The Bruins dropped their 2nd game against the Carolina Hurricanes this season, losing 4-1. Boston had a tough time getting to Cam Ward again Tuesday night, and their frustration led to an outburst by the Bruins. Boston tried starting some trouble with the Hurricanes, and they would not punch back. Boston ended up taking 82 penalty minutes, and having 5 Bruins tossed from the game including coach Claude Julien. It was a very close game to start, with the Hurricanes having a 2-1 lead midway through the 3rd period. A couple of penalties later, and Boston was stuck killing off over 3 minutes of 5-on-3, and then they were down 3 goals and the game was virtually over. David Kreci was out for his 3rd straight game with a core injury, allowing Tyler Seguin to center the 1st line yet again. Adam McQuaid was also out, and he was again replaced by Matt Bartowski.
The Bruins came out flying to start the game, but Cam Ward was spectacular right from the get go. First Ward stuffed Rich Peverley on a chance in the crease, then he stopped a tip-in by Seguin from the near slot off a nice feed by Brad Marchand. The Bruins missed on their opportunities, and the Hurricanes brought the pressure right back. The Bruins defense was all over the place, not able to clear the puck in front of Rask. Anthony Stewart picked up the puck in the far slot, and roofed it into the back of the net. Carolina had an early lead, up 1-0 at 2:47. As usual the 1st line for Boston picked the pressure back up for the Bruins. Horton made a nice pass out of the defensive zone up to Milan Lucic. Lucic had the entire far side all to himself, with 3 Hurricanes clogging up the center. Lucic fired a shot towards goal, but he hit the apron of the net. Boychuck then found Nathan Horton in the near slot, but Ward again made the save. Daniel Pialle was up next, with a terrific shot from the far circle. Cam Ward though was standing on his head early, and kicked the puck away with his left pad. The Hurricanes dumped the puck back into the Bruins defensive zone, Brett Sutter got under and flipped Joe Corvo into the corner boards. A very scary hit, as Corvo laid on the ice for a minute. Corvo was able to get up and skate off under his own power, but would go back to the locker room. The Bruins would go on the powerplay, as Sutter was called for interference at 10:00. The Bruins powerplay was again futile, but the Bruins would come alive right after the penalty ended. Zdeno Chara made a nice pass up ice to Jordan Caron, who had wide open ice to work with. His shot rang the post near side though. Late in the period the Bruins would get a great chance from Rich Peverley in the high slot, but his shot went wide. Bergeron picked the puck up behind the net and tried a wraparound, but Ward held the near post. The 1st line of Boston came back with a 3-on-2 through center ice. Seguin took a slap-shot from the high slot that Ward stopped. Then Lucic and Horton tried jamming the rebound in, but Ward covered the puck up. The Bruins went into the 1st intermission down 1-0.
