Boston Bruins Beat: Bruins awaken from an early-season slumber, reeling off another two victories
Published: Monday, November 21, 2011
Updated: Monday, November 21, 2011 22:11
Entering last Thursday's game, few thought the Columbus Blue Jackets had a chance to compete with the Bruins. The Bruins entered the game looking to sweep a homestand of five or more games for the first time since 1986. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, were looking for just their first road win of the season.
However, the story line of the game was unexpected. The Bruins were outshot 31-27 by the Blue Jackets and scored only one goal after scoring 34 goals during their winning streak.
Behind Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 30 saves, including four in overtime, the Bruins held off the Blue Jackets in a 2-1 shoot-out victory to extend their streak.
"We looked a little tired. You could see it in our players' faces and the way they were coming back to the bench," Boston coach Claude Julien said after the game. "The one thing that I liked was that no matter what, we still found a way to win."
By the end of the first period, the Blue Jackets weren't going down without a fight. During the first period, the Blue Jackets played the Bruins evenly, with the first period ending in a scoreless tie.
Forward Derek MacKenzie of the Blue Jackets struck first, scoring two minutes, 49 seconds into the second period, tapping in a wrist shot from the blue line off a pass from defender Nikita Nikitin. The goal came with just one second left on a power play.
However, the Bruins struck back only two minutes later. Defenseman Adam McQuaid took a wrist shot into traffic that bounced off the leg of forward Rich Peverley and into the goal.
The Bruins finished the second period with a flurry of shots but could not capitalize. The Bruins also had many scoring chances in the third period, but Blue Jackets goalkeeper Curtis Sanford was a force in the net.
In overtime, Rask made several saves to keep the Bruins in the game.
"We didn't play our best hockey. Everybody saw that, but the result is the only thing that matters in this game, and we were able to squeeze the win," Rask said.
In the shoot-out, Peverley and center David Krejci scored to put Boston ahead 2-1, for the win.
Earlier in the week, the Bruins pulled off a tight 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. The first period saw no scoring from either side, a rarity for the Bruins recently.
That changed 10:40 into the second period. Devils right wing David Clarkson broke the 0-0 tie with a power- play goal.
Four minutes later, center Chris Kelly scored on a assist by right wing Gregory Campbell to tie the game. The Bruins failed to capitalize on scoring chances thereafter.
Just six seconds into the third period, left wing Brad Marchand put in his sixth goal of the season.
Two minutes later, though, New Jersey right wing Nick Palmieri chipped the puck in the net, knotting the game at two apiece.
Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton then came through in the clutch, scoring his first goal of the season, and notching the tie again.
In the sixth minute of play, Devils center Adam Henrique's shot from in close bounced right in front of the net, allowing Palmieri to score his second goal of the game.
After a little over 10 minutes of scoreless play, the Bruins broke the tie. Left wing Benoit Pouliot scored his seventh goal of the season, sending the crowd to its feet.
After the game, Thomas stated what everyone in the crowds was thinking: Man, that was close.
"New Jersey played the most complete game of teams we've seen in the last five or six," Thomas said. "It seemed like every time we scored, New Jersey matched it."
After breezing past the Islanders with a 6-0 rout on the road last Saturday, the Bruins will next try to keep their winning streak alive against the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.