Friday, January 25, 2013

Game 4: 'Merlot Line' Comes Through In Milestone Night For Claude Julien

What better way to spend a Friday night than watching the Black and Gold back home on TD Garden ice.

Although the Boston Bruins were looking to rebound after a tough overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, the other team from New York had other plans.

The Islanders were coming off of a big win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, so the momentum belonged to them....and it showed in the first period. They came out strong and were matching the Bruins in scoring chances. 

Shawn Thornton put the B's on the board first by tapping in a loose puck in front of the net. Keith Aucoin later beat Tuukka Rask off of a beautiful pass from Colin McDonald to tie the game at one. Two players who you really would not expect to score did exactly that, which was a plus for both teams.

Milan Lucic dropped the gloves with old friend Matt Carkner, which did not go well for the new Islanders defenseman. There was another incident in the first period where Bruins forward Daniel Paille delivered a perfect hit on Islanders defenseman Brian Strait. When Matt Martin (NYI) tried to respond, Thornton stepped in. That led to a 10-minute misconduct.

The second period was shockingly similar to the opening period. Both teams had unsuccessful power plays to go along with their successful penalty kills and both teams each had under 10 shots. Dennis Seidenberg, who missed the last two games with a lower-body injury, made his presence felt in this period by delivering some big hits to set the tone.

That did not stop Aucoin as he netted his second goal of the game near the mid-way point of the period. That lead only lasted less than four minutes as Gregory Campbell tied the game at two. 

In the third period, the Bruins began to run away with the game. Boston started to make Isles goaltender Rick DiPietro look like an AHL netminder. Zdeno Chara blasted home the eventual game-winner from about 10 feet inside the offensive zone. Patrice Bergeron later added his first goal of the season on a play that started in the Bruins defensive zone. 

Boston defeated New York by a score of 4-2. With the win, Bruins head coach Claude Julien is now tied for third with Don Cherry for most wins in Bruins franchise history.

Both teams still remain perfect on the penalty kill, which is a pretty impressive stat considering the competition around the league. 

Speaking of competition, the Bruins will travel south to take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. They were swept by the 'Canes last season. 

Gold Star: Dougie Hamilton (2 assists)...When the TD Garden starts chanting your name, you know that you have earned their respect. That probably will not be the only time his name is chanted in Boston.

Black Star: Tyler Seguin...He is getting his chances. He is just not cashing in. 

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