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Bruins roll past division rival Sabers to extend their win streak to 5

The Bruins have extended their win streak to 5 games now, in another blowout victory. This time, the Bruins beat up on division rival Buffalo, winning 6-2. Tyler Seguin extended his point streak to 6 games now, scoring 2 goals and an assist in the game. Seguin has now matched his goal total from a year ago with 11.  However, it’s only taken him 15 games to amas that total, whereas it took him 74 games last year. Seguin should easily reach 20 goals this season, and I think he will easily reach 30 goals as well. How much he’ll have at the end of the year, I don’t know, but I can tell you that it will be the most on the Bruins and tops in the league, if he can stay healthy. Andrew Ference missed the game, and is day-to-day with a lower body injury he suffered last game out against Edmonton.

Tyler Seguin notches his 1st of 2 goals Saturday night against Buffalo Sabers goaltender, Ryan Miller.

1st Period

Before any festivities could commence Saturday night, there was a very touching ceremony at center ice to honor the veterans. The puck was dropped by the mother and father of a National Guardsman over in Afghanistan. The Bruins surprised the parents though, having their son walk out of the Zamboni tunnel, being on leave from Afghanistan. It was a great moment for all, and must have been quite a moment for that family. On to the hockey game we go. Buffalo got things started, creating a chance off a face-off in the Boston zone. Cody McCormick took the puck off the draw, and skated right through the slot. Thomas with his aggressive style though was able to close the angle, and McCormick shot the puck wide. Boston took the puck down the ice into the attacking zone, where the puck was sent behind the Buffalo net. Johnny Boychuk went down to get the puck, and made a behind the back blind pass to the slot. It was picked off by Jason Pomenville, who passed ahead to Thomas Vanek. Vanek came up ice with speed, and skated into the far slot. He shot the puck off the goal apron, but it came right back to Vanek who was able to bank the puck into the net off of Tim Thomas’s skate. Vanek did this last year, bouncing a goal off of Thomas’s back. Buffalo was up 1-0 at 5:38. But the Sabers would go on the penalty kill just moments later, when Tyler Myers would be called for tripping at 6:56. The Boston powerplay couldn’t get the breaks it has been getting recently, and the B’s remained down 1-0. A bad break for Vanek minutes later, as the puck would take a funny bounce off his stick at the Boston point. Milan Lucic jumped up, and had a breakaway now. The puck was a bit out of his reach as he entered the attacking zone, and Ryan Miller came out to clear the puck. Lucic had built up speed down the ice, and he decided to absolutely destroy Miller, leveling him with the shoulder. The hit actually jarred the helmet off of Miller. 3 Sabers came over to say ‘hello’, but no one so much as challenged Lucic. Lucic received 2 minutes for charging at 13:12. The Bruins penalty killers were all over the ice, not allowing the Sabers to get a shot on net. The Sabers would then kill off their own penalty, when Drew Stafford was called for tripping at 14:50. So we had 23 seconds of 4-on-4 before the Bruins would get a powerplay to work with. Again though, the Bruins powerplay was ineffective. The Sabers would go right back on the penalty kill, when Ville Leino was called for hooking at 19:08. The 1st period came to a close with the Sabers up 1-0, and the Bruins would have powerplay time extend over to the 2nd period.

2nd Period

Boston had 1 minute of powerplay to open up the period. Tyler Seguin set up a great chance for Marchand far slot, but his pass was blocked by the Sabers defenders. The powerplay was over, with Boston only able to get 1 shot through the Sabers defense. Seguin created another chance for the Bruins, flying up ice with Bergeron. Seguin passed back to Bergeron, but his shot was blocked down. A Buffalo bounce led to a 2-on-1 coming back up ice, but Chara deflected a cross-ice pass with his stick. Rich Peverley intercepted a pass at center ice, and he tried making a cross ice pass to Campbell. The puck defelcted off Sabers defenseman Tyler Myers, and Peverly, following his pass, picked up the loose puck. Peverley was now behind the Buffalo defense, he skated through the slot, deked, and beat Miller 5-hole. Boston had tied the game at 1, at 7:40. Next up Marchand picked off a pass, and with Seguin charging late had a 2-on-1. Marchand had the entire near side to work with, and he methodically skated in. Seguin came into the slot, Marchand centered a pass for him, and Seguin buried it in the back of the net. Boston had taken the lead 2-1 at 13:29. Next in line was Nathan Horton, as he skated behind the Buffalo defense, and received a chip pass from Boychuk into the neutral zone. Horton cam up ice with David Kreci, and decided to rifle a shot high blocker side on Ryan Miller. The Bruins had just scored 2 goals in 16 seconds to take the 3-1 lead. That marks the 9th time this year the Bruins have scored 2 goals in less than 1 minute. Koleta tried bringing the fight back to Boston, as he hammered Adam McQuaid behind the Boston net. McQuaid didn’t like that, and started pushing and hitting Koleta back. Things were percolating in the TD Garden. Koleta would be called for charging, and McQuaid for roughing at 14:05. So they skated 4-on-4 for 2 minutes. The 4-on-4 went without any good chances, and McQuaid would go right back into the box after he got out. McQuaid was called for hooking at 18:01. The Bruins now had an important penalty to kill off at the end of the period. If the Sabers did not score, they would end up with 1 second of powerplay time to open up the 3rd period. Ville Leino would have a great chance late, as he rifled a one-timer from the near circle on Thomas. Thomas kicked out with his left pad to make the save, and a juicy rebound was kicked away by Seidenberg. The Bruins had a 3-1 lead heading into the 3rd and final period, and a 4 game win streak on the line.

