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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.

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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.