Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Game Sixty One: Northeast Division Getting Tighter?

Did anyone have to rub their eyes and shake their heads prior to Tuesday's Bruins game? Was it slightly weird seeing the B's wearing black and gold? That is what being away from home for six games will do to you.

In case that lead was not detailed enough, the Bruins were back at the TD Garden with their new roster. Brian Rolston, a former Bruin, and Mike Mottau were acquired Monday before the trade deadline in exchange for two prospects. Both made their debuts in this game.

This game was the second game of a home-and-home-series against the Ottawa Senators. Sure there were going to be some tempers flaring in this one after what happened in Saturday's game between Joe Corvo and Kyle Turris (OTT). The primary concern, however, was trying to come out of Tuesday's game with a win.

Tim Thomas got the start in goal for Boston. Shawn Thornton made his return to the lineup after missing the last game with the flu. As expected, Johnny Boychuk was ruled out for Tuesday after suffering a mild concussion on a big hit from Chris Neil.

The first period was rough for Boston. They could not really get a good flow going at any point during the opening 20 minutes. Ottawa exposed that by being aggressive in the neutral zone. Tyler Seguin got whistled for a questionable interference penalty, which killed the little momentum the B's were gaining at that time.

The Sens grabbed a 1-0 lead on the ensuing power play. Erik Karlsson scored his 15th goal of the season on assists from Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza.

The second period was not much different unfortunately. They did not show much offense against a team that they were undefeated against coming into the game. Thomas made some nice saves in his end to keep it a one-goal game. Although the B's outhit the Sens 20-10 through two, all that matters is the final score. Sound familiar?

The Bruins got three power plays in the third period, which really got the offense going for the first time all game long. Senators' goaltender Robin Lehner made great saves down the stretch to record his first career shutout. The Sens knocked off the B's by a score of 1-0 and move within one point of first place in the Northeast Division.

Now I have always said I hate fighting in hockey. With that being said, the Bruins needed something like a fight to spark them. To everyone's surprise, it never happened.

Boston will be back in action Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils.

Gold Star: Tim Thomas (37 saves on 38 shots, 1 goal allowed, .974 save percentage).

Black Star: Tyler Seguin...Once he took that interference penalty early on, it clearly disrupted his game.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Game Sixty: B's Win In Ottawa Despite Late Surge, Questionable Hits By Sens

The Bruins handled the pesty Ottawa Senators on Saturday night and finished their six-game road trip with a 3-2-1 record. The final score of Saturday's game was 5-3 in favor of the Bruins. After what took place during this game, the final score seemed almost irrelevant.

Let's discuss the game first. Shawn Thornton was scratched from this game due to his lingering flu. Benoit Pouliot skated with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille.

The Bruins looked real good for about the first 50 minutes of this game (spoiler) and held Ottawa to 15 total shots through the first two periods. After Erik Karlsson put Ottawa on the board first, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand responded by netting a goal each.

Carter Camper scored his first career NHL goal in the second period with an assist from Adam McQuaid. David Krejci put the Bruins up 4-1 in the third period by scoring his 13th goal of the season on the power play. No problem right? Well, there are 60 minutes in a hockey game.

Senators' captain Daniel Alfredsson netted two goals to cut the lead to 4-3. He sniped the puck from the left side of the ice on both goals, leaving Tim Thomas shaking his head. Despite a late push by the Sens, Bergeron added an empty-netter to seal the victory.

Senators' forward Chris Neil delivered a punishing, yet clean, hit on Johnny Boychuk, causing him to leave the game. Neil, known for his physical play, hit Boychuk right in the chest and followed through. Neil was also "hurt" on the play. The term "hurt" is being used very loosely in this case because Zdeno Chara skated right over to respond and Neil stayed down holding his shoulder. They did end up dropping the gloves late in the game.

Another incident took place just minutes after the Neil hit. Kyle Turris of Ottawa blindsided Joe Corvo by hitting his head into the boards. He was called for a boarding penalty on the play. A suspension should be coming Turris' way.

The Bruins remain unbeaten (4-0-0) against the Sens and hold a five-point lead over them in the Northeast Division. The B's return to the TD Garden on Tuesday night to conclude the home-and-home series against Ottawa.

Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron (2 goals, 1 assist, plus-2 rating, 9 shots on goal, 60% face-offs won)...What a way to silence the crowd by putting the game away with the empty-net goal.

Black Star: Jordan Caron...Will this be the last time we see him in a black and gold sweater?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Game Fifty Nine: Bruins Lose To Sabres In Shootout

Here we go again. The Bruins got another crack at the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. They were knocked off by Buffalo 6-0 two weeks ago in what turned out to be their worst loss of the season thus far.

The First Niagara Center in Buffalo has become "the worst place to play" according to Brad Marchand. Did the fans chanting "Boston sucks" in the last meeting have anything to do with it? It's something you have to get used to as a professional. Ignore the crowd.

Boston was coming off of a great performance on Wednesday at St. Louis. Even though it was only a two-goal game, the Bruins dominated from whistle to whistle and that was what the B's needed to do to get back on track. The Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-David Krejci line recorded four points against the Blues. Krejci skating on the wing has been vital and it could be a key down the stretch.

Tuukka Rask got the start for Boston against the Sabres. He is a goaltender that gets discouraged easily, so he needed to come out early and make some saves to get his confidence up. He did just that. How about that for a coincidence?

Both teams did not rely too much on the physical play in the first period. They actually decided to focus on the game of hockey. They each made some bad defensive turnovers and that caused some odd-man rushes going the other way. Rask and Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller made a total of 15 saves combined in the opening 20 minutes.

What stood out in the second period for the Bruins was their ability to block shots. Andrew Ference had two blocked shots in one sequence. However, the Bruins surrendered the only goal of the period at 14:45. Andrej Sekera beat Rask for his third goal of the season. Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford had the assists.

The physical play picked up in the third period, which seemed to favor the Bruins. Zdeno Chara tied the game with a power play goal. The game eventually went through a scoreless overtime and into a shootout. That is what everyone expected right? (sarcastic tone)

The Sabres beat Rask in the fourth round of the shootout on a goal by Derek Roy. The Sabres knocked off the Bruins by a final score of 2-1.

The Bruins wrap up the road trip Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Gold Star: Johnny Boychuk...He was playing hard in all three zones during this game, something an all-around defenseman needs to do.

Black Star: Shawn Thornton...He was still feeling the symptoms of the flu so his sub-par performance was no surprise.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Game Fifty Eight: The Bruins Did Not Sing The Blues

Wednesday night was game four of the Bruins' grueling six-game road trip. They were in action against the St. Louis Blues.

The Bruins participated in a 75-minute practice on Tuesday, an unusually long time for a practice. Bruins' head coach Claude Julien worked his players hard during the workout in light of their recent struggles. Sometimes longer practices are not the solution though.

Boston recalled Carter Camper from the Providence Bruins earlier in the week. Standing under six-feet tall, Camper is said to have great offensive skill. He made his debut Wednesday night and centered a make-shift line with Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron

The Blues have been one of the better home teams in the league this season. In their last 21 games, St. Louis possessed a record of 18-0-3 at home heading into Wednesday night. Even though they sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, they have their eyes set on the Detroit Red Wings who sit at the top with 84 points.

This was not an easy test for Boston. However, it might have been what they needed.

Boston jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Brad Marchand forced a turnover and recorded an unassisted goal while Milan Lucic deflected a Joe Corvo shot past Blues' goaltender Brian Elliot. St. Louis erased that lead
and tied the game. Chris Stewart and Ryan Reaves had the tallies for the Blues.

Chris Kelly put the Bruins back on top with less than one minute remaining in the opening period by scoring his 15th goal of the season. Lucic and Kelly, both of whom skated on a line with David Krejci, each recorded a goal and an assist in the first 20 minutes.

In a scoreless second period, both teams still had plenty of scoring chances. Johnny Boychuk almost gave the Bruins their fourth goal of the game, but his shot rattled the iron. The Blues countered with some solid checking by individual players. Tim Thomas played spoiler for St. Louis in the second period.