3rd Period

Jonas Enroth was in-goal to start the 3rd period. An interesting move by Sabers coach Lindy Ruff. Unless the team felt Miller wasn’t in good enough physical condition to continue after the Lucic hit, then it makes no sense to me. The Sabers opened up the 3rd period with a powerplay, and it was over 1 second later. David Kreci was working magic behind the Buffalo net, and he found Milan Lucic who rang the crossbar. But Boston would make it count just moments later. Another bad pass by the Sabers defense, with Christian Ernhoff giving the puck up to Rich Peverley in the far circle. Peverley passed across ice to Chris Kelly, who sneaked the puck into the back of the net. Boston was suddenly up 4-1 now at 5:28. Then it was the Bergeron line creating chances again for Boston. Patrice Bergeron skated up ice with speed, and passed across ice to Brad Marchand. Marchand dropped the pass back off for Bergeron in the high slot, and he carried it to the near slot. He centered a pass for Tyler Seguin, and Seguin buried the puck in the back of the net. Boston was up 5-1, just 1:43 after the Chris Kelly goal. The Bergeron line wasn’t done their, as Brad Marchand came back with an amazing backhand goal in the near slot. Boston was up 6-1 now at 9:52. Kaleta was trying to cause more trouble, this time with Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk checked Koleta hard in the far corner in the Buffalo zone. Koleta then took a run at Boychuk as he went for a change. Zach Hamill, who is by no means a fighter, took a solid jab at Koleta. He would get 2 minutes for roughing at 11:50, but given the circumstances, it was a good penalty to take. A face-off win by Luke Adam was sent back to Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff passed across ice to Marc-Andre Gragnani at the near point, and he would rifle a shot that rang off the post and in. Buffalo was back on the board finally at 13:20. Boston would go back on the penalty kill at 14:22, when Nathan Horton was called for slashing. No goal this time for the Sabers, and Horton fresh out of the box was back with his linemates. Nathan Horton had an amazing chance in the near slot, as he deked out Enroth and passed back across ice to Milan Lucic. Lucic had a wide open net to shoot at, but the puck was in on his skates, and he couldn’t get a shot off. Koleta was again trying to mix it up with somebody, this time it was Shawn Thornton. Koleta checked Thornton at the penalty benches, and Thornton didn’t like the hit. Thronton gave Koleta a shove, Koleta shoved back, and the referees decided to send both players down the tunnel. Thornton and Koleta received offsetting minors for roughing at 18:20, as well as game misconducts. The final 1:40 would be played 4-on-4. The Bruins just kept clearing the puck and clearing the puck as the clock wound down. The Bruins had won their 5th straight game now, winning 6-2.

Post-Game Breakdown

Boston dominated again on the ice Saturday night. They have now scored 6 goals in the last 3 games, and 30 in this 5 game win streak. The offense is hot, no doubt about it, but the defense is also playing solid hockey. It’s just like with any sport, when your offense is scoring at will, it allows you to play more comfortably on defense. Brad Marchand is starting to find the scoring touch again, scoring 3 goals, 2 assists, and +4 over the last 2 games. Lucic and Horton, whom I talked about last game out against Edmonton, continue to produce during this 5 game win streak. Lucic has 4 goals, 2 assists, for a +5  rating, and Horton has 3 goals, an assist, and a +2 rating. With the offense this hot, it will take a lot to beat the Bruins in the next week to 2 weeks. The Bruins play the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night, in what should be an easy win. The Devils are 8-6-1, 1 game better than the Bruins at 8-7-0. Which should put the Bruins 5 game win streak into perspective. Boston is on a hot streak, and are a much better team than the Devils. Unless they suddenly cool off, I expect another dominating performance.

*UPDATE*

Ryan Miller has been diagnosed as having suffered a concussion from the hit by Milan Lucic. This would explain why Miller did not return for the 3rd period of the game Saturday night. My question is, how was he able to continue play for 26:48 after the injury? There are a couple of answers to that; either A: Miller showed no signs of an injury until the 2nd period intermission, or B: Miller talked the training staff into letting him play/the training staff allowed him to play even though they knew he was hurt. If it was the later, then how negligent of that training staff. It’s their job to take care of their players, especially their superstar franchise goaltender. If Miller was showing any signs of a concussion, then he should have been sent to the quiet room for 15 minutes. Now, I don’t think this is what happened. In all likelihood, Miller just did not have any symptoms and felt fine until the 2nd intermission. But, it’s something to think about.

Bruins dominate their 4th straight game, beating the Edmonton Oilers 6-3.

The Bruins now have a 4 game winning streak, after defeating the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night, 6-3. Tuukka Rask was back in net for the Bruins, starting back-to-back games for the 1st time this year. The Boston offense is officially tearing up the scoreboard, scoring 6, 7, 6, and 6 goals during their 4 game win streak. Devan Dubnyk was in net for the Oilers, in place of the NHL’s best goaltender thus far, Nikolai Khabibulin. The Bruins took advantage, as you can all tell by the final score. This game was also the epic showdown between the number 1 and 2 overall pick from a year ago. Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers, and Tyler Seguin of your Boston Bruins. Seguin got the better of Hall, notching a goal and an assist with a 0 +/-, compared to Hall’s no goals, 1 assist, and -1 rating. Daniel Paille was out of action with the broken nose he suffered last game out against the New York Islanders.

Tyler Seguin scores his 9th goal of the year in the Bruins 6-3 win vs Taylor Hall and the Oilers

