Bruins crush Canucks 8-1, lose Horton in Game 3

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Bruins crush Canucks 8-1, lose Horton in Game 3

By DannyPicard
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"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The Bruins got back into the Stanley Cup Finals Monday night, scoring four second-period goals and four third-period goals to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 8-1 in Game 3 at TDGarden.

Boston now trails the series, 2-1.

Tim Thomas, heavilycriticized for the way he played Vancouvers game-winning goal in Game 2, made 40 saves in backstopping the victory.

What will be heavily criticized on Tuesday will be AaronRomes first-period hit on Nathan Horton.

Horton was taken off the ice on a stretcher and was sent toMassachusetts General Hospital after the Canucks defenseman came off his feetand crushed Horton with a devastating hit at the Vancouver blue line just overfive minutes into the game.

Horton had received a pass at center ice and quickly dishedit off to his left. Moments later, Rome stepped up at the blue line and hitHorton while Horton was looking the other way.

The Bruins said after the first period that Horton hadmovement in all of his extremities.

Rome was ejected from the game.

Vancouver outshot Boston 12-7 in the first period butthe Bruins made their statement in the second, scoring four goals andtaking a 4-0 lead into the third period.

Andrew Ference got the scoring started 11 seconds yes, 11seconds into the second. It took the same amount of time in overtime of Game2 for Alex Burrows to score the game-winner.

Ference was responsible for the initial neutral-zoneturnover that led to that game-winner. He got his revenge by wristing aknuckle-puck from the left point and into the top-right corner for a 1-0Bruins lead.

Mark Recchi made it 2-0 with 20 seconds left on a powerplay, 4:22 into the second period. Recchi was set up in the corner, and threw apass out front that was intended for Rich Peverley. But before it even got tohim, Ryan Kesler reached out with his stick, and re-directed the puck throughRoberto Luongos legs and into the net.

Brad Marchand gave the Bs a 3-0 lead while Vancouver was ona power play, with 8:30 left in the period. The short-handed goal was a one-maneffort that started with a stick lift from Marchand in the neutral zone.

Marchand took the puck hard down the right wing, and beatKesler wide at the circle. He came across the slot all alone, stayed patient,and shot the puck top-shelf after Luongo went down.

David Krejci added the fourth goal by putting home a reboundoff a low Michael Ryder shot from the high slot, with 4:13 left in the period.

In a chippy third period that saw Shawn Thornton, MilanLucic, and Dennis Seidenberg ejected, Daniel Paille gave the Bruins a 5-0 leadwhile scoring Bostons second short-handed goal of the night, skating down theleft wing and putting a shot on Luongo that hit the goaltenders glove andtrickled in.

Jannik Hansen gave Vancouver its only goal of the night,with 6:07 left in the game, putting home a one-timer from the left post.

Recchi, Chris Kelly, and Michael Ryder scored three moreagainst a clearly deflated Canucks team in the final 2:21 to make the final 8-1.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

Win vs. Islanders 'a nice building block' for Bruins

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Win vs. Islanders 'a nice building block' for Bruins

BROOKLYN, NY – It wasn’t particularly entertaining and it won’t be all that memorable down the ride aside from the timing and importance of the meeting between the Bruins and Islanders. But it was a solid 2-1 team win for the Bruins over the Islanders at the Barclays Center on Saturday night with the B’s grinding all the way down to the end while protecting a one-goal lead through much of the third period.

Nearly everybody across Boston’s roster contributed in the major victory over the team trying to bypass them in the wild card standings, and it was a beautiful thing. Anton Khudobin stepped up when Tuukka Rask couldn’t start Saturday night’s showdown with a lower body issue, and Riley Nash supplied both Boston goals from a fourth line that’s played some of their best hockey lately.

It was unlikely heroes all around for the Black and Gold in the tightly-wound contest, but that diversity of talent and production can be a very good thing for a team looking to make that playoff push.

