Thursday, March 6, 2014

Game 62: New-Look Teams

Well, that was surely an interesting trade deadline day across the NHL.

With 15 deals occurring that involved 24 players and a plethora of draft picks, the Boston Bruins accomplished what they originally set out to do: bolster their defensive depth.

They acquired Andrej Meszaros from the Philadelphia Flyers and claimed Corey Potter off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers. Meszaros could prove to be a solid pickup for this team with his versatility and his ability to eat up some minutes. With Adam McQuaid being shut down for two-to-three weeks with a quad strain, adding multiple guys was necessary 

Their opponent on Thursday night, the Washington Capitals, came into the TD Garden with a refreshed identity as well. They added Dustin Penner up front, along with Jaroslav Halak to provide some goaltending depth. As if this team was not scary enough with the likes of Alex Ovehckin and Nicklas Backstrom, just to name a few of their weapons. 

When it came to this game, the Bruins still had a bitter taste in their mouths from last weekend when they fell to the Caps, so this was all about retribution. 

Tuukka Rask was back in goal, trying to top Chad Johnson's performance on Tuesday night. Loui Eriksson made his return to the lineup as well after missing Tuesday's game with an infected heel. No Meszaros in this one. 

If you could ever imagine a lopsided 20 minutes of play to the fullest extent, then that is what happened in the first period of this one. The B's just had their way with the Caps, dominating the zone time and unraveling shots with ease. All four lines were rolling, but did not have a goal to show for it. 

In the second period, the Bruins cashed in on a pair of goals. Gregory Campbell and Eriksson beat Braden Holtby (WSH), solidifying the stellar play of the third and fourth lines in this game. Washington possessed the puck much better in this period, but could not find a way to get the puck past Rask. 

Washington was held to eight total shots through the first 40 minutes, but they brought the surge in the third period. In what turned out to be a penalty-free affair (the first in 13 years for Boston), the B's got some payback. They won this game by a score of 3-0. Campbell now has four goals in four games and Rask recorded his sixth shutout of the season. 

The Bruins will be in the state of Florida for the weekend when they take on the Lightning and the Panthers, respectively. 

Gold Star: Carl Soderberg...He absolutely owned the puck in this game, specifically in the offensive zone as he picked up the primary assist on the second goal. He was arguably the best forward on the ice. 

Black Star: Reilly Smith...When is this guy going to start producing goals again? He may have come back down to reality.

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