Joe Corvo was back on the ice to start the 2nd period, so he appears to not have been hurt too critically. The 2nd period started with a Hurricane getting knocked down by a Chara slap shot. Not the best place to be when your on the ice against the Bruins. Brandon Sutter created a turnover in the offensive zone, and came charging up the ice with a 2-on-1 for the Hurricanes, but he rang the post far side. Brad Marchand came into the offensive zone with speed off a Peverley pass, but had his shot stopped by Ward. Marchand would then attack the puck carrier Ruutu, flying into him and leaving his feet to bump him against the boards. Marchand would be called for charging at 3:55, and the Hurricanes had a chance on the powerplay to extend their lead. Carolina would muster just 1 shot on Tukkaa Rask, as the Bruins killed off Marchand’s penalty. As the Bruins brought the puck into the offensive zone, Skinner smacked Andrew Ference in the face with his stick. Skinner would be called for high-sticking at 6:32, and the Bruins now had a chance to get on the board on the powerplay. Nothing going for the Bruins powerplay, and they did not even get a shot on net. That’s 21 straight unsuccessful powerplays now for the Bruins. Boston would turn the puck over again in the offensive zone, with Rutuu taking the puck away at the near boards and passing to center ice to Joni Pitkanen. Pitkanen skated in with tremendous speed, and just fired a slap-shot from the far circle that beat Rask glove side. Carolina was up 2-0 now at 10:19. Seguin made a terrific feed to Horton, but his tip-in was blocked down. Boston picked the puck back up, and Chara took a shot from the point with Horton screening in front, but Ward made the save. There was a huge pileup at the net, centered around Horton pushing and shoving with Harrison. His teammates came to back him up, and Captain Zdeno Chara came in a smacked Harrison. The 2 squared off and Chara manhandled him, picking him up when he fell to the ice just to throw him some uppercuts. Chara even reached around the ref to get in some shots after he intervened. Cam Ward then skated over and bumped Chara, and those 2 started jawing. Lucic came over to help his Captain out by taking on 2 Hurricanes at once, and Tukkaa Rask skated all the way down to confront Ward. When all was said and done, Chara and Harrison received 5 minutes for fighting. Chara would also receive a 2 minute instigator penalty, and a 10 minute game misconduct. Horton received a roughing minor, and Milan Lucic would serve 2 minutes for Tukkaa Rask for an unsportsmanlike conduct for leaving the crease. So it was a 5-on-3 for 2 full minutes for the Hurricanes at 14:19. The Hurricanes could not even get a shot off as Boston had killed of the 5-on-3. But 7 seconds after the penalty ended, Dennis Seidenberg would be called for interference at 16:26. Andrew Ference was battling in the far corner with Ruutu, and Ference had his stick chopped out of his hands. Ruutu would be called for slashing at 18:01, so we had 25 seconds of 4-on-4 before the Bruins would get a powerplay to work with. The Bruins powerplay was getting shots on net, but not getting any good looks at Cam Ward. Joe Crovo created a great chance in the far circle, just stick handling to create some space. He wristed a shot over Cam Ward, but rang the post far side. The period would end with the Hurricanes up 2-0, and Boston would have 2 seconds of powerplay to start the 3rd.
The Bruins were lacking energy to open up the 3rd period. Marchand and Corvo both had good chances to shoot on net, but fanned on their shots. The Hurricanes were content to just pass the puck around, and in turn they started skating circles around the Bruins. Boston did not have their legs under them, and they could not posses the puck as the period went on. Lucic checked Gleason behind the Carolina net, and Gleason didn’t like that. He started shoving with Lucic, and then Allen came over and put Lucic in a headlock from his blind side. Lucic was furious, broke free dropped his glove and grabbed Allen, but Allen did not want to go. Then Chris Kelly and Sutter started going at it at center ice. Kelly had Sutter’s jersey over his head as the 2 fought. Sutter fought trough it, but Kelly landed a knockout right to the head of Sutter. The penalties shook out with Lucic, Allen, and Gleason getting roughing minors, and Sutter and Kelly with 5 minutes for fighting at 10:30. The Bruins had a powerplay to work with now. Corvo was creating more chances for the Bruins, when he made a cross ice pass to Peverley at the near point. Peverley roofed the puck with Marchand screening in front, and the Bruins were finally on the board with a powerplay goal nonetheless. The Bruins were now down 2-1 at 10:59. The Bruins brought the puck back into the offensive, when Horton checked Gleason behind the net. Gleason didn’t like that one either, and bumped Horton from behind. Horton turned around, shoved back, and then dropped his gloves. You could