1st Period

The Bruins came out with a quick chance, set up by Milan Lucic. Lucic had the puck behind the Edmonton net, made a quick pass to the front where Horton, Kreci, and Corvo were jamming in front. Corvo found the puck, but his backhand went wide. A scare for Boston seconds later though, as a deflected pass at the point allowed for a semi-breakaway by Ryan Smyth. He took the puck far side, and just missed a goal as he hit the side of the net. Boston came right back though in this fast paced game with a chance by Bergeron. Patrice Bergeron picked up a rebound attempt far side, but his backhander went wide as well. The top line was clicking for Boston early, with Horton and Kreci having 2 great scoring chances in the slot, but Dubnyk stuffed them both. Tremendous work by the Bergeron line next, as a funny bounce sent the puck ricocheting up ice. Brad Marchand picked the puck up on the fly, and the Bruins had a 2-on-1 with McQuaid coming in late. Marchand tried to deke, but was stood up. Seguin picked up the loose puck, passed across ice to McQuaid, but somehow Dubnyk stopped the puck 5-hole going from post to post. The 1st line came out for Boston, and Kreci battled in the far corner hard with Ladislav Smid. He was knocked down, got back up and still maintained control of the puck. Horton backed him up, allowing Kreci to pass the puck to take the pressure off of himself. Horton passed back to Kreci, and Kreci found a wide open Johnny Boychuk at the near point. Boychuk sent a rocket on net with Lucic screening in front, and the puck found the back of the net. Boston was up 1-0 at 7:11. The Bruins kept the pressure on, with Zach Hamill taking over for the injured Paille. Hammil jumped up from the point to pick off a clearing attempt in the attacking zone. He skated into the near circle, and passed across ice to Jordan Caron. Caron took a wrist shot, but it was blocked Smid’s stick. However, the puck trickled to the far post, Dubnyk stretched out with his stick to stop it, but could not get enough of the puck as it snuck past the goal line. Boston was up 2-0 now just 1:44 after the Boychuk goal. Oilers head coach Tom Renney called his timeout, trying to wake his players up. Edmonton got the message, whatever it was. Ales Hemskey took the puck along the near boards, and passed to Theo Peckham at the near point. Peckham fired a shot, and it was tipped in front by Ryan Smyth, just going by the right skate of Rask and into the back of the net. Edmonton had cut the lead to 2-1 at 12:02. Then came a pair of number 1 overall picks working the puck up ice for Edmonton. This years number 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a long pass up ice to last years number 1 overall pick Taylor Hall. Hall skated into the near circle, passed back to the high slot, where Nugent-Hopkins rifled a shot by Rask. The game was tied just 29 seconds later at 2. Zach Hamill then had a semi-breakaway, after skating behind the Oilers defense and receiving a chip pass by Siedenberg. Hamil skated near circle, and fired a shot on goal. Dubnyk made a great save with his blocker though. Hamill came right back off another rush attempt. He skated into the offensive zone, when he was hit hard and up high by Peckham. That would warrant him 2 minutes in the penalty box for roughing, at 18:17. The Bruins would have most of their powerplay to end this period, but it would extend into the 2nd as they did not score. A very exciting 1st period, with fiery play from both teams. The teams headed to the locker rooms, tied at 2.

2nd Period

The Bruins 17 seconds of powerplay was over quickly as the period started, and they were back to 5-on-5 hockey. Brad Marchand made dangerous play in the Bruins own zone, making a behind the back pass to the center slot. The pass was tipped by an Oiler, and the puck tumbled to the point to Tyler Seguin. Seguin chipped the puck along, and with a burst of speed had a breakaway. Jeff Petry took a hold of him though, and Seguin was separated from the puck. Petry would receive a hooking minor at 2:09. The Bruins powerplay was quick in moving the puck along, and creating chances on goal. Tyler Seguin had the puck down low, and passed up to Corvo at the point. Corvo skated to the far point and fired a shot on net. The puck was tipped in front by Brad Marchand, and found the back of the net. Boston was back on top 3-2 at 3:50, as Seguin and the Bruins powerplay continued their hot streaks. That’s now 4 straight games with a powerplay goal, and Seguin’s 5th game in a row with a point. Seguin would continue his streak further, off a bad change by the Oilers. Seguin came flying up with Marchand to create a 2-on-2. Seguin fired a shot from the near point with Marchand screening. The puck hit the near post, and bounced back and hit Dubnyk. The puck tumbled in the crease, and Dubnyk fell to the ice to knock it away with his stick, but it was Tom Gilbert who chipped the puck out of the crease. Seguin was waiting in the near slot. He picked up the loose puck, and easily roofed it over the prone goaltender. Boston had its 2nd 2 goal lead of the night, up 4-2 now at 6:24. Not to be outdone, Taylor Hall came flying into the Boston zone, trying to create a scoring chance. Johnny Boychuk had him lined him up for a hit, as Hall just sidestepped the hit. He was also being hooked from behind by Shawn Thornton, which made the move more impressive. So Thornton went to the penalty box at 9:29 for hooking. The Bruins penalty killers were very strong defending Rask, not allowing a shot to reach him. The penalty was over for Boston, but an exhausted Bruins line iced the puck. Claude Julien took this opportunity to call his timeout to give his team a breather. Tyler Seguin was creating more chances for the Bruins, as he, Marchand, and Bergeron came up ice in a 3-on-2. Seguin was stood up in the near circle, and had the puck go back behind the net. Jordan Eberle and Patrice Bergeron went down to the boards, where Eberle checked him before either of them touched the puck. That would get Eberle 2 minutes for interference at 16:48. The Boston powerplay had great movement, and a couple good chances that went wide, but overall the Bruins were not able to get a shot on net. The period would come to a close with the Bruins up 4-2.

3rd Period

Boston started fast again to open up the 3rd period, with the Bergeron line causing havoc. Patrice Bergeron skated into the high slot, deking around defenders, and fired a shot on net. The shot was blocked, and a juicy rebound was just cleared away from a streaking Seguin. Off the ensuing face-off, Dennis Seidenberg took a drive that went wide. The puck took a Boston bounce off the back boards, and that allowed Zach Hamill a chance on goal. He was planted into the near post and hit up high by Corey Potter, and the puck just trickled away. Potter would receive a 2 minute minor for high-sticking at 1:05. The Bruins would give it right back though, as Dennis Seidenberg was called for hooking at 2:08. So they skated 4-on-4 for 52 seconds before Edmonton would have a powerplay to work with. Edmonton would go on the powerplay, but it was virtually invisible. Edmonton couldn’t muster a shot on goal, and they were back to 5-on-5. Boston would go back on the penalty kill though, as Gregory Campbell was called for hooking at 6:15. Andrew Ference would receive an undisclosed injury, and was sent down the tunnel for the rest of the game during the commercial break. Back to hockey though, as the Oilers had a crucial powerplay to work with to try to get back into this game. Again though, the Boston penalty killers proved to be too much, not allowing a shot on Rask. Gregory Campbell was now out of the box, and Brad Marchand picked up a loose puck at center ice. Boston now had a 2-on-2 up ice. Marchand skated far side, faked a snap shot, and passed across ice to Campbell. But Dubnyk made a terrific save up high with the shoulder. Patrice Bergeron was next in line for the Bruins, when he lifted Jordan Eberle’s stick, and made contact with Eberle’s shield. That put Bergeron in the penalty box at 13:25 for high-sticking. A much more effective powerplay this time around for the Oilers. Edmonton took shot after shot on Rask, and even without any support from his penalty killers, Rask was able to stop everything. Finally though, Ryan Smyth broke through, tipping a cross-ice pass in the crease into the net. Edmonton had closed the gap to 4-3 at 15:18. The Bergeron line came out to keep the momentum in Boston’s favor, and they did just that. A great shift in the attacking zone when Tyler Seguin was knocked to the ice in front of the net by Cam Barker, while the puck was in the corner. It resulted in an interference minor at 16:56. Boston made quick work of the powerplay, with Joe Corvo making a ridiculous pass from the bottom of the near circle across ice to Milan Lucic. Lucic tipped the puck into the net, and Boston’s lead was back out to 2, up 5-3 at 17:13. Still, the Bruins did not let up. Brad Marchand came up ice with a 2-on-1, and just missed a shot wide far side. He came right back with another rush attempt, and this time he buried the puck into the back of the net. What was just a 1 goal game mere moments ago, was now a 6-3 lead for Boston just 44 seconds after the Lucic powerplay goal. Boston would go right back on the penalty kill, when Chris Kelly was called for holding at 18:42. So the final 1:18 would be a man down for the Bruins. Another poor powerplay from the Oilers, as this game drew to a close. Boston had now won their 4th straight game, 6-3 over the Edmonton Oilers.