Marchand grabbed his second goal of the game and 21st of the season in the third period. Both Marchand and Kelly each tied their career-high in goals scored in this game. Thomas made some key stops and the defense planted down in the final minutes to preserve the 4-2 victory. Thomas finished with 30 saves.

The Bruins next game will be Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Gold Star: Brad Marchand (2 goals, plus-2 rating, 3 shots on goal)...The pest that we are used to seeing on the ice had it going in this one.

Black Star: Jordan Caron...He had no impact in this one, recording only five minutes of ice time.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Game Fifty Seven: Hockey Day In America

Whenever a team goes on an extended road trip, they are usually matched up with a team that they only see once a year. Sunday afternoon was one of those cases as the Bruins traveled to Minnesota to take on the Wild. This was game three of their six-game road trip.

The Wild once held the number one spot in the Western Conference at the midpoint of December. Ever since then they have lost all momentum. Coming into this game, they were riding a seven-game losing streak. All-Star center Mikko Koivu was ruled out for this game due to an undisclosed injury.

The Bruins are coming off a disappointing loss against Winnipeg on Friday night. Tyler Seguin missed practice on Saturday and Chris Kelly injured his teeth during the same practice. Both were in the lineup for this game. Boston needed those two players against a team that has given them problems before. Minnesota won the only meeting between the two teams last season.

Now let's get to the game. The Bruins held the Wild to very little offense by playing some great defense (yes, I said great defense) in the neutral zone. The fourth line of the B's was explosive as ever. Daniel Paille had three shots on goal and two breakaways alone. He was moved back down to the energy line and Josh Hennessy was moved up to the third line.

Minnesota got on the board first in the second period when Chad Rau scored his second goal of the season. Dany Heatley and Cal Clutterbuck made some quick passes in the neutral zone to set up Rau. The Wild went up 2-0 when Matt Cullen beat Tim Thomas on the power play.

The problem for the Bruins in this one was the outstanding play of Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom. He made 48 saves including a robbery on a shot by Milan Lucic. Solid goaltending will always get the better of you. The Bruins dropped this game by a score of 2-0.

The Bruins next game will be Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues. Will there be a trade between now and then? Plan on it.

Gold Star: Daniel Paille...Going back to playing with his usual linemates really helped him in this game. He finished with three shots on goal.

Black Star: Brad Marchand...There were points in this game where he disappeared. He only recorded two shots and was not a pest at all.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Game Fifty Six: Jets Down B's In Little's Big Night

The Bruins were back on the ice Friday night for the second game of their six-game road trip. They took on a Winnipeg Jets team that is pretty much on the same playing field as of late as the B's.

Both teams were 5-5-0 in their last 10 games coming into Friday's game. The Jets just recently got back Evander Kane who was absent from the lineup with a concussion. On the other hand, things are looking much worse for Boston.

Rich Peverley was sent back to Boston to have his knee examined after being injured in the third period of Wednesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens. It turns out that he will miss four to six weeks with a sprained MCL. Hometown kid Josh Hennessy replaced him in the lineup and centered the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Daniel Paille got moved up to the third line with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron.

Tuukka Rask got the start in net for the B's in this game. This marked Rask's 100th game as an NHL goaltender. He opposed Ondrej Pavelec.

The opening period was scoreless. However, it was not short of entertainment. Both teams made charges up ice and got some decent scoring chances. The Bruins started to maintain the momentum toward the end of the period and that resulted in them out-shooting the Jets 13-4 in the first 20 minutes.

Having to make the long change in the second period always seems to hurt certain teams and Boston was no different in this one. While they were in the middle of line changes, the Bruins surrendered two goals. Alex Burmistrov and Blake Wheeler were the goal scorers for the Jets. Caron recorded his 3rd goal of the season in between the two Winnipeg tallies.

After David Krejci tied the game for the Bruins with less than a minute into the third period, Bryan Little scored two goals later on in the period to cap off a 4-2 victory for the Jets. Wheeler finished with three points.

Boston will be back on the ice Sunday afternoon when they take on the Minnesota Wild.

Gold Star: Milan Lucic...He finished with an assist and established a good physical presence.

