Bruins rally comes up short in 4-2 loss to Sharks
The Bruins had a hard time getting anything going all game, but they kept fighting. Boston was able to get the game tied at 2 early in the 3rd period, and seemingly had the momentum and the game in their hands. It was not meant to be in this game though, as the Bruins dropped their 5th game of the year 4-2 to the San Jose Sharks. Tyler Seguin continues his tear to start the season, now with 3 goal and 6 assists for 9 points in just 8 games on the season. Him and Lucic showed some real chemistry together, accounting for both of the Bruins goals, and nearly 2 more. I’m interested to see how those 2 play together as the season goes on, and what exactly Claude will do with these lines with the emergence of Seguin as top line centerman.
Boston made a turnover behind the net to start the game, and Joe Thornton had a point-blank shot just seconds into the game. Thomas made a spectacular diving save to keep. David Kreci then turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and Joe Thornton picked the puck up. He and Joe Pavelski had a 2-on-1 now into the Bruins zone. Thornton centered a pass for Pavelski in the high slot, and he buried the puck just under the crossbar for a goal. San Jose was up 1-0 just 1:12 into the game. On the ensuing shift, Desjardins hammered Gregory Campbell into the boards from behind, and would receive a boarding call at 2:08. So the Bruins had a great chance to get this game back even early. Boston’s powerplay was tremendous Thursday night, and were looking to build on that momentum. The powerplay started slow, but once they got control of the puck they were getting great chances to score. Marchand just missed a chance in the slot with the puck not settling for his shot. Tyler Seguin had a shot from the far circle deflected wide, and the rebound was shot too high by David Kreci in the near slot. The powerplay was over for Boston, but they appeared to have gained some momentum back. Tyler Seguin created more scoring chances for Boston, what else is new? Seguin cut his way through 2 Shark defenders, fired a snap-shot from the near slot, but he rang the crossbar and the puck stayed out. San Jose was taking the puck out of their own zone, when a puck passed up to Joe Thornton kicked off his skates. Chara ran over an unsuspecting Thornton, thinking he had the puck. Chara would be called for interference at 11:12, and the dangerous Sharks powerplay now had a chance to extend their lead. The Bruins penalty killers did a great job keeping the puck away from Thomas, and San Jose was not able to score. Boston broke out with a 2-on-1 up ice with Horton and Pouliot. Horton skated into the near slot, and snapped a shot off that Niemi blocked away. San Jose forced another turnover in the neutral zone, and forced the puck in on Thomas. He was able to cover up the puck, and the shoot McGinn came in and stood in his face. Chara came over and gave him a light push to try to get him away from his goaltender, and he refused to move. Chara then decided to use more force, and Milan Lucic also got involved as they shoved him away from their goaltender. McGinn didn’t like that, and gave a jab to the chest of Chara. The refs broke the scrum up quickly, but things were picking up late. Marchand laid a nice open ice hit to an off-balance Joe Thornton, knocking the big man to the ice. The intensity had picked up as the period came to a close, with the San Jose Sharks up 1-0.
Marchand got things started to open up the 2nd period. He had a great burst of speed through center ice, and he gained outside position into the near circle. His shot was stopped by Niemi, a juicy rebound came far side, but there was no one to bury the puck. The Sharks would be called for too-many-men-on-the-ice at 2:48, and it gave the Bruins an early powerplay to try to tie the game. Boston wasn’t able to muster a shot on goal this time, and the powerplay was over for Boston. San Jose brought a great forecheck back to Boston. Havlak was battling behind the net for the puck, and had all 5 Bruins back there with him. The puck was kicked out and Couture was found all alone in the center slot, and he buried the puck in the back of the net. Boston was now down 2-0 to San Jose at 8:54. It was at that point the Shawn Thornton decided to get Boston back into the game by mixing things up with Jim Vandermeer. Thornton got some real good shots in on Vandermeer’s face during a strong bout. Both players received 5 minutes for fighting at 10:23. Thornton was trying to give some life to this Bruins team, but the Sharks brought the pressure right back. Nothing was going to come easy for Bosotn in this game. Late in the period Campbell made a long pass to Daniel Paille as he and Bergeron skated behind the Sharks defense. It was a 2-on-1, with Paille near side. Paille passed across to Bergeron, who passed back to Paille but his tip-in went well wide on a wide open net. Chara then had a one-timer from the near point that was tipped in front and went off the roof of the net. The Bruins exited the 2nd period down 2-0 now.
The 3rd period started with great passing by the Seguin line. Lucic centered a pass for Kelly, who dropped a pass back for Seguin. Seguin wristed a shot high glove side, but Neiemi made the save. Bergeron dumped the puck behind the Sharks net, and this is where things got interesting. Niemi went behind the net to stop the puck, but his clearing attempt was blocked by Chris Kelly behind the net. Kelly sent the puck towards net, and it kicked off the left skate of Niemi. The puck skidded through the crease, and Lucic jammed the puck into the back of the net. Boston was on the board at 2:43, down 2-1 now. Milan Lucic came right back, forcing a turnover in the neutral zone. Seguin was able to tip the puck to him at the far circle. He centered a pass for Tyler Seguin in the slot, who buried it into the back of the net. Boston had tied the game just 39 seconds later at 3:12, and now had all the momentum on their side. Nathan Horton came back centering a pass for Brad Marchand, but his shot went wide. Pouliot then created a chance, sending the puck up ice for David Kreci. Kreci skated through center ice, and made a cross-ice pass for Rich Peverley. But he could not get a shot off against the back-checking defense. The Sharks came back with hard work along the side boards in the Boston zone. Vandermeer tapped the puck along to McGinn, who took a point shot from the far side. Thomas came out to attack the shot, blocking it down. The puck rebound back in front, and was picked up and roofed by Benn Ferriero. San Jose was back on top 3-2 at 8:48. Lucic and Seguin came right back up ice, with Lucic centering a pass for Seguin. His tip-in was deflected away from the net though. Boston then had a 3-on-1 up ice, with Lucic far side, Seguin high slot, and Kelly near side. Lucic held the puck into the far slot, tried making a cross-ice pass that was knocked down. Seguin came back to get the puck, and passed across ice to Chris Kelly. Antti Niemi was spread-eagle going right to left, and he somehow made a glove save on Kelly. Time was ticking away, and Boston finally had to empty their net. Joe Corvo took a point shot that was knocked down in front, and picked up by Pavelski. He sent the puck ahead to Patrick Marleau, who would add the empty netter at 19:55 as San Jose had beaten the Boston Bruins 4-2.
Another tough early loss for the Bruins, who have stumbled to a 3-5-0 record to start the season. Boston played well in this game, but never really got things going. Niemi was good in net, but not great in this game. It felt like Boston just wasn’t able to finish on their scoring chances, while the Sharks did. Especially early in the game, the Bruins just did not have their skating legs and were making bad mistakes. Boston finally came to play in the 3rd period, already down 2 goals though. Great work by Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic to tie the game for the Bruins, but it would not be enough to overcome their turnover woes from earlier. The Bruins now have 4 days off, before they welcome the Montreal Canadians to town. Thursday night the Bruins host their rival Canadians, who the Bruins knocked out of the postseason in 7 games last season. Montreal is off to a horrid start as well at 1-4-2 for 4 points, worst in the Eastern Conference and 2nd worst in the NHL. Boston has gotten to a slow start, but I expect having the Montreal Canadians in the Garden will wake up the sleeping giant. I look for a very hard-fought, tough game in Boston Thursday night, but I see the Bruins coming away with a win.