Post-Game Breakdown

Boston had another very impressive win, scoring 6 goals for the 3rd time on their 4 game win streak, totaling in 25 goals throughout the streak. Seguin has a 5 game point streak, and the powerplay has scored in all 4 games during this win streak. Everything is going right offensively. And you can see it paying off for the Bruins terrific netminders. Thomas allowed 2 and 0 goals in his 2 starts, and Tuukka Rask allowed 2 and 3 goals. So the one game a goalie wasn’t on his game, was this game when Rask allowed the 3 goals. But since his team was scoring in front of him, it didn’t matter. The Bruins goalies have not had to play other wordly to get a 1-0 or 2-1 win. Instead, they can go out and just play their game, and feel confident that their offense is going to score out in front of them. It’s kind of the opposite of what we’ve been seeing over the last few years, with the offense relying on the goaltenders to keep them in games. Except now, the goaltenders do not have to rely on the offense to score, because Thomas and Tuukka are both top 10 goaltenders in this league. It really is the best spot the Bruins can ever be in. If this offensive output continues with some consistency, look for the Bruins to be a force during the regular season, and be one of the top 5-10 teams in the league in scoring. The Bruins play their next game against division rival Buffalo. The Sabers have the Vezina trophy winner from 2 years ago, in Ryan Miller. So this offense will be put to the test. Boston had trouble with Buffalo last year, so they will need to fight hard, and grind this game out to secure a victory. I look for the Bruins to come out on top though, just based on how hot their offense has been.

Bruins dominate for the 3rd straight game, winning 6-2

The Bruins continued their win streak Monday night, beating down on the New York Islanders 6-2. This game saw Tyler Seguin notch his team leading 8th goal of the season, as well as Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton getting involved on the scoring parade. Tuukka Rask was in net for the Bruins, starting his 4th game of the season. He had lost his previous 3 games with just a 2.46 Goals Against Average, but the Bruins only scored 3 goals in front of him. Rask saw the Bruins score 6 goals in front of him in this game, and he was stellar as well. Rask allowed 2 goals on 26 shots, and was strong all night in net for the Bruins. Danielle Paille, who received a slapshot to the face Monday night, will be taken to a face specialist to examine the extent of his damage and what can be done to heal him. Reports are that the puck hit his nose, but nothing further has been released.

Bruins dominate Islanders in 6-2 win

1st Period

The Bruins got things started right away, with a turnover next to the Islander net. Caron picked off a bad pass, and threw the puck on net. Isle goaltender Evgeni Nabokov wasn’t expecting the shot, as he just stood there when the puck hit his skate and hung in the crease. Benoit Pouliot came streaking to the goal, and he stuffed in the puck 5-hole on the unsuspecting Nabokav. Boston was up 1-0 just 1:32 into the game. Off the ensuing face-off, Matt Martin decided to challenge McQuaid to a fight a center ice. McQuaid dominated the fight, using his size and strength to his advantage. Martin clearly wanted to spark his team after giving up a bad goal, and both players would receive 5 minute majors for fighting at 1:35. The Islanders brought the attack right back to the Bruins after the fight. Staos had the puck at the far point, and fired a shot on net. Matt Molsoun tipped it in front and there was nothing Rask could do to stop the puck. New York had tied the game at 1, 5:52 into the game. The Bruins came right back with a great shift by the Bergeron line. Seguin skated behind the Isle net to pick up a loose puck, centered a pass for Joe Corvo, but his one-timer was knocked down by Nabakov. A juicy rebound came out, but was picked up and cleared by the Isle. The Bergeron line was creating more trouble, with Seguin and Bergeron working the puck near circle. Screening in front of the net was Brad Marchand, who was pushed over by Travis Hamonic. That would result in a 2 minute minor for cross-checking at 12:11, and the suddenly hot Bruins powerplay had a chance to regain the lead. Seguin had a drive blocked down and away from Nabokov Marchand picked up the loose puck, and with his back facing the goal he just missed a backhand shot wide. After a face-off win, Kreci sent the puck around the net to Chara at the far point. His point shot was stopped by Nabakov, but the rebound came out to Horton in the far slot. Horton settled the puck, and beat Nabakov low glove side. Boston was back on top 2-1 after the powerplay goal at 13:38. Boston didn’t let up, as the Bergeron line came back out. Bergeron took the puck down the near boards, and sent it around the net. Marchand went to the far corner to pick the puck up, and kicked it to Bergeron behind the net. Bergeron centered a pass for Seguin in the center slot, and he roofed the puck into the back of the net. Boston was up 3-1 now, just 28 seconds after Horton’s powerplay goal. That was enough for Islander head coach Jack Capuono. He pulled goaltender Evgeni Nabakov for Al Montoya. The Islanders would have a great chance to get back into this game, when Chris Kelly would be called for slashing at 14:35. The Islanders managed just 2 shots on goal, as the Bruins killed off the penalty with ease. The Islanders stayed resilient, with a great interception by Garabner. Grabner deflected a pass by Johnny Boychuk out of midair, and passed the puck to John Tavarese. Traverse faked the shot, and passed back across ice to Grabner, who put the puck in the back of the net. It was a 3-2 game at 18:36. The 1st period would come to a close, with the Bruins up 3-2.

