5 from the Third and OT

5 from the Third and OT

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Here are five thoughts and observations from the thirdperiod of Saturday nights game that ended with a 3-2 Pittsburgh win inovertime:

1.) If there was ever a sign of justice being served, itwould have to be when Matt Cookes empty net bid in the final minute ofregulation was blocked by Tomas Kaberle, leading to the Bruins rushing up ice,and Krejci sniping top-left from the slot with 32.5 seconds left in the game,tying it at 2-2, and sending it into overtime.

2.) The Bs got a point, but just one. Dustin Jeffrey scoredthe game-winner for the Penguins with 3:08 left in overtime, as he camestreaking through the middle and flipped the puck top-left past Thomas. Still,the way the game went, the Bs shouldnt be too disappointed in getting onepoint out of it.

3.) The Bruins fourth line set the tone for the thirdperiod, thanks to a dominating shift in the opening minutes, as Daniel Pailleand Shawn Thornton continued to work the puck down low and put several shots onnet.

4.) The Bs killed off a huge penalty, six minutes into thethird, after Milan Lucic went to the box for a hook. Highlighting the importantpenalty kill was Dennis Seidenbergs huge hit on Kris Letang in open ice at theBruins blue line. It was clean, and was something Matt Cooke should take noteson.

5.) With less than 10 minutes left in a one-goal game, itstime to get gritty and greasy, which is something that Mark Recchi is great at,in front of opposing teams goaltenders. And he nearly re-directed a low TomasKaberle shot over the right shoulder of Marc-Andre Fleury with eight minutesleft in regulation. It was a near-perfect attempt, but as most of the game wentto that point, it was another near-miss for the Bruins offense.

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Here are five thoughts and observations from a second periodthat saw the Penguins fall behind 1-0, and then take a 2-1 lead into the break:

1.) Zdeno Chara gave the Bs a 1-0 lead, seven-and-a-halfminutes into the second, sniping a wrister top shelf from the high slot. Butcredit the entire play to David Krejcis wizard-like talents. Krejci took thepuck over the blue line, and sent a backhand sauce-pass to a wide open Chara,who stepped in and had all day to pick the corner of his choice.

2.) The Penguins got right back into the game, less thanthree minutes after Charas goal, when Jordan Staal tied the game at 1-1. Staalconverted on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Kennedy, after Johnny Boychuk made a bad pinchat the Pittsburgh blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone.Boychuk can be blamed for that one.

3.) Exactly 1:10 after Staal tied the game, Dustin Jeffrey putthe Penguins up 2-1 after he beat Tim Thomas with a low, cross-body shot fromthe slot. The Bruins were caught flat-footed defensively, and seemed to be outof it for a few minutes after Boychuks decision to pinch.

4.) However, Boychuk did get some cheers from the Bruinsfaithful in the second period, after he buried Matt Cooke behind Bruins net. Cookecame in hard to finish a check on Boychuk, but Boychuk stood him up and knockedhim down hard to the ice.

5.) You have to give it to Michael Ryder, who continues tocarry the puck wide and deep into the offensive zone, looking like a mandetermined to get the puck to the net. Hes yet to beat Marc-Andre Fleury onthis night, but hes clearly giving Boston its best offensive effort of thenight through two periods.
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Here are five thoughts and observations from a scorelessfirst period between the Bruins and Penguins:

1.) All eyes in the TD Garden were on the villain MattCooke, who took his first faceoff in Bruins zone on the wing with JohnnyBoychuk, who has tried to fight Cooke on several occasions this season. Butnothing came of it, and Cooke was fairly quiet throughout the first 20 minutes.

2.) There were two fights though. Shawn Thornton askedMichael Rupp to dance three minutes into the game, and Rupp accepted the titleshot. Rupp went on to give Thornton a few good rights and took him down to theice to win the bout. The second fight saw Nathan Horton and Craig Adams go atit in a quick, spirited fight with two minutes left in the first.

3.) As for the hockey game, Michael Ryder and Nathan Hortonhad Bostons best scoring chances in the first, but neither could finish,thanks to some timely blocking from Pittsburgh defensemen and some solid savesfrom Marc-Andre Fleury.

4.) Tyler Seguin was impressive with the puck in the firstperiod, in the most important zone on the ice: the neutral zone. Seguin isskating with Chris Kelly and Ryder, and showed no signs of panic when it wastime to make a play.

