornton, but left a rebound for a hungry Marc Savard. Savard gobbled up the loose puck, before netting his second goal of the preseason.

The remainder of regulation went by without a goal, as well as the five-minute overtime period. That meant that a shootout would be needed in order to decide a winner.

In a game full of offense, it was only fitting that the first two shooters would score, and that's exactly what Antoine Vermette and Blake Wheeler did. Nikita Filatov kept the scoring going in round two, putting Columbus ahead by one. It originally looked like Patrice Bergeron had responded for the equalizer, but the goal was called back. Jakub Voracek hit the post in the third round for the Blue Jackets, giving the Bruins one final chance to even things up. However, Mark Recchi came up empty.

Dany Sabourin and Mathieu Garon did their best in a game that certainly wasn't easy on the netminders. Garon came away with the win, making 21 saves on 26 shots in the game, before getting credited with two saves during the shootout. Sabourin was on the short end of the stick, despite turning aside 30 of the 35 shots he faced during the save. However, the Boston goalie wasn't as sharp during the shootout, as he allowed two goals and one post.

The Boston Bruins will have Wednesday off, before three games in as many nights to close out the preseason. The first of those games comes on Thursday, when Boston travels to Montreal for the second meeting of the week against the Canadiens.

Scoring Summary:

1. CBJ Vermette (3) (Filatov, Voracek) 8:17
1. BOS Ference (1) (Bergeron, Recchi) (PP) 12:57
1. CBJ Calvert (1) (Dorsett) 13:24
1. BOS Kobasew (2) (Larman) (SH) 16:35
2. CBJ Voracek (2) (Picard, Filatov) (PP) 1:35
2. BOS Thornton (1) (Lefebvre) 17:07
3. CBJ Russell (1) (Voracek, Moore) (PP) 1:41
3. BOS Boychuk (1) (Savard, Ference) 4:16
3. CBJ MacKenzie (1) (Calvert, Russell) 5:08
3. BOS Savard (2) (Thornton, Morris) 11:40

BOS Blake Wheeler- G
BOS Patrice Bergeron- S
BOS Mark Recchi- S

CBJ Antoine Vermette- G
CBJ Nikita Filatov- G
CBJ Jakub Voracek- S

Penalty Summary:
1. CBJ Voracek- Elbowing 12:07
1. BOS Lefebvre- Charging 14:38
1. BOS Lefebvre- Roughing 14:38
1. CBJ Boll- Roughing 14:38
2. BOS Savard- Cross Checking 0:39
2. BOS Fata- Holding the Stick 3:31
2. BOS Wheeler- Tripping 11:55
2. BOS Larman- Fighting 19:24
2. CBJ Picard- Fighting 19:24
3. BOS Fata- Fighting 0:15
3. CBJ Blunden- Fighting 0:15
3. BOS Wheeler- Holding 1:01
3. BOS Stuart- Fighting 3:02
3. CBJ Dorsett- Fighting 3:02
3. CBJ Liffiton- Interference 15:16

BOS Dany Sabourin (1-0-1): 35 shots, 30 saves
CBJ Mathieu Garon (1-0-0): 26 shots, 21 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 8-6-11-1-0=26
CBJ 8-13-11-3-1=36

Power Plays:
BOS 1-for-2
CBJ 2-for-5

Three Stars of the Game:
1- CBJ Jakub Voracek
2- CBJ Matt Calvert
3- CBJ Nikita Filatov

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