2nd Period

As the 2nd period started, Boston would dump the puck into the offensive zone. Al Montoya just caught an edge and hit the ice in his own crease. Seidenberg flew to the nearboards and fired a one-timer on the wide-open net. Somehow though, Montoya got his glove up and made the save laying on his side. The Bruins would get another chance moments later when Milan Lucic had 1-on-2 into the Islanders zone. Lucic set the edge, and barreled in far side protecting the puck from the defenders, but his backhand shot never made it on net. With the puck behind the net Lucic battled it out with . Lucic pushed over, and that would be enough for a roughing minor at 5:32. Again the Bruins penalty kill stifled the hot Islanders powerplay. They were back to 5-on-5 hockey, but the Bruins had to do something to get momentum back on their side. The Islanders were out shooting them 7-3 at the midway point. Marchand picked a pass off neutral zone, and had a semi-breakaway in between 2 defenders. He fired a shot high slot, and Montoya just got the glove on it. The puck deflected up and over him though, and he dove back to gather the puck. Marchand jumped up to jam the puck in, but came in and blocked off the far post, keeping the Bruins off the board. Marchand came back with a burst of speed off the rush. He drove up the near boards, centered a pass for Seguin far slot, and Seguin just missed a wide open net on the tip in off the side of the goal. The Islanders brought the puck back up the ice and into the Boston corner. Zdeno Chara got his stick around, and when he turned around he ran into the stick. It would be a hooking call against Chara at 14:28. The Islanders were very effective this time around on the powerplay, moving the puck around the Boston zone. Tuukka Rask was strong in net though, denying the Islanders a powerplay goal. Then the offenses started coming alive, as both teams had great scoring chances. But Montoya and Rask were very impressive in net, stopping chance after chance against them. The 2nd period would come to a close, and the Bruins maintained their slim 3-2 lead.

3rd Period

The 3rd period started with a bit of a scare for the Bruins, not on the scoreboard, but on their roster. Danielle Paille caught a slapshot up high on his face, and he hit the ice quickly. Play was stopped immediately, and Bruins trainer John Del Negro was on the ice to attend to him. Paille was taken to the dressing room, under his own power, but he was bleeding. The Bruins didn’t lose a step though, with Seidenberg making a good play defensively to get the puck out of the Boston zone. Horton and Lucic skated behind the Islanders defense, and had a de facto 2-on-0. Horton skated into the near slot, deked, and passed across to Milan Lucic who tipped the puck into the net. Boston had the important 2 goal lead, now up 4-2 at 4:34. The Bruins came back with a chance set up along the point. Milan Lucic battled along the sideboards, and won the puck back to Corvo, who fired a shot near point that Montoya stopped. The rebound came right to Nathan Horton though, who just jammed the puck in from the far slot. Boston was up now 5-2 just 49 seconds later. The Bergeron line followed that up with a chance of their own. Marchand and Seguin came flying up ice with a 2-on-2. Marchand made a cross-ice pass, but Seguin just missed another tip-in. With Lucic and Adam McDonald battling in the corner for a loose puck, Lucic would lose his edge and inadvertently trip down McDonald. That would put the Bruins back on the penalty kill at 13:05 for tripping. The Islanders again were moving the puck very well on the powerplay. But the Bruins skaters were in the right places at the right times, not allowing a shot to get through to Rask during the penalty kill. They were back to 5-on-5 with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game. The Islanders would make a daring move, deciding to pull their goaltender with under 3 minutes to play. David Kreci made sure it backfired on the Isle, as he buried an empty net goal at 17:12. The Bruins would skate off with their 3rd win in a row, and another convincing one at that, beating the New York Islanders 6-2.

Post-Game Breakdown

What another great game by the Bruins. They dominated in every facet of this game, and it’s good to finally see guys like Horton and Lucic bury the puck in the net. Tyler Seguin continues his points streak, now scoring 6 points in the last 4 games. Seguin leads the team with 8 goals, is 3rd in assists with 7, and that gives him the most points on the team with 15. Seguin is really coming into his own early in this season, and as long as he can continue this superb play, he will be a rock on this Bruins franchise for years to come. Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton have also gotten of the snide as of late. With these 2 players contributing for the Bruins, you can obviously see that they have been scoring a lot more goals as a team in their last 3 games. If the Bruins are to have any success going forward, those 2 guys have to keep finding the back of the net. The 1 guy who is surprising me though is David Kreci. Besides his empty net goal in this game, he only has 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in 10 games, and is -2. This guy led the Bruins in scoring last year, so he will need to start making better decisions with the puck if the Bruins offense is going to keep up this kind of output with any consistency. The Bruins won’t play again until Thursday night, when they play the worst team in the league the last 2 years running, the Edmonton Oilers. If Boston can keep this offensive outburst going, I see them easily running away with this game. The Oilers have a very young, and very highly skilled offensive team. So the Bruins will have to be sharp on defense if they want to keep this short winning streak alive.

Bruins win in Shootout 3-2

The Bruins edged out a win in Chicago against the Blackhawks, winning in a shootout 3-2. Tyler Seguin continues to show the brilliance that made him the #2 overall pick last year, as he now leads the team with 5 points on the season. Tim Thomas was great again for the Bruins, and is showing no signs of a setback like he experienced in 2009-2010. That was a year removed from winning the Vezina trophy, and leading the Bruins to the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins were again without David Kreci, as well as Adam McQuaid, who was out with a head injury suffered in Carolina. McQuaid was replaced by Matt Bartowski. Bartowski was actually traded to the Bruins along with Dennis Seidenberg from the Florida Panthers in 2009-2010. In his first season in the AHL, Bartowski had 23 points in 69 games and was -18 on the year. Not very impressive stats, and I don’t look for him to be a long-term replacement for McQuaid. Expect Steven Kampfer to play for McQuaid if he’s out for significant time, as soon as Kampfer is off the Injured Reserved though. The Bruins are off until Tuesday night, and they have a much-needed win as they head home to face the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tim Thomas leads the Bruins to a Shootout win in Chicago, 3-2