5.) And when Seguin was getting bullied, his teammateswerent timid either. Adam McQuaid came to the aid of Seguin when Max Talbotcontinued to push Seguin after a whistle, and basically let Talbot know thatwasnt going to fly on this night.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Nash scores a pair of goals in Bruins 2-1 win over Islanders

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Nash scores a pair of goals in Bruins 2-1 win over Islanders

BROOKLYN, NY – The Bruins knew they needed to find stellar performances somewhere in order to come out of a must-win game vs. the Islanders with two points, and they got exactly that.

Riley Nash had his best game as a member of the Bruins with a pair of goals scored in a 2-1 win over the Islanders at the Barclays Center that snapped a four game losing streak, and pushed them back into the wild card playoff spot.

It wasn’t a perfect game for the Black and Gold by any means and it was nip-and-tuck all the way, but it was important for the Bruins to show they could pull out those kinds of games late in the season.

Things didn’t look all that great early when John Tavares cut through the Bruins defense in the first period, and whistled a wrist shot from the high slot that went through Adam McQuaid’s legs before beating Anton Khudobin. The Bruins responded, however, on the very next shift with Nash stealing the puck from Scott Mayfield in the neutral zone, and beating Thomas Greiss short side for the important game-tying goal.

It looked like the Bruins had their go-ahead score in the first period on a second-effort power play goal by Frank Vatrano, but that was wiped out by a coach’s challenge that ruled David Backes interfered with Greiss in front of the New York net.

So the Bruins needed to wait until the third period when Boston’s fourth line stepped up and won the massively important game for Boston. Dominic Moore fed Riley Nash hustling into the offensive zone, and he weaved through the Islanders defense before snapping a shot past Greiss for his second goal of the game and his seventh on the season for the Bruins. 

Bruins know they 'have to go all in' vs. Islanders to control playoff fate

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Bruins know they 'have to go all in' vs. Islanders to control playoff fate

BROOKLYN, NY – The Bruins woke up on Saturday morning and found themselves out of the playoff picture for the first time in months by virtue of the one game in hand the New York Islanders have over the Black and Gold.

That makes Saturday night’s tilt against the Isles at the Barclays Center all the more important. A win will put the Bruins back into the lead for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and a loss would further drop them out of the playoff picture. It’s the biggest game of the season for the Bruins made that much grander in scale because Tuukka Rask is suddenly out with a lower body injury, and the Bruins will need a superior effort to snap a four game losing streak that has them teetering on the brink of playoff oblivion.

With all this swirling around, the Bruins know they can seize control of their playoff destiny with a win that will send them spinning off in the right direction. A loss will…well, that’s something the B’s don’t even want to entertain at this point after collapsing down the stretch in each of the last two seasons.

“With where we’re at right now, we can’t have any moral victories. Now it’s about doing the job and bearing down. We have to go all in tonight and have a big game. Hopefully the guys understand how important of a game it is and we have a big night,” said Brad Marchand. “I think we’re all excited. This is when we love to play when the game means so much, and it has a playoff feel. We’re fighting for our lives right now. It’s a great mood in the room, so hopefully we have a big bounce back.”

While the big picture can’t possibly be ignored given what’s happened with the Bruins this week, Bruce Cassidy also cautioned that simply viewing Saturday night as a two-point game was the best technique for success. Otherwise things could become overwhelming and packed with too much pressure when it should be something the Bruins are embracing rather than dreading.

“I hope our guys are creating some positive energy out there. This time of year you just need to have that mindset that it’s one game at a time,” said Cassidy. “You don’t look back, and you stay in the moment. That’s the message that gets conveyed to the group and for the most part they’ve done a good job with that. We just need to play our game and play it well.

“I truly believe they’ll bounce back. They didn’t have their best on Thursday and I think we’ve addressed that game. I believe they’ll take a lot of pride in their game tonight. Your leaders need to lead and your followers need to follow, and that’s a recipe for success for most teams. We’re no different and I expect that to be the case [against the Islanders].”

On the other side of the coin, it will be look out below if the Bruins drop a fifth straight game and continue a downward spiral as the Leafs, Lightning and Islanders are seem to be hitting their late season stride at the same time.