Saturday, April 13, 2013

Game 41: Bruins Fail To Clinch Playoff Spot

The Boston Bruins closed out their busy week on Saturday night when they took on the Carolina Hurricanes.
This was the final meeting of the regular season between these two teams.

During the first two meetings, the B's came through with victories and outscored their inferior opponent 11-5.  With the odds stacked in favor of the Bruins, they were poised to come through with another two points. 

This was a road game for Boston, which meant that the Black and Gold only have two road games remaining on the schedule. Honestly, that is not a bad way to close out the season.

Patrice Bergeron resumed skating and practicing with the team late this week. He traveled with the team to Carolina, but did not play. He is getting close to returning to the lineup. As for the game, Tuukka Rask was back in net and Dougie Hamilton remained out of the lineup. 

In the first period, the Bruins continued to have trouble moving the puck out of their own zone. With that being said, Boston played a decent period despite falling behind in scoring opportunities (6-2) and shots on net (17-4). It was the B's who got on the board first when Matt Bartkowski blasted a shot from the top of the point, which was tipped by Milan Lucic to beat Canes goaltender Justin Peters. If it was not for Lucic putting on the pressure and fighting for space in front of the net, the puck would not have gone in. This was only Lucic's second goal in 26 games. Jeff Skinner later tied the game on the power play.

The opening 20 minutes was also a physical and entertaining spectacle. Three fights took place that involved Shawn Thornton, Zdeno Chara, and Gregory Campbell. These bouts lifted the spirits of both teams as the game progressed.

The second period was much better for the Bruins. The power play, although it went scoreless, was very encouraging to see if you are a Bruins fan. They were moving the puck and getting shots on net. Jaromir Jagr had a point-blank chance, but Peters made the save of the game to rob him of a goal. The Canes increased their lead when Jiri Tlusty blasted the puck past Rask. Unfortunately, that was their only real scoring chance of the period. The Bruins tied the game right back up when Tyler Seguin recorded his 15th goal of the season on a breakaway. 

In the third period, the Hurricanes continued to put the pressure on the Bruins defenseman. The aggressive forechecking forced the B's to take a penalty, which led to the game-winning, power play goal scored by former Bruin Joe Corvo. Tlusty added an empty-net goal to seal the 4-2 victory. The Bruins once again could not capitalize on late-game opportunites.

The Bruins will return to action on Monday night in which they will begin a four-game homestand. Their first opponent will be the Ottawa Senators. 

Gold Star: Jordan Caron...With the lack of production from some of the other forwards, he has cashed in and put together a couple of good games in a row.

Black Star: Johnny Boychuk...He was on the ice for the first two Carolina goals and looked really bad on both of them. He did not put in a good effort in this game.

*Carl Soderberg will officially be with the Bruins next week. He received clearance from the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation over the weekend. 

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