1st Period

The Bruins came out hot, with Tyler Seguin creating chances again on the 1st line. He made a cross ice pass to a wide open Lucic in the near circle. Lucic had Crawford lunging from post-to-post, but missed his shot high. The 1st line for Chicago brought the pressure right back though, forcing the Bruins back on their heels. Patrick Kane worked a give-and-go with Stalberg, and got behind the Bruins defense. He entered the slot, deked to the backhand, but Thomas made a spectacular glove save. Off a face-off in the offensive zone, Gregory Campbell and Jamal Mayers decided to go at it right after the puck was dropped. It was nothing spectacular, but Campbell was hoping to create a spark for this Bruins team. Both players received 5 minute majors for fighting at 7:48. Johnny Boychuk started a breakout for the Bruins. He sent the puck up ice to Lucic, who found Seguin skating through the center slot. Seguin veered off to the far circle to draw the defenders attention, and centered a pass for an open Nathan Horton right on the doorstep. Patrick Sharp just tipped the puck, and did not allow a proper tip for Nathan Horton as the puck skipped wide. Chicago brought the puck back into the Bruins zone. Johnny Boychuk went down to the near corner to get a loose puck, and would be tripped up by Stalberg. The Bruins had a powerplay at 9:17 to try to take the lead now. Boston was able to get 3 shots on goal, with great chances coming from Patrice Bergeron. But again no goal to speak of from the Bruins powerplay. They had good puck movement, and looked better to start then they had all night against Carolina. The Blackhawks would come back with another chance by Patrick Kane. A long pass through center ice set Kane up 1-on-1 with Joe Corvo. He had outside position on Corvo, stopped and spun around to get himself all alone in the center slot and launched a backhand. Tim Thomas showed his quickness, getting himself right in front of Kane as his shot went into Thomas’s gut. The Bruins were attempting to come up ice, but the Blackhawks did a good job of clogging up the neutral zone. Ference tried making a pass across ice, but it was tipped and picked off by Bryan Bickell. Bickel now had a breakaway, and beat Thomas. Chicago had a 1-0 lead 16:21 into the 1st period. Another great chance for the Blackhawks just seconds later with a 2-on-1. A cross-ice pass had Kane set up with an open net on the near side. But Tim Thomas made a ridiculous left-to-right pad save. The period would end with the Bruins down 1-0

2nd Period

The 2nd period started with a Boston penalty. Nathan Horton was called for goaltender interference 24 seconds into the period. Brent Seabrook took a bad angle shot that missed the net, and took a funny bounce off the sideboards. Rich Peverley picked the puck up, and the Bruins had a 2-on-1 up ice. Peverley held the puck into the far circle, drew the defender, passed across ice to Chris Kelly who buried it in the back of the net. Boston had tied the game on a shorthanded goal at 1:33. The powerplay ended for the Blackhawks with the game now tied at 1, but the Blackhawks kept the pressure on the Bruins. Great puck movement by the Blackhawks had the Boston defense reeling. Kane found himself all alone in the far circle, and beat Thomas 5-hole. Just as quickly as Boston had tied the game, the Blackhawks had taken the lead back 2-1 at 2:51. Chris Kelly created another chance for Boston. He took a shot from the near boards, beat Crawford low to the blocker side, but the puck hit the post and stayed out. Patrick Sharp came into the Bruins zone with speed, and ripped a one-timer to the glove of Tim Thomas. Thomas just got his glove there in time, as the puck deflected up and over the goal. Chris Kelly was trying to create more opportunities for the Bruins when he went into the near corner in the attacking zone. He was leveled from behind though by Michael Frolik, and he remained on the ice for a moment but was able to skate back to the bench under his own power. The Bruins would have a powerplay to work with now, as Frolik was called for boarding at 14:29. A very important powerplay now for the Bruins, as they had a chance to tie the game and get their powerplay out of this funk. In the closing seconds of the powerplay, Peverley found Bergeron across ice in the near slot with a wide open net to shoot at. But Brent Seabrook hit the ice to block the shot, and the Bruins powerplay was over without a goal. The Bruins kept the pressure on with the 1st line getting plenty of shots towards goal. The 2nd period would come to a close though, with the Blackhawks up 2-1.

3rd Period

The 3rd period started with another penalty for the Bruins, as Patrice Bergeron nailed Frolik from behind into the curved glass at the Blackhawks bench. Bergeron would receive a boarding call 9 seconds into the period. Kane was again creating trouble, making a cross ice pass to Patrick Sharp for a one-timer from the near slot. Tim Thomas made a terrific save though to keep Chicago off the board. Boston created chances again on the penalty kill, with Marchand, Ference, and Paille getting a 3-on-2 up ice. Marchand held far side, passed across ice to Paille, but his shot was blocked into the crowd by Crawford. The Blackhawks powerplay was ineffective, as the game stayed at 2-1. Boston had a great chance to get on the board, with Bergeron setting up Tyler Seguin from behind the net to the slot. Seguin made a nice backhand shot, but Crawford made the save, and was able to cover up even with Lucic jamming in front. The Bruins kept the pressure on, with Johnny Boychuk all the way down to the near corner and behind the net to get the puck. Boychuk found Horton in the near slot, and he buried the puck in the back of the net. Horton had his 1st goal of the year, and it tied the game 2-2 at 7:56. The Bruins had new life, and this offense started to get pressure on the Chicago defense. Benoit Puliout and Brent Seabrook went down to the near corner in the offensive zone. The puck rode up the sideboards, and Puliout turned around to get it, but his stick inadvertently whacked Seabrook in the back of his helmet. The Bruins would have a crucial penalty to kill of now, as Puliout was in the box for high-sticking at 16:25. The Bruins did a good job clearing the puck, and did not allow any shots on goal when Patrick Sharp would be called for holding the stick at 17:33. They skated 4-on-4 for 52 seconds before the Bruins would have a powerplay to work with. Andrew Ference lost his stick right as the 4-on-4 started, and the Blackhawks offense took advantage. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Towes created gerat scoring chanced, but the Blackhawks could not get shots on Thomas. Puliout would come out of the box, and it was a shortened powerplay for the Bruins. Seidenberg would beat Crawford cleanly over the glove side, but he rang the post. The powerplay would come to an end, as would the period. The Bruins were headed to overtime tied at 2 in Chicago.

