(Photo: Matthew Lee/Boston Globe)
Outplayed and outshot, surfaced through the Boston Bruins franchise after their rollercoaster ride of a week. The team had a jam-packed end of the week, playing games on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
It began on Oct. 23 when the B’s headed up north to play the Buffalo Sabres. The Bruins took their momentum from winning two games in Florida the past week, and revved it up a notch. Milan Lucic scored mid-way through the first to get the team started up. Early in the period, the Bruins created many goal-scoring opportunities. Within the first minute of the second period, Lucic received a swift pass from Iginla, which he one-timed into the back of the net for his second on the night. The Sabres made their way back in by a shot from Thomas Vanek that ricocheted off of a skate and into the net, on a power play, to make it 2-1 with 11 minutes left in the second. However, three minutes later, Dougie Hamilton gave the Bruins a two-goal lead from another one-timed pass, this time from Brad Marchand. But that did not halt the Sabres one bit. With five minutes remaining in the second, Sabre, Nikita Zadorov snuck a back-hander between the pads of back-up goalie Chad Johnson. That was Johnson’s first regular season start with a spoked-B jersey. On a 4-on-4, with 4:17 played in the third period, Torey Krug won an easy battle in front of Buffalo’s net and slid the puck quickly through the goalies sliding pad. On a Bruins power play, mid-way through the third, Krug forced the lamp to light, after rocketing a bullet into the back of the net to increase the lead to 5-2.
The B’s continued their win streak with a lucky victory of the undefeated (in regulation time) San Jose Sharks, the next night at home on Oct. 24. Although the Sharks were in a garden, that did not stop them from conducting most of the play during the game. However, Bruin goalie Tuukka Rask stood on his head, saving 38 of 39 San Jose shots, to pull off a major upset. The Sharks dictated the momentum of what felt like the whole game. The first period featured several San Jose goal-scoring chances. The Sharks dominated that period, outshooting the B’s 16-3. The second period is when the Bruins found their lucky bounces. A shot from the point bounced off the backboard and into the hands of Jarome Iginla who knocked the puck into the back of the net with a little over one minute left in the period. Iginla scored his first goal as a Bruin, assisting them to break the knotted 0-0. The third period featured the same experience as the first period, with the Sharks outshooting the B’s 14-7. However, a goal-starving San Jose came out hunting for a game-tying goal in the third period. 18 seconds into the period, Patrick Marleau ripped a snap shot into the back of the net, knotting the score up at 1. Heading into the final seconds of the game, it appeared the game would need more than regulation time to be finished, until David Krejci found himself undefended in front of the Sharks net. A frozen 0.8 seconds read on the scoreboard after a huge celebration at TD Garden, following what obviously was a game-winning goal by Krejci on a tip-in from a Adam McQuaid blast from the point. The Bruins handed the Sharks their first tally to the lose column after a goalies duel between Rask and Antti Niemi.
Although dominated the whole game, the Bruins left the Garden Thursday night with a victory over their shoulders heading into Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils. What no one had predicted was that the Devils would pull what the Bruins did the Sharks two nights before. About eight minutes into the game, Krug led the scoring on the night with a wicked wrist shot from the point on a power play. Only a little over one minute had passed after Krug’s goal when Iginla snagged his second goal of the season off of a shot from Hamilton. However, the Devils came within one goal after a power play goal by Adam Henrique mid-way in the period. The Bruins bounced right back with a goal from Lucic with one minute remaining in the period. The first period seemed to limit all Bruins goals for the night as the Devils scored three unanswered goals in the second and third periods to upset the Bruins and add a mere two to their win column. With 45 seconds left in the third, 23 seconds after Marek Zidlicky scored a 5-on-3 power play goal to tie the game, Andy Greene scored his first goal of the season to give the Devils a 4-3 lead.
Clearly the Bruins completed this week with a lucky victory and a sore and unexpected loss. The three games the team played in a matter of four days proved to be an example of a rollercoaster ride: starting off strong at the top and quickly plummeting to the bottom. Regardless, the B’s are still moving forward in the right direction, with a solid 7-3-0 record.