read his lips as he said let’s go. Gleason didn’t want to oblige, so Horton just tossed Gleason to the ice, and tried picking him back up to give him some shots, but the referee would not let him. Horton would receive a double minor for roughing served by Shawn Thornton, as Horton also received a 10 minute game misconduct at 11:30. Just seconds later, a terrible call by the officials would give Carolina a 5-on-3 advantage. Chara would receive a high-sticking minor at 11:48, but what happened is he just shoved Jeff Skinner to the ice and his stick followed through, but never touched Skinner. Brad Marchand would grab Skinner, and give him a straight jab as Chara pleaded his case to the officials. So Marchand would receive a game misconduct at 11:49. It was a 5-on-3 for Carolina now for 2 full minutes. As play went resumed, Carolina sent the puck behind the Boston net. Dennis Seidenberg gave a hard check to Jeff Skinner from behind, and would receive a boarding minor at 12:10. The Boston fans didn’t like this, combined with some booze, and you have fans throwing things onto the ice. The 5-on-3 would be extended for the remainder of the Horton double minor now. Eric Stall scored on the powerplay at 13:26 to stretch the lead back to 2 goals, now 3-1. Tuomo Ruutu then scored another powerplay goal at 14:58, and it was 4-1 Carolina. The Boston penalty kill would finally end. The Bruins went from being down by 1 goal, to having 2 players tossed and an extended 5-on-3 for the Hurricanes, who in turn extended their lead to 3 goals. Milian Lucic would receive at game misconduct at 16:16, when he skated up to Gleason. The 2 started jawing, and Lucic gave him a shove. The refs felt that was enough to toss him. Claude Julien was a bit to vocal on the bench about Lucic getting tossed, and would get himself a game misconduct served by Shawn Thornton. The game would come to a close with the Bruins losing 4-1, but the story of the night was about how many penalty minutes the Bruins accumulated compared to Carolina.
A very close and entertaining game in Boston, until the 11:30 mark of the 3rd period. After that, all hell broke loose. It was insane at the TD Garden. The Bruins were able to score a powerplay goal, so I can’t rant about how terrible the powerplay is. Although, they did go 21 straight powerplay without a goal before Rich Peverley scored in the 3rd. In what was now a 1 goal game, Horton tried mixing it up with Gleason and Gleason showed what a wuss he is. You can call it smart for goading Horton into the penalty, but when you are a hockey player and you refuse to a fight, unless you’re the best player on your team, then you’re nothing but a wimp. The Bruins penalty kill was smothering the Hurricanes powerplay. It took a 5-on-3 for the Hurricanes to finally score on the powerplay. They looked almost as bad as the Bruins did with the man advantage. Once the Hurricanes broke through, you could just feel the whole building collapse. That Eric Stall goal was so deflating, almost as much as being assessed all those penalties. Now while the Bruins did deserve their penalties, all those game misconducts were ridiculous. There is no excuse for the referees to toss 5 Bruins including the head coach, and not 1 Hurricane. I hope that the league takes a look at what the refs did in this game, and straightens out what is to be expected from the officiating when things start getting out of hand like this. As for the game, I think Cam Ward might be in the Bruins heads.
Cam Ward was spectacular from the very 1st puck drop. In his 2 games again the Bruins, Ward has allowed just 3 goals on 62 shots for a .952 save percentage. Boston’s offense has struggled mightily finding the back of the net early in this season. It seems that the Bruins are missing most of their shots on net, which is terrible for the type of game the Bruins want to play. The Bruins are a team built on strength, and they score goals by getting to the dirty areas and putting in rebounds off the net. But if they’re not even getting pucks on net, then there’s no rebounds to shoot at, and that limits the way the Bruins can score goals. The Bruins need to fix their shooting problems quick, because they are about to go on a stretch of games that they can not afford to lose. They open up on Thursday night at the Garden against Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs are not a good team. They have started hot, but this happened last year as well and the Leafs finished as one of the worst teams in the league. I don’t see them making a turn around in 1 year. This is a game the Bruins have to win, they have to. If Boston drops this game, they will be 2-5 with a home game against the San Jose Sharks and a home-and-home with Montreal. Sweeping those 3 games would be the only possible outcome to get the team back to .500 in this early season. I think the Bruins should win Thursday night, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose based on the way this season has started.