OT

Seguin created a chance for Horton in overtime, centering a pass from the near corner. Horton had to fight through the Chicago defense, shielding the puck, but could not get a shot on net. Milan Lucic forced a turnover on the near boards in Bruins defensive zone. He passed the puck ahead for Rich Peverely, who had a clean breakaway now. Peverley had the entire rink to himself, as he skated through center ice. He came into the slot, deked to the backhand, got Crawford down spread-eagle, but his shot went wide. With under a minute left, Brent Seabrook took a slap-shot from the far slot that deflected off of Thomas and through the crease. Chicago would get one last point shot by Seabrook, but it would not go. Still tied after OT, this game would be decided in a shootout.

Shootout

Jonathan Towes was 1st up for the Blackhawks. He deked to the forehand, got Thomas down on his belly, but the spread-eagle by Thomas allowed him to make a right pad save. Tyler Seguin led off for the Bruins. He came in with a burst of speed, and whipped a shot right by Crawford 5-hole. Boston was up 1-0 in the Shootout. Patrick Kane came up next, skating methodically in. He just fired a shot 5-hole, but Thomas stopped him, and then stopped the rebound attempt with his left pad (even though you’re only allowed 1 shot in a shootout). Patrice Bergeron was up 2nd for the Bruins. He skated in with speed, deked, but lost the puck off his stick and never made a shot. It was all up to Patrick Sharp now, with the Bruins up 1-0 in the Shootout. Sharp skated in, fired a shot from the high slot, and Tim Thomas made the left pad save. Thomas was perfect in the Shootout, and the Bruins had an important 2 points to end their mini losing streak.

Post-Game Breakdown

A good win for the Bruins, after suffering 2 tough losses to Colorado and Carolina. Boston’s offense had been struggling, but was able to come up with key goals when they needed them. The Bruins never led in this game, but they kept working hard all night. Nathan Horton grabbed his 1st goal of the year to tie things in the 3rd period, and hopefully that can get him going offensively. Seguin continues to impress early in this season. He has a goal and 4 assists after this game, and is now leading the team with 5 points. The Bruins haven’t lost a step with Seguin replacing Kreci on the 1st line. Lucic and Horton have been given plenty of chances to score, but just have not finished. Horton finally did, but Lucic is having a very hard time finding the back of the net. He’s a guy the Bruins need to get going if they want to win these close games. Johnny Boychuk had a tremendous performance in this game as well, both offensively and defensively. In 5 games against the Blackhawks, Boychuk has 2 goals and 2 assists, and is +5. Very impressive stats in limited action against 1 team. Boychuk is helping to solidify the Bruins defense, by pairing up with Chara. This allows Claude Julien to separate his 2 best defenders in Chara and Seidenberg, thus providing a stiff defense no matter what line he rolls out. The Bruins won’t play again until Tuesday night, when they host the Carolina Hurricanes. I see the Bruins winning this rematch from a few nights ago, and after that it’s 4 straight games of rivalry. The Bruins will play the Maple Leafs, Sharks, and then a home-and-home with the Canadians in the upcoming week and a half. Boston has to win at least 2 of those games to stay afloat early in this season.

Bruins down the Lightning 4-1 to get their 1st win of the year

The Bruins got in the win column this season, beating their Eastern Conference Finals opponent from a year ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game wasn’t all that close, with the Bruins dominating the entire game. One bad play by the Bruins allowed the Lightning right back into the game with the Martin St. Louis breakaway goal. Besides that play, the Bruins out-shot, out-chanced, and out-played the Lightning in every way. It was a great game from the Bruins. 2nd year pros Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin have looked great in these 1st 2 games thus far. Marchand has a goal and 2 assists, and Seguin has 3 assists and is +2. These young players are making a huge impact for this team, and I look for them to continue this production throughout the year. Boston is in good shape, if they can have this type of output on a consistent basis from the team.

picture courtesy bruins.nhl.com

Bruins celebrate their 2nd goal of the night, on their way to a 4-1 win vs. the Lightning

1st Period

The game started with some physical play by both teams. The Bruins would get the advantage early, when Matt Gilroy was called for holding at 4:21. The Bruins powerplay looked dismal as usual. They couldn’t set anything up, and were back to 5-on-5 hockey. Right as the powerplay ended, Shawn Thornton set up behind the Tampa net, and found Benoit Puloit in the slot. Puliot wheeled around and got a backhand shot on net, but right into the gut of Mathieu Garon. Peverley took a bad angle shot from the far side of the net, and got the puck on goal. There was a pileup at the far side, and Marhand started mixing it up with 2 Lightning. The facewashing resulted in offsetting roughing minors for Marchand and Steve Downie at 9:13. So they skated 4-on-4 for 2 minutes. The Bruins had a huge scare, as the puck was taken from the far slot, and shot intentionally wide by St. Louis. Malone had the puck with a wide open net at the near slot now. Tim Thomas dove to get back to the other side, and the puck hit the heel of his paddle. The puck sat just inches away from the goal line in the crease, but was cleared out by Kreci. The Bruins would be facing a penalty though, when Johnny Boychuk was called for slashing at 10:28. So it was 4-on-3 for 45 seconds, before the Lightning would get a 5-on-4 powerplay. Lecavialer made a cross ice pass to Stamkos, who had his one-timer stopped by Thomas. Just 1 more shot for the Lightning on the powerplay, as the Bruins had killed the penalty off. The Bruins would go on the powerplay shortly after, as Seguin was clearly tripped up by Connolly at 13:40. Boston had good puck control throughout the powerplay, but again could not get a goal. Just 1 shot on that powerplay, which tells the story. Too much passing by the Bruins man advantage, not enough shooting. Then the Lightning would go back on the powerplay. Milan Lucic was called for slashing at 16:31. As the penalty came to an end, Steve Downie decided to get into the crease, and started shoving Chara. Chara didn’t like it, so he took a swipe back. Downie then turned to the refs, as if pleading for a penalty. No call from the refs, and the Bruins would kill off another penalty. With just over 30 seconds remaining, Chris Kelly and Benoit Puloit created another chance in the slot, but a great right pad save by Garon kept Boston off the board. So they would go into the 2nd period scoreless.

