The good news about today was the fact that we found out the leg Marc Savard injured Thursday night was that he doesn't need surgery. The bad news is he has a Grade 2 partial MCL tear in his right knee. He will likely miss 3-4 weeks. Obviously, Savvy not needing surgery is the best news for that situation.
Then they played the game. The New York Rangers, coming off of a disapoointing shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, came to the TD Garden and limited the injury plagued Bruins to one late, third period goal. I think the Bruins outplayed New York for most of the first period but a couple of bad breaks turned the game in New York's favor. Ranger defenseman, Michael Del Zotto opened the scoring for the Rangers with a slick move through the Bruins offensive zone beating Tim Thomas with a backhand shot. Claude Julien, speaking after the game, “Well yeah, first and foremost, you ended up with two guys caught behind the offensive net. Right there, it became a four on three, so that’s where the original problem started from there and then more mistakes happened after that.”
The turning point in the game was most likely during the Rangers first power play. Marco Sturm stepped between a pass between the two Ranger defenseman and was off to the races. Ultimatley, he was taken down by Ales Kotalik. Instead of a power play, Sturm was awarded a penalty shot. With the TD Garden roaring, Sturm came in on Henrik Lundqvist, took his shot and was stopped easily. Sturm was not happy about his performance, “It doesn’t matter. I just missed it. I knew where I wanted to go, I just missed it, that’s all.”
The Bruins were the better team for the first period outshooting the Rangers 11-7 but the mistake on the goal really hurt. The game was lost in the second period. The Bruins had three minor penalties called against them and one of them was just ten seconds after they had killed a Ranger power play. Less than a minute after the second power play it was Brandon Dubinsky upping the Ranger lead to 2-0. For the period, the Rangers outshot the B's 21-3. Most of the shots, as Derek Morris said, were on the power play, “We did a pretty good of killing them (the Ranger power plays), but they were doing about three, four shots each power play and you know, that takes a little momentum away from us.”
Erik Christensen salted the game away for the blueshirts just thirty sevens seconds into the third period. He beat the Tim Thomas over the shoulder and with a three goal lead, the Rangers sat back and trapped the life out of the Bruins.
Right now, the Bruins are slumping losing three of their last four. Other than the Chicago game, the team defense has been good