Thursday, March 8, 2012
Game Sixty Six: Bruins Win Second Straight Game
The Bruins began a two-game homestand on Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres. They were in search of their second consecutive win in over 20 games.
Blame it on the injuries? I suppose that anyone could make that argument. As professionals, regardless of stature in the league, you should be ready to be called upon whenever you are needed. Personally, the injury excuse only goes so far with me.
With that being said, the Bruins seem to be getting healthier by the day. Daniel Paille and Andrew Ference each participated in the optional morning skate on Thursday but they were both scratched for this game. After leaving Tuesday's game with an undisclosed injury, Benoit Pouliot was cleared to play against Buffalo.
A surging Buffalo team was two points out of the final playoff spot coming into this game. With the Sabres winning the previous two meetings, they came into this game with some confidence.
Tim Thomas made his seventh consecutive appearance for the Bruins in goal in this one. Mike Mottau was in the lineup in this game in place of Greg Zanon.
The entire game was relatively quiet as far as the between-whistle antics, which is a surprise considering the history between the two teams. There was plenty of open space for both teams to make some crisp passes. Joe Corvo made a great up-ice pass to Tyler Seguin but he could not capitalize.
The Sabres grabbed the first goal of the game in the opening period. Jason Pominville beat Thomas for his 25th goal of the season on an assist by Thomas Vanek. Gregory Campbell tied the game up in the second period when he deflected a Shawn Thornton shot into the net.
The third period certainly saw an increase in physical play, specifically in favor of the Bruins. Johnny Boychuk unloaded a hit on Vanek in the neutral zone. He must have felt great being on the other side of one of those hits.
Boychuk also contributed on the offensive side of the ice when he blasted his fourth goal of the season past Sabres' goaltender Jhonas Enroth. David Krejci put the B's up by two after some great passing from Milan Lucic and Seguin.
It took them a while to get it going, but they did what they usually do best in the third period and that is produce goals to win the game. Boston knocked off Buffalo by a score of 3-1. Thomas finished with 19 saves.
The Bruins will be back on the ice Saturday afternoon when they take on the Washington Capitals.
Gold Star: Johnny Boychuk (1 goal, plus-1 rating, 4 shots on goal, 4 hits)...He is turning into a true number two defenseman.
Black Star: Benoit Pouliot...He said that he was good to go but he did not look the same in this one.