Black Star: Zdeno Chara...He had a minus-2 rating and a costly giveaway. He is not the same player we are used to seeing out there.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Game Fifty Five: Good Start To The Road Trip

The Bruins were in Montreal on Wednesday night as they took on the Canadiens for their final regular season meeting.

Boston was coming off of a demoralizing loss to the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers on Tuesday. While being shutout in three of their last six games, the Bruins needed to bounce back against a team that they have had success against this season. Ignore the conference and focus on the division.

As far as the Canadiens are concerned, they have been on a recent run lately by going 4-1-0 in their last five games. They have moved up to 12th place in the conference and they have done it without their captain Brian Gionta who has played in only 31 games this season because of a torn bicep. The in-house shenanigans between Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn might be their kryptonite unfortunately.

Tim Thomas opposed Carey Price in goal to no one's surprise. This was the third consecutive start for Thomas. Bruins head coach Claude Julien mixed up the lines once again while the defensive pairs remained the same. The lines were as follows:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron
Benoit Pouliot-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Montreal, who only dressed 11 forwards for the game, came out as the aggressor and laid some hits on the B's. Once the Bruins started to put pressure on the Habs, they started to drop back deeper in their own zone. That allowed the defense to push up and Andrew Ference capitalized by blasting his fifth goal of the season past Price.

Krejci left the game briefly in the first period to repair a cut on his lip after taking a high stick by Canadiens forward Lars Eller. The Bruins received a four-minute power play as a result. However, they surrendered a short-handed goal scored by Mathieu Darche.

As the second period went on, both teams had some trouble with turnovers. The high-speed style of play when these two teams get together brings out some sloppy play. It happens and it should not be surprising. There were four goaltender interference penalties whistled in the game, some of them being very questionable.

Bergeron capitalized on an ensuing power play by beating Price for his 17th goal of the season. Pouliot also netted a goal in the period and this one could have been right up there with his beauty against the Florida Panthers on December 23.

Everything fell apart for the Bruins in the third period. Montreal scored two goals to tie the game, one of them was a result of a bad turnover by Zdeno Chara. The Bruins had a late surge near the end of the game but still only managed to get two shots on goal in the final 20 minutes. A reason for that was the fact that Peverley left the game in the third period and did not return.

After a scoreless overtime, Thomas stopped all three shots and Seguin had the goal in the shootout. Boston knocked off Montreal by a score of 4-3. Thomas remains undefeated in shootouts this season.

It was not pretty but it was a good start to the six-game road trip for the Bruins. They will be back on the ice Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

Gold Star: Andrew Ference (1 goal, plus-2 rating, 6 shots on goal).

Black Star: Zdeno Chara (minus-3 rating)...He just looked absolutely uncomfortable. The Bell Centre will always be evil to Big Z and he needs to get used to it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Game Fifty Four: Not A Happy Valentine's Day For B's Fans

For the second time in the last three games, the Bruins were shutout. On Tuesday night they fell to the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers by a score of 3-0.

The Bruins were in control for much of the first period. Once Zdeno Chara took a mindless penalty, the momentum they once had was quickly deflated. The Rangers grabbed two goals in the opening 20 minutes. Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh had the tallies. Artem Anisimov added a four-on-four goal in the final period to seal the victory.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist recorded his seventh shutout of the season by stopping all 42 shots he faced. On the other hand, Tim Thomas only made 17 saves on 20 shots. The mediocre play for Thomas continues.

Prior to the game, speculation occurred as to whether or not New York would retaliate on Andrew Ference for the hit he delivered on McDonagh in their last meeting. Nothing major took place as all of the physical play stemmed from the game itself. Ference was suspended three games for the hit, which was probably enough retribution for the Rangers.

The Bruins will now embark on a six-game road trip that begins Wednesday night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens.

Gold Star: Johnny Boychuk...He had a great physical presence in this game, recording six hits and stepping up on the blue line. It was announced that he just signed a three-year contract extension worth over $10 million hours before the game.

Black Star: Joe Corvo...Stepping up too far into the offensive zone cost him once again. Does he know that the trade deadline is vastly approaching?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Game Fifty Three: Preds Give B's All They Can Handle

In regards to the Bruins recent "slump" they are going through right now, everyone is overreacting just a little bit. We are spoiled enough to support a team who is so used to winning that when they drop three out of four games, panic ensues.

