Thornton injured in Scott fight, being evaluated

991401.jpg

Thornton injured in Scott fight, being evaluated

Shawn Thornton takes his duties as an enforcer for the Boston Bruins very seriously, so Thursdays anticipated tilt against the bigger, tougher Buffalo Sabres was no different.It was assumed that No. 22 would be addressing things with new Buffalo tough guy John Scott after the 6-foot-8, 260-pound Scott had voiced a desire to stop the bullying act that the Black and Gold had been pulling on the Sabres over the last couple of years.
So Thornton and Scott had a few words during the pre-game warm-up on the TD Garden ice and then dropped the gloves as soon as they were on the ice together for a face-off on their respective first shifts.
The 6-foot-2, 217-pound Thornton attempted to grab the monstrous Scott by the sweater and grapple with him in tight quarters as he did when facing Derek Boogaard several years ago, but Scott clocked Thornton in the head and face with a series of overhand right punches before the Bs tough guy finally dropped to the ice. Thornton looked wobbly on his legs as he headed to the penalty box afterward.
The Sabres behemoth said he was trying to send a message to a Bruins team that tormented his club last season, and his nights work was essentially over totaling only 4:28 of ice time for the game.
Going into this game there was a lot of hype around what happened last year, said Scott, referencing the LucicMiller collision. So I kind of just wanted to set the tone and say, Okay were here to play. It happened out that I came out on the fight.
Regardless of the outcome I just want to be there for my teammates and let them know Im here to fight, Ive got your back. Last years not going to happen like this year.
Both players retreated to the penalty box and then Thornton headed straight for the Bruins dressing room and did not return to the game. There was no update following the game about Thorntons condition.
Well know more tomorrow, said Claude Julien, who also added that Daniel Paille never returned to the game after taking a high-stick to the face in the third period. Hes being evaluated, until we get a definite answer there is nothing more.
It stands to reason that Thornton suffered an injury related to the punches the powerful Scott landed on the left winger, and his teammates appreciated the sacrifices he makes to protect the rest of them.
Hes been a great team guy here for the last six years, and he takes a lot of pride in what he does sticking up for himself and his teammates. Hes a great team guy, said Lucic.
Hes an important person to this hockey club. It was unfortunate that he missed the rest of the game after that, but knowing him... hes a tough guy and hell try to get back as soon as he can.
The Bruins hope that Thornton can return sooner rather than later, and should have more information on his condition Friday.

Bruins rebound from 3-0 deficit but wind up losing to Caps in overtime

Bruins rebound from 3-0 deficit but wind up losing to Caps in overtime

WASHINGTON -- The Capitals didn't exactly end their overtime victory with a raucous celebration.

No, instead Washington held a players-only meeting, still salty over blowing a three-goal lead.

Nicklas Backstrom scored 1:36 into overtime, helping the Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 to avert a disastrous defeat Wednesday night.

Justin Williams scored twice and Daniel Winnik also had a goal to put Washington ahead 3-0 about six minutes into the second period.

After Winnik's tally, Washington went over 26 minutes without a shot on goal. Boston dominated the final five minutes of the second period, when Dominic Moore and David Pastrnak beat goaltender Braden Holtby. Colin Miller's power-play score 8:19 into third tied it at 3-3.

Backstrom saved the day, but not the Capitals from feeling uneasy.

"In the second and third period they outplayed," Backstrom said. "We were lucky that we came up with two points. We're not satisfied at all. We're happy with the two points, but not the way we played."

The locker room remained closed for approximately 15 minutes after the win, Washington's second in a row after losing three straight.

"We had a little talking here," said T.J. Oshie, who returned to the lineup for the first time since injuring his shoulder on Nov. 18. "There are some things we've got to clean up. I think it's more of a mentality more than it is the systems or anything like that. ... Once we get a step up on someone, we have to get that mentality that we're going to finish them off."

Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin got his first point since Nov. 26.

Boston arrived in Washington 4-0-1 over its last five games with three wins in a row, including a 4-3 overtime triumph against Florida on Monday night. The Bruins outshot Washington 34-20.

"Hell of an effort. We got a big point for us. To comeback from 3-0 against Washington, it's not that easy," Pastrnak said. "Too bad we couldn't get the two points, but in this case the one point is huge for us."

Backstrom patiently waited on the right side before firing the winner past goaltender Tuukka Rask, who entered second in the league with a 1.68 goals-against average. Rask allowed three goals in his previous outing, too.

Williams had two goals over the first 24 games this season, but he matched that total less than eight minutes in against the Bruins. He redirected Kuznetsov's lofted centering pass past Rask for a 1-0 lead just 23 seconds into the first period.

"To be honest it's nice to see the puck go in the net," Williams said. "I've been pressing and working hard. Hopefully this can springboard me to some more production."

Matt Niskanen left with an upper-body injury and did not return. With the Caps down a defenseman, Boston outshot Washington 11-2 in the second period.

"In the second period, we just sort of sat back," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "It's hard to protect leads in the league."

The Capitals' second goal also occurred in front of the net. Williams emerged from a scramble with a shot that slithered under Rask.

NOTES: With his 673rd career win, Trotz passed Mike Keenan (672) for eighth place on the NHL's career wins list. ... Williams' first goal was the fastest for Washington since 2012. ... Boston assigned F Noel Acciari to the Providence Bruins two days after the 24-year forward returned to practice. Acciari injured his right leg on Nov. 7. ... Holtby improved to 10-2 career against the Bruins. His first career win came in relief against Boston in November 2010. ... The three-game season series resumes Feb. 1 in Washington.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Colorado on Thursday night.

Capitals: Play at Buffalo on Friday night.