Thursday, March 10, 2011

Game 67: Divisional Opponents Are Always A Challenge

Before we get to the game, one thing needs to be said about the backlash revolving around the "Chara hit" that took place two nights ago in Montreal. Zdeno Chara was not suspended for the hit on Canadiens' forward Max Pacioretty in Tuesday's game. Chara was given a 10 minute game misconduct and a 5 minutes interference major for the hit. Pacioretty suffered a major concussion and broken vertebrae. Now police officials are investigating the hit and Air Canada threatens to pull their sponsorship. A bit of an over-reaction on a hit that did not result in a suspension.

Anyway, the Bruins took on the Buffalo Sabres tonight at the TD Garden. Buffalo has won the last three meetings with the Bruins and they have climbed their way into the playoff picture. As far as for Boston, they are one game removed from that controversial loss against the Canadiens. This was a perfect opportunity for the Bruins to try and bounce back and regain some momentum heading into a 4 game road trip beginning on Friday.

Nathan Horton gave the Bruins an early lead when he scored his 19th of the season. Milan Lucic and David Krejci had the assists. It was nice to see some great production out of this first line tonight because that will be crucial down the stretch. When the second period started, the Bruins picked up where they left off. Mark Recchi scored his 12th of the season to give Boston a two goal lead. That lead was short lived as Tyler Ennis and Thomas Vanek from Buffalo each scored to pull even at two.

It is unfortunate sometimes when the officials take the players out of their game with inconsistent calls. Some questionable calls by the referees tonight went against the Bruins, particularly the tripping call against Tomas Kaberle and the hooking call against Johnny Boychuk. All that is asked by the players, coaches, and fans is consistency. 18 total penalties for both teams including six total fighting majors.

The third period got off to a fast start as both teams had great scoring opportunities that resulted from great puck movement. Gregory Campbell put the Bruins back on top by scoring his 10th of the season. It was his first point in nine games. Since Campbell had a fight earlier in the game, he was an assist shy of accumulating the Gordie Howe hat-trick (a player must score a goal, record an assist, and have a fighting major). The game was sent into overtime when Tim Connolly (BUF) scored a power play goal to pull the teams even at three.

In overtime, Rich Peverley (BOS) had the chance to win the game when he skated through the defense and fired a shot that hit the post. Seconds later, the Sabres counter-attacked and scored the game-winning goal. The goal scorer was Brad Boyes, former Boston Bruin who was traded out of Boston for Dennis Wideman. Talk about a regretful trade.

Gold Star: Zdeno Chara (2 assists, +2 rating, 3 shots on goal, 2 hits)...going beyond the stats, Chara played very well despite the controversy surrounding the lack of suspension on the Pacioretty hit.

Black Star: Patrice Bergeron...he has had some below-average games lately, but he should be able to bounce back.

When leading by two goals, the Bruins have 3 overtime losses this season. All three have come against the Sabres. They Bruins may have another potential first round match up problem with his team. However the Bruins defeated Buffalo last year in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

No comments:

Post a Comment