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.

-------------------------

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.
Version:1.0StartHTML:0000000184EndHTML:0000004622StartFragment:0000002375EndFragment:0000004586SourceURL:file:localhostUsersdannypicardDocumentsBruins_Pens_3_5_11.doc@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; @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 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.

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season. 


 

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins, looking for a spark after terrible, back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings, are hoping the return of Matt Beleskey from a knee injury can help provide the inspiration. 

The blue-collar left winger has missed the past 23 games with a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in early December against the Buffalo Sabres, but now he’s easing back into the lineup on the fourth line in Friday night’s showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Beleskey was skating with Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik on the fourth line at morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena and should be expected to throw a few hard hits and play with some intensity in his return.

“I’m ready to go and excited to get back out there,” said Beleskey, who has been skating with the team for roughly a week after giving the knee sufficient time to heal. “I’ve just got to keep it simple and do what I do well: Be hard on pucks, take the body and just try and find your groove. You don’t want to expect too much in your first game back, but you just want to be able to contribute.

“’I’ve been saving [the pent-up energy] for a while, so I’m ready to get back out there and hopefully provide a spark for us.”

The Beleskey return also provides the player with a bit of a reset button after a slow start to the season that saw him with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 24 games played for the Black and Gold prior to his injury. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairs against the Blackhawks based on morning skate today:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Beleskey/Blidh-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask