In the midst of a six-game losing streak, the B's are still searching for their first victory on this grueling Western Conference road trip. Mercifully, the trip came to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon. The only problem was that this was arguably going to be the stiffest challenge of the season so far. They traveled to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks.
On Saturday morning, B's general manager Peter Chiarelli announced that Kevan Miller re-dislocated his shoulder during the game against the Calgary Flames and will undergo season-ending surgery. Here is a copy of the release:
Update on Kevan Miller
As undermanned as the Bruins were heading into Sunday afternoon, it got even more disastrous. David Krejci left the game on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues with a lower-body injury, but traveled with the team to Chicago. He did not end up playing in this game. Ryan Spooner, who is completely capable of filling that void, was inserted into the lineup after being recalled from Providence.
The general consensus is that the Blackhawks will be the Western Conference representative in the Stanley Cup Final this year. They have the deepest team with All-Star talent at each position, led by Corey Crawford between the pipes. With the way things are trending for the Black and Gold, it would have been miraculous if they could emerge with two points in this game.
It's worth noting that Malcolm Subban was sent back down to make room for Spooner. Niklas Svedberg was the backup goaltender on this day behind Tuukka Rask.
The Bruins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period, one of the goals coming on the power play. Patrice Bergeron (200th career goal) and Loui Eriksson netted the tallies. They had an extra jump in their step and were matching up physically with Chicago hit for hit. However, Chicago crept back into the game after two ridiculously mindless penalties on Rask.
One thing that the B's needed to work on was being a little bit more careful with the puck as the game progressed. The patience and precision caused the B's to pop in two more goals, eventually chasing Crawford from the game. Brian Ferlin recorded his first-career NHL point as he picked up an assist on Gregory Campbell's goal. Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith each netted a goal as well. This looked like a totally different team on the ice through the first 40 minutes. The Bruins out-shot the Blackhawks 15-7 in the second period.
In the third period, both teams were playing at a snails pace, knowing full well what the end result of this game would be. Chicago still pushed hard to try and save face in this one. Bryan Bickell scored later on in this period, but that was the highlight of the day for Chicago. The final score was 6-2 in favor of the Black and Gold. For the Bruins, 12 different skaters had at least one point.
Boston finally broke the losing streak by getting this win, avoiding dropping seven straight games. The B's salvaged what was left of the road trip by accumulating four points.
The Bruins will return home on Tuesday night to face the Vancouver Canucks.
Gold Star: Tuukka Rask...This was certainly a bounce-back game for him despite his immature start to this game. He made 26 saves on 28 shots.
Black Star: Carl Soderberg...He really did not do much in this game. Did anyone really see him do anything useful on the ice? Not so much.
Game Fifty-Nine Box Score