Thursday, March 22, 2012

Game Seventy Three: Bruins Have No Bite Against Sharks

The Bruins began a three-game West Coast road trip late Thursday night. During this trip, they will see the three California franchises represented in the NHL. Up first for the Bruins were the San Jose Sharks.

Rich Peverley traveled with the team for this road trip. He is listed as day-to-day after missing over a month with a sprained MCL. He was ruled out for this game, but there is a chance that he might get some ice time before the conclusion of the trip.

For the Sharks, they are a desperate team at this point in the year. They are on the outside looking in as far as the Western Conference playoff standings are concerned. San Jose will have to rely on their goaltender Antti Niemi the rest of the way, which was their mindset for this one.

Niemi was 4-0 with a 1.96 goals against average and has one shutout against the Bruins prior to the game. Not too bad right? He opposed Tim Thomas, although it needs to be pointed out that Marty Turco was sporting some new gold pads in the pregame warm-ups. Irrelevant, but comical.

There were no new lineup changes to mention other than the fact that Trent Whitfield was recalled from Providence and joined the Bruins on the trip.

The game got off to a physical start. This was because the Bruins were incredibly sloppy in their defensive end and that forced them to unload some hits. Milan Lucic had a costly turnover which led to a goal scored by Joe Pavelski of the Sharks. Boston managed to only get five shots on goal in the opening period.

The second period featured a lot of puck moving and possession. Both teams took turns trading scoring chances as they alternated taking trips up ice and getting shots on goal. Thomas and Niemi each came up big for their respective teams. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Sharks after two. San Jose outshot Boston 20-9 through the first 40 minutes.

San Jose added to their lead when Daniel Winnick recorded his sixth goal of the season. He beat Thomas on a high shot stick side. Zdeno Chara did put the Bruins on the board late in the game after he deflected the puck off Niemi causing it to bounce in the goal.

There were just too many turnovers for Boston in this game. This was an easy one for the Sharks as they knocked off the Bruins by a score of 2-1. Niemi remains unbeaten against the B's.

The Bruins will be back in action Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Gold Star: Tim Thomas (25 saves on 27 shots, 2 goals allowed, .926 save percentage)...He did all he could to keep his team in the game.

Black Star: Milan Lucic...This was a real tough game for him. He was too careless with the puck.

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