This is more like a bump if anything. The Bruins proved it was nothing more than that on Saturday afternoon when they defeated the Nashville Predators at the TD Garden. The final score was 4-3 in a shootout.

The top two Norris Trophy candidates were on the ice in this game as Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara led their teams into battle. Weber was the one who recorded a goal in this one, but it was in a losing effort.

Patrice Bergeron, Daniel Paille, and Milan Lucic were the goal scorers for the Bruins in regulation. Tim Thomas was not stellar in this one stopping only 19 shots. It was enough to get the job done though. Tyler Seguin and Bergeron had the shootout goals after a scoreless overtime.

The Bruins tested Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne throughout this game by unloading 41 shots on him. If it was not for him the game might not have even gotten as far as it did. This victory for Boston sets up a good game on Tuesday night against the New York Rangers.

Gold Star: Milan Lucic (1 goal, 7 shots on goal)...He is starting to click with his new linemates.

Black Star: Adam McQuaid...The delay of game penalty is becoming his new favorite minor penalty to take.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Game Fifty Two: Bruins Blanked

The Boston Bruins renewed their rivalry with the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night. The chippy play was to be expected considering what happened in the previous two meetings, but that was not what the B's had in mind coming into this game. They were looking for a win.

Tuukka Rask got the start in goal for Boston. One has to wonder just how long Rask will be a backup since Tim Thomas was at it again on Facebook. I am not saying that he will get traded. However, it is just something to think about.

Chris Kelly skated on the top line with Rich Peverley and Milan Lucic and David Krejci skated with Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot. The combinations are fairly new but the lines seemed to click very well in their last game. Nathan Horton is still out with lingering concussion symptoms.

Across the sheet, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff was not on the bench on Wednesday for the game. He suffered three broken ribs during a practice earlier this week. Assistant coach James Patrick assumed head coaching duties for Buffalo in this game for the injured Ruff. With the Sabres trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, this was a big game for them.

The Bruins tested Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller early on. They established a good forecheck that created some good shots. Boston had a goal waved off due to a very soft goaltender interference call. The momentum shifted after that as it was Buffalo who grabbed two goals in the first 20 minutes.

Christian Ehrhoff and Jason Pominville were the scorers for Buffalo. Gregory Campbell deflected the puck into the goal on Ehrhoff's shot and Johnny Boychuk committed to early on Ville Leino who assisted on Pominville's goal. There was not too much Rask could have done on those mistakes.

What did go right for Boston in the opening period was that they had two fights go their way and they hoped that the resulted energy would carry over into the next period. Not so much.

After the Sabres grabbed another early goal, Rask was pulled in favor of Thomas. He kept the Bruins in the game by making some great saves upon entering. As the period went on, Buffalo controlled the tempo and the Bruins became frustrated.

Patrick Kaleta netted Buffalo's fourth goal of the night when the puck took a bounce underneath the legs of Thomas. Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves for the second time in the game before the period concluded. He also had a ten minute misconduct.

The game was all rapped up upon entering the final period once Pominville recorded his second goal of the game. Both teams played more conservative with the exception of one final donnybrook near the end of the game. The Sabres blew out the Bruins 6-0, their worst loss of the season.

Maybe it is a mistake to look this far ahead, but the next time the Sabres return to the TD Garden is March 8th. Just saying. Boston will be back on the ice Saturday afternoon when they take on the Nashville Predators.

Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron (4 shots on goal, 81.8% face-offs won)...I am obligated to award a gold star. Enough said.

Black Star: Joe Corvo...If he is still wearing the Black and Gold after the trade deadline I will not be happy.

The last time these two teams hooked up...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Game Fifty One: Back On Track?

Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins returned to our nation's capital once again on Sunday afternoon to take on the Washington Capitals. Judging from the opening sentence, one would think that Thomas had some significance in this game. That was indeed the case as he made 35 saves in a 4-1 Bruins victory.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien mixed up two of the lines for this game. He put Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot with David Krejci and Chris Kelly centered Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley. The shuffling of the lines provided a slight spark that the B's lacked in the last two games.

