The Bear Cave

September 17, 2009 8:52 AM

Wozniewski Haunts Former Team

Players on the fence for the Boston Bruins entered training camp knowing that an NHL roster spot would be tough to come by. Depending on how many players the Bruins decide to keep for opening night, there could be anywhere from 2-5 open slots. In case the decisions weren't difficult enough to begin with, those players are certainly doing whatever they can to prove that they belong with the big club.

On Tuesday night, Johnny Boychuk's assist and Tuukka Rask's 31 saves helped Boston to a 2-1 win over the Rangers. On Wednesday night, Andy Wozniewski and Dany Sabourin were given the opportunity to shine. Sabourin ended the night with a 25-save effort, while Wozniewski scored the eventually game winning goal at the 7:02 mark of the third period, leading the Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Special teams played a factor in most of the scoring on this night, and that began a little more than halfway through the opening period. Nikolai Kulemin was sent off for kneeing, giving the Bruins their first man advantage of the game. However, it was the home team who broke the deadlock. Jeff Finger buried Jamie Arniel with a solid hit behind the Toronto net, freeing the puck up for Francois Beauchemin in the right circle. Beauchemin backhanded the puck ahead, leading Tyler Bozak on a 2-on-2 rush. Bozak carried the puck down the right side, before cutting to the middle as he reached the offensive blueline. The 23-year old split the Boston defense, made a quick stickhandle, and beat Dany Sabourin with a shot over the glove. Bozak's tally was the only one of the period, as the Maple Leafs took their 1-0 lead into the dressing room, outshooting the Bruins 12-7.

Early in the second period, the Bruins got their special teams going in the right direction, as they came up with the equalizer. Francois Beauchemin picked up the minor for tripping, as he took the feet out from under Brad Marchand in front of the Toronto net. The Maple Leafs got another 2-on-2 opportunity with Tyler Bozak, but the youngster's shot went high and wide. The puck took a hard carom off of the boards, deflecting out to Shawn Thornton for a 3-on-2 break for Boston. Thornton drove down the middle of the ice in the offensive zone, attempting to bust through the Toronto defenders. Jeff Finger and Phil Oreskovic held their ground on Thornton, but the puck slid through for Steve Begin on the right side. Begin immediately took a whack at the loose puck, sneaking a shot through Vesa Toskala.

Aside from Bozak's shorthanded tally earlier in the game, the Boston power play has been a strong point in each of the first two preseason contests. Shortly after the midway mark of the second period, the Maple Leafs made a change in goal, replacing Vesa Toskala with Joey MacDonald. With Phil Oreskovic in the penalty box for interference, the Bruins gave their former netminder a rude greeting. After a quick exchange with Blake Wheeler, Patrice Bergeron skated toward the left side of the crease, trying to jam a shot in. Instead, the shot slid through to the right wing boards, where Dennis Wideman had pinched in. Wideman cycled the puck around to Bergeron, who had made his way behind the net. Before receiving the pass, Bergeron took a quick look behind him to see who was around. The Bruins' forward spotted Brad Marchand in the right circle, and delivered a perfect one-touch pass on his backhand. Marchand finished the play by one-timing a snap shot just inside of the left post.

A little less than three minutes later, the Bruins found themselves on the short end of the stick, as the visitors were caught with too many men on the ice. After failing on their first two attempts with the power play, the Maple Leafs wasted little time evening the score at two. Nazem Kadri won the ensuing face-off back to Francois Beachemin at the right point. Beauchemin returned the favor, passing back to Kadri in the right circle. Kadri continued to move the puck deeper in the offensive zone, dishing a pass to Viktor Stalberg below the goal line. Rather than looking to pass, Stalberg decided to get creative, sending the puck into the crease. That decision ended up paying off, as the puck ultimately found its way through Sabourin's legs and into the net.

As a whole, the middle stanza was a better one for the visiting team, as Boston outshot Toronto 12-8. The Bruins' two goals also led to a deadlock on the scoreboard, forcing the game to be decided during the third period.

Seven minutes into the third period, the Bruins went ahead for good. Derek Morris started the play off with a long lead pass up the middle of the ice to Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron skated into the offensive zone, before attempting a pass to Brad Marchand on his left. Jeff Finger's stick got in the passing lane, but Bergeron quickly regained possession. The Boston forward turned and went with his second option, tossing a pass to an oncoming Andy Wozniewski. Wozniewski received the pass on his backhand, but was able to adjust with relative ease, ripping a shot in off of the crossbar.

The Maple Leafs were only able to come up with seven shots on goal during the third period, but they were able to create a few close calls during the final minute of play. Dany Sabourin had an answer for all seven attempts, as he earned the win with 25 saves on 27 shots for the Bruins. Vesa Toskala stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced for Toronto, before giving way to Joey MacDonald. MacDonald suffered the loss, allowing two goals on eleven shots.

After a quiet night in New York, the physical play heated up between these two divisional rivals. Fighting majors were handed out on four separate occasions. The four tangles featured: Steve Begin and Andre Deveaux, Byron Bitz and Jay Rosehill, Guillaume Lefebvre and Phil Oreskovic, and Adam McQuaid and Oreskovic.

The Boston Bruins have two days off to prepare for their next game, as they will host the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

Scoring Summary:
1. TOR Bozak (1) (Beauchemin) (SH) 13:38
2. BOS Begin (1) (Thornton) (PP) 3:18
2. BOS Marchand (1) (Bergeron, Wideman) (PP) 13:16
2. TOR Stalberg (1) (Kadri, Beauchemin) (PP) 16:03
3. BOS Wozniewski (1) (Bergeron, Morris) 7:02

Penalty Summary:

1. BOS Hunwick- Slashing 3:19
1. BOS Begin- Fighting 5:42
1. TOR Deveaux- Fighting 5:42
1. BOS LoVecchio- Hooking 8:16
1. BOS Bitz- Fighting 12:02
1. TOR Rosehill- Fighting 12:02
1. TOR Kulemin- Kneeing 12:33
2. TOR Beauchemin- Tripping 2:38
2. TOR Oreskovic- Interference 12:38
2. BOS Lefebvre- Fighting 14:10
2. TOR Oreskovic- Fighting 14:10
2. BOS Bench- Too Many Men on the Ice 15:54
2. BOS Stuart- High Sticking 16:22
3. BOS Bitz- Roughing 3:04
3. BOS Bitz- Interference 3:04
3. TOR Deveaux- Roughing 3:04
3. BOS McQuaid- Fighting 14:14
3. TOR Oreskovic- Interference 14:14
3. TOR Oreskovic- Fighting 14:14

BOS Dany Sabourin (1-0-0): 27 shots, 25 saves
TOR Vesa Toskala (replaced at 10:32 2nd): 15 shots, 14 saves
TOR Joey MacDonald (0-1-0): 11 shots, 9 saves

Shots on Goal:
BOS 7-12-7=26
TOR 12-8-7=27

Power Plays:
BOS 2-for-4
TOR 1-for-5

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