Saturday, October 15, 2011

Game Five: Shootout In Chi Town

The two previous Stanley Cup champions took the ice tonight as the Bruins traveled to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks. A game between two original six teams brings back memories of good old school hockey. The league should figure out a way to schedule more games between the original six teams, even though the Bruins see two of those teams (Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens) six times each per season.

It took a shootout, but the B's prevailed over the Blackhawks by a score of 3-2. This victory was Claude Julien's 300th career win as a head coach in the NHL.

Boston seemed to play better in this game without a doubt. They needed something to get them going early and they seemed to respond after Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with Jamal Mayers for the first fight of the season.

I am not the biggest fan of fighting in hockey and I have just grown to accept it as part of the game. However, even I was getting restless about when the team was going to get the first one out of the way. The last time a Bruins team started the first five games of a season without a fighting major was the 1997-1998 season. So, this one was a bit overdue to make sure history did not repeat itself.

Chicago grabbed the lead first after Andrew Ference turned the puck over to Bryan Brickell which led to a break-away goal. Boston tied it up when Chris Kelly scored on a pass from Rich Peverley when they were on the penalty kill. The Bruins now have just as many short-handed goals as they do power play goals (one). Go figure.

Patrick Kane put the Hawks back on top just 1:18 after Boston tied the game. He moved the puck around the front of the net and sniped it past Tim Thomas. I guess making the move from wing to center is working out just fine for the former number one overall draft pick.

Nathan Horton scored his first goal of the season after receiving a pass from a hustling Johnny Boychuk in front of the net. After a scoreless five minute overtime, Thomas shut down the Hawks in the shootout. All it took was a lone shootout goal from Tyler Seguin. The kid now leads the team with five points. Usually a number one center is a point-per-game player. The season is five games old and he has five points.

The puck seemed to be skipping around a lot tonight. The ice did not look to be up to full playing conditions. It affected both teams as they tried to keep the puck in their respective offensive zones. Playing on a surface like that could alter the way a team plays, but it was not bad enough that the ice itself cost a team the game.

The B's will head back home for a Tuesday night game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

On a side note, defenseman Matt Bartkowski took the place of defenseman Adam McQuaid in tonight's lineup. McQuaid was suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Center David Krejci also missed his second consecutive game due to a core injury.

Gold Star: Johnny Boychuk (1 assist, +2 rating, 3 shots on goal)...This was by far his best game thus far this season. He hustled all night and showed true toughness after suffering an apparent arm injury but continued his shift. His hustle also led to the tying goal.

Black Star: Andrew Ference...Costly turnover in the first period that led to the first goal of the game scored by Chicago.

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