Bruins look to build momentum after shootout loss

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Bruins look to build momentum after shootout loss

BUFFALO It wasnt quite back-to-back wins, but the Bruins that are suiting up and skating each game in Black and Gold sweaters are starting to look a little more familiar.

The Bs crew took points in consecutive games for the first time in a month and continued to build momentum with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres that could have gone either way at the First Niagara Center.

It had been a while since wed strung together two good 60-minute games. We had a good effort in St. Louis and our goal is to build momentum, said Gregory Campbell. We wanted to play a solid game against a desperate team. With 20 games left you play desperate teams and close games, and were finding our game slowly but surely. We just have to build on that.

Shootout scores from Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy were the difference-makers in a decision that dropped the Bruins to 7-2 in the shootout this season, but there werent many Bruins hanging their heads afterward.

Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in a return to form and Zdeno Chara had his second consecutive strong game after going through a two-weekdown period. Chara saved the game in overtime by sweeping a Thomas Vanek shot away from the open net, and potted the game-tying score in the third period for his ninth goal of the season.

The fourth line created the energy to start the third period that helped push the Bruins into overtime and earned a power play that led into Charas score shortly after the man advantage had expired.

The offense still wasnt moving as fluidly for the Bruins as it did during the salad days of November and December, but it was ably supported by the familiar Bs formula of grinding defense and timely goaltending.

It was a game that with a matter of luck it could have been on our side. It was a good, close game, said Chara. It was a good effort. We competed, we battled hard and it was a really close game.

Both teams played well, both goalies made big saves and it was just too bad we couldnt get the extra point in the shootout.

Even more than the defense and the goalie play, the Bruins were pleased with a second straight game that saw them finish up strong with a third period effort they could be proud of. The Bs out-shot the Sabres by a 15-5 margin while tying up the game and forcing overtime, and seemed to be walking on familiar footing headed into the overtime session on a power play.

Its a far cry from the recent four-game stretch where they were outscored 5-1 in the third period and looked like they were lacking their normal skating legs.

The first two periods I thought were pretty even. But I thought in the third period we came out, went after the goal to tie it up and we were the better team in the third period, said Julien. Im definitely happy with the way weve been coming out in the third the last couple of games.

The Bruins couldnt close the deal in OT or during the shootout, but it was an effort they could discuss with their heads cast upward.

They hadnt been able to do that in two straight games in a long, long time and the Bruins are taking that as a sign of good things to come.

Blackhawks edge past Bruins with late goal in 1-0 win

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Blackhawks edge past Bruins with late goal in 1-0 win

BOSTON -- Anybody looking for an emotional, high-energy response from the Bruins after back-to-back putrid losses to the Islanders and Red Wings didn’t get it on Friday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.

Instead the Bruins had plenty of shots with zero goals to show for it, and then gave up a goal to Marian Hossa on a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 regulation win over the Black and Gold. It was the third straight loss for a Bruins team that continues to sink down in the playoff picture at a time of years when the results are the only thing that matters.

The defeat could also very well cost B’s head coach Claude Julien his job as a lifeless Bruins organization looks for any way to get out of the mud they’ve been stuck in for the last six weeks.

The Bruins and Blackhawks couldn’t crack the scoreboard for the first 50 minutes in regulation, and the genuine scoring chances were few and far between for both sides.

Tim Schaller and Patrice Bergeron had scoring chances down low in the first period, and Joe Morrow had a breakaway turned away by Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling early in the proceedings. But the scoring chances and sustained attack really began to dry up in the second period, and it became a series of one-and-done shots on net for both sides.

As one would expect both goalies were stellar with Darling putting together a 16-save performance in the first period, and Tuukka Rask turning away several Blackhawks chances including an Artem Anisimov wrist shot off the rush with just a couple of minutes to go in the third period. Rask finished with 21 saves, and Darling finished with 30 saves in a big win for the Chicago backup netminder.