2nd Period

The period started with a great chance by the 1st line for Boston, with Kreci going through center ice and Horton to the far side. Kreci’s pass to Horton though would not stay put, and it bounced off to the corner. But the Bruins would come right back with pressure from the 2nd line. Marchand again was creating chances, taking the puck through the offensive zone. He would go behind the net and around to the near circle, wheel, and fire a snap shot. The puck just hit the post though, and rebounded to the opposite side where Rich Peverley was waiting in the crease. Peverley did not miss, as he put the puck in the back of the net. Boston took the 1-0 lead 2:04 into the period. Boston would give it right back, as Malone poked the puck away from Nathan Horton as he entered the offensive zone. The puck was picked up by Lecaviler, who passed ahead to Martin St. Louis who had a breakaway now. St. Louis made a quick head fake, and beat Tin Thomas blocker side. Very quickly, this game was tied at 1 at 3:20. Boston would come back with a 2-on-1 with Peverley and Marchancd. Peverley had the pack far side, and centered a pass for Marchand. Marchand had a semi-breakaway now, but his shot went just wide. With Tampa now on its heels, Tyler Seguin created a chance, skating through the center slot, and passing back to McQuaid at the far point. McQuaid took a point shot, that apparently was tipped in front by Daniel Pialle and went into the back of the net. Boston was back on top, 2-1 at 4:58. Gregory Campbell then just missed a chance to extend the lead, as he fanned on a backhand attempt near post, and then shot a forehander over the net. The Bruins brought the puck back into the offensive zone, and Lucic made a nice move to step by Eric Brewer who stuck his leg out to knock Lucic down. Brewer would be called for tripping at 10:24. On the powerplay, Dominc Moore took the puck from the sideboards, and skated down the ice. Behind the play though, Tyler Seguin would be called for holding at 10:59. So they skated 4-on-4 for 1:25. The teams would be kept off the board, and the Lightning had 36 seconds of powerplay now. The Bruins penalty killers did a good job of keeping the puck out of their own zone. As the penalty ended, Adam McQuaid was coming up ice when he had the puck hit a linesman and Boston was ruled offsides. Dominac Moore and Brad Marchand tangled after the whistle, and both player would receive offsetting minors for roughing at 13:21. So they skated 4-on-4 for 2 minutes. The Bruins would get the man advantage again shortly after though, as Brett Connolly was called for hooking on Andrew Ference at 13:40. So Boston had their 4th powerplay with which to work with. The Bruins again could not score on the powerplay, and this is already getting ridiculous. Very solid defense by the Bruins as the period went on, and it contributed to their offensive control of the puck. But a late turnover by Boston gave Tampa a 3-on-2 up ice. Stamkos took the puck at the center slot, skated forward, and passed near side to Lecavialer. Thomas dove across to make a stop, but Lecaviler made a cross ice pass instead. Johnny Boychuk made the smart play, and just took out. Boychuk would be called for tripping at 19:52. The period would come to a close, with Boston up 2-1 and having to kill off 1:52 of the Boychuk penalty.

3rd Period

The 3rd period started with a huge chance for the Bruins, with Marchand intercepting a pass at the point by Malone. Marchand had a breakaway now, deked, and just missed a backhand shot high. Tampa came back with a great chance setting up a triangle in the slot. Teddy Purcell received a cross ice pass at the near side, and had a wide open net to shoot at. But Tim Thomas showed off his athleticism, stretching all the way over to make a tremendous blocker save. The Lightning were kept off the board on the powerplay, and the Bruins offense came back down the ice. Seguin sent the puck ahead to Lucic, who came down through to the far side protecting the puck. Lucic took a bad angle shot that was stopped by Garon. The rebound came right to an open Kreci in the high slot, and he wristed one up and into the back of the net. Kreci had his 1st goal of the year after leading the postseason, and it gave the Bruins the ever important 2 goal lead. 3-1 now for Boston at 3:07 in the 3rd period.Tampa came back with a one-time opportunity from Pyatt to Hall, but Thomas made the save. The Bruins started taking control of this game, with the defense forcing turnovers and the offense controlling the puck in the attacking zone. Great puck movement by the offense, wheeling the puck around in the offensive zone. Campbell was fighting along the boards, and was able to get the puck out to the point. Seidenberg made a cross ice pass to Joe Corvo, who took a shot on net. The puck was stopped by the pads of Garon, and Shawn Thornton picked the puck up right in the slot. His backhand was sent into Garons left pad though, and Boston was kept off the board this time. Patrice Bergeron intercepted a pass back at the Boston goal-line. He brought the puck up ice, and into the offensive zone. Bergeron wheeled around in the slot, passed across ice to Marchand. The puck kicked off a skate, was picked up by Peverley, and he buried it in the back of the net. Peverley had his 2nd goal of the night, and it put Boston up 4-1 at 8:43. Tampa Bays woes would continue, as they were then called for having too many men on the ice at 10:19. The Bruins had their 5th powerplay of the night, and were looking to put this game out of reach just midway through the 3rd period. A very good-looking powerplay from Boston, getting some good looks at net. But again, no goal to speak of. They went back to 5-on-5 hockey, but not for long. Dominc Moore tried mixing it up with Nathan Horton at center ice, and both players would receive off setting minors for slashing and cross-checking respectively at 15:32. So they skated 4-on-4 for 2 minutes. The Bruins had a couple breakout opportunities, but were not trying too hard to get more offense going. They were back to 5-on-5, when Tyler Seguin would be called for tripping on Steve Downie at 17:37. This penalty kill played shutdown defense, not allowing Tampa to get good opportunities. The powerplay would end with under a minute left to go in the game. The Bruins had numbers up ice, with Seguin coming out of the box for a 3-on-2. Seguin had the puck dropped off for him in the near slot, but just fanned on a snap shot. Tampa sent the puck back down they ice, but it wouldn’t matter. Boston had their 1st win of the year, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1.

Post-Game Breakdown

The Bruins looked great in this game, dominating the whole way save for the breakaway goal by St. Louis. Offensively, defensively, Boston controlled this game. The play by Seguin and Marchand has been tremendous thus far, and both looked exceptional in this game. The defense was shut down all night, especially the penalty kill. They kept the very dangerous Lightning powerplay off the board, going 0-5 on the night. The Bruins didn’t fair any better though, going 0-5 on the powerplay as well. The Bruins are 1-10 on the powerplay to start the season, which is not a good sign. The Bruins have the weapons to have a decent powerplay, but for some reason have not been able to put the pieces together. We’ll have to see how things progress throughout the season, but it is something the Bruins will need to fix somehow. The Bruins next game is Monday afternoon against the Colorado Avalanche, where they should easily handle the Avalanche at the TD Garden.