Saturday, February 2, 2013

Game 8: Chris Bourque Ends Point Drought In Hard-Fought Victory

On Thursday night, the Boston Bruins suffered a tough loss to the Buffalo Sabres, their first defeat in regulation this season. Arguably, the Bruins lost something much more valuable in that game than the two points.

B's enforcer Shawn Thornton will be out 7-10 days with a concussion that he suffered in the fight he had with John Scott. Thankfully, Boston is currently going through a light stretch in their schedule and he will only miss a handful of games.

With that being said, it was back to business on Saturday when the Bruins visited Toronto to take on a Maple Leafs team that seems to be finding their rhythm. They had won back-to-back games heading into this game. However, they were swept by the Bruins last season and outscored 36-10 in the process. 

If there was one game on the schedule where the Bruins could have got back on track, it was this one.

Jamie Tardif made his NHL debut for the Bruins in this game after replacing Daniel Paille (eye injury) in the lineup. He skated on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Lane MacDermid. 

Speaking of MacDermid, he dropped the gloves twice in the game with Mark Fraser. Both fights sparked the intensity of the game early on. Even though both teams had some good scoring chances, the lone goal of the period came at the hands of Chris Bourque after he charged the net and poked in a pass from Chris Kelly.

In the second period, the Bruins had a goal disallowed after incidental contact was made with Leafs goaltender James Reimer. Ironically, the Leafs had a goal disallowed in the first period for the same reason. Turnabout is fair play. The score remained the same through the first 40 minutes with Boston outshooting Toronto 24-13.

The chippy play really started to pick up in the third period. Whenever the puck made its way towards the boards, which was often, both teams were looking for a big hit. There were not too many smooth moments of hockey play in the final 20 minutes. In the end, it was the clutch penalty killing of the Bruins that came through as the final minutes expired. 

Boston held on for a hard-nose victory over Toronto with a final score of 1-0. B's goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped all 21 shots he faced for his 12th career shutout.

The Bruins will not play again until Wednesday night. They will be in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. 

Gold Star: Johnny Boychuk...He was arguably the Bruins best defenseman on the ice in this game. Led by his five blocked shots, he is quickly becoming a top blue liner for this team.

Black Star: Brad Marchand...He left the game in the second period after sliding shoulder first into the boards. Prior to that, he did not even record a shot on goal. 

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