Lucic and Peverley had a goal each. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand also recorded a goal. Patrice Bergeron had an assist of both of his linemate's tallies. Zdeno Chara had a big game on defense by finishing with a plus-3 rating.

Marcus Johansson had the lone goal for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin made his presence felt in the game as he recorded seven shots on goal and seven hits. He did not skate against the Bruins in their last meeting due to a suspension.

This was a good win for Boston against a quality team. Let's see if they can have a repeat performance on Wednesday night when they face the Buffalo Sabres.

Gold Star: Rich Peverley (1 goal, 1 assist, plus-2 rating, 4 shots on goal)...The new lines seemed to help out particular players and he was one of them.

Black Star: Gregory Campbell...Not much came from this line and it started with the center.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Game Fifty: Bruins Drop Two Straight

The Bruins had their work cut out for them on Saturday afternoon when they took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a contest where Boston dominated the early part of the game, it was the Penguins who held on for the 2-1 victory.

Joe Corvo had the only B's goal of the contest on a shot from the top of the offensive zone. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand had the assists. The goal came at 6:45 of the third period, but at that point it was too late.

Pittsburgh got on the board right before the conclusion of the first period on a power play goal by Evgeni Malkin. Matt Cooke beat Tim Thomas in front of the net for their second tally. Thomas finished the day with 26 saves on 28 shots.

Boston had their hearts broken in the early going by Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury as he made some great saves. The rest of it was on the B's. They could not finish on the chances that they had. Whether it was shooting the puck over the net or failing to keep the puck in the zone, it just was not their day.

Jordan Caron was recalled from Providence prior to the game but he ended up being a healthy scratch. Nathan Horton missed his fourth straight game with concussion-like symptoms.

The Bruins need to get their roster back to full health in order to get back on track. Then again I am not even sure if that is the problem at this point. The B's will be back in action Sunday afternoon against the Washington Capitals.

Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron (1 assist, plus-1 rating, 68.4% face-offs won).

Black Star: Benoit Pouliot...We all thought that he broke that habit of taking dumb penalties.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Game Forty Nine: Swept Away By The Hurricanes

I know I have said this in the previous three entries related to these two teams, but the Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes are teams that are on opposite ends of the spectrum (the spectrum being the Eastern Conference in this case).

The Bruins, ranked second in the conference, took on the last place Canes for their fourth and final meeting this season on Thursday night. Carolina has swept the season series thus far (3-0-0) and has been a bad match-up all the way for Boston. On paper, the Bruins should have blown out this team in every meeting. To quote a sports legend, "That's why they play the games."

Andrew Ference made his return to the lineup after serving his three-game suspension. Nathan Horton missed his third straight game due to lingering concussion symptoms. Tuukka Rask got the nod in goal for Boston in this game. Okay that is enough of updates. Game time!

The Bruins dominated the opening period by racking up 22 shots on Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward. They were able to turn some defense into quick offense as they forced several turnovers. The problem was that they just could not finish. Eric Staal put Carolina on the board for the lone goal of the period.

During the scoring play, Johnny Boychuk got hit awkwardly into the boards and had to leave the game. He returned in the second period.

The physical play really began to pick up as the game went on. The forwards began to press the Carolina defense even more to get those scoring chances. At the other end of the ice, Rask was superb as he came up with some great stops. However, the Canes grabbed another goal off the stick of Tuomo Ruutu. The puck took a weird bounce off the boards that got Rask to commit. Ruutu had an open net to shoot at as a result.

The Canes got another goal in the third period and that was when the Bruins began to show frustration. They have done this several times this season when they fall behind and it does not look good. When Boston went on the power play, Brad Marchand took a stupid slashing penalty negating any man advantage opportunity. Just not a smart game played by the B's.

The Hurricanes knocked off the Bruins by a score of 3-0. This marked the first time that the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise swept a season series against the Bruins.

The B's will be back on the ice Saturday afternoon when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron (4 shots on goals, 77.8% face-offs won)...He did all he could at the face-off dot to give his team the best chance to win.

Black Star: Brad Marchand...He finished with a minus-2 and his frustration got the better of him.