“You have to stay with it. You have to stay in the moment and stay with the game no matter what’s happening during the game. That’s how you get results, and that’s how you find ways to persevere through adversity,” said Patrice Bergeron. “We just got back to playing stingy, especially in the neutral zone. We got away from it the last few games, and it was nice tonight to be back playing a low-scoring game like what we’re used to playing.”

When it was all said and done the Bruins only allowed 19 shots on net and also killed off six penalties in the kind of grinding defensive showdown that you haven’t seen all that much out of the Black and Gold lately. It was exactly what Cassidy was looking for to snap the four-game losing streak, and once again start pushing the Bruins upward into the playoff chase.

“That’s the type of win that goes a long way in the room when your goaltender is battling hard and fighting that hard to see pucks and find pucks and your D are blocking shots. And you kill that many penalties. It was a nice building block for us,” said Cassidy. “From the goalie on out, everybody was in there [in the win]. It was a tough game. It was a nice Bruins win. We had been doing it with offense earlier, and we’ve got to be able to do it both ways. You need to be able to win 2-1 hockey games, and it had been awhile.”

Now it’s simply up to the Bruins to be feeling good about their latest win while going back to basics, and looking for more next time around after ending their worst losing streak of the season.

Anton Khudobin battles for a huge win filling in for Tuukka Rask

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Anton Khudobin battles for a huge win filling in for Tuukka Rask

BROOKLYN, NY – Things didn’t go so well last season for the Bruins when Tuukka Rask suddenly wasn’t well enough to play in the last game of the season, so there was good reason for the B’s to be a little nervous when their No. 1 goalie again couldn’t answer the bell Saturday night vs. the Islanders.

Anton Khudobin had won four games in a row headed into Saturday night, of course, and in his previous start he’d helped snap a 10-game winning streak for the Calgary Flames. So perhaps it wasn’t all that surprising when Khudobin stood tall for the Bruins making 18 saves in a tight, nervy 2-1 win over the Isles at the Barclays Center.

“You don’t have that many shots, but maybe 10 scoring chances…that can be tougher than seeing 30 shots and same amount of scoring chances,” said Khudobin. “But I’m glad got the job done, we got our points and we got the ‘W’.”

It wasn’t wall-to-wall action in a game where both teams combined for 37 shots on net, but it was still impressive that Khudobin and the B’s special teams killed off six Islander power plays in such a tight hockey game. After the B’s backup netminder was lauded for the way he battled in the crease and competed for pucks like his team’s very life was on the line in a pivotal game.

“That’s the type of win that goes a long way in the room when your goaltender is battling hard, and fighting that hard to see pucks and your D are blocking shots. And you kill that many penalties. It was a nice building block for us,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I loved his performance. He’s a battler. He got swimming a couple of times, but that’s Dobby. He keeps it interesting for you. He’s a battler and he always has been. That’s what we needed tonight.”

One could spend days analyzing Cassidy's words and wondering much of that was deserved, appreciative praise for Khudobin, and how much of that might have been a veiled message to Boston's No. 1 goaltender sitting back home in Boston. 

The best save of the night probably won’t even count as a save for the Russian netminder. It was John Tavares, after having beaten Khudobin once in the first period, moving into the offensive zone with speed during a third period power play, and getting an open look at the net front in the high slot. Khudobin thought quickly and dropped into the unconventional double-stack pad save that seemed to throw Tavares off just a little, and the Isles sniper smoked the shot off the crossbar rather than tying up the game.

“I didn’t touch it. I didn’t really have time to get there, so the only thing I tried to do was the two-pad stack, old school Bob Essensa-style,” said Khudobin, who has now improved to 6-5-1 with a 2.60 goals against and an .899 save percentage this season. “Then he hit the crossbar. You need to get some luck in this league, and if you don’t get luck you’re going to lose games.”

A little luck and a little good, old-fashioned battling between the pipes was enough for Khudobin and the Bruins in Saturday night’s mammoth win. Now the questions become whether or not to go right back to Khudobin again on Tuesday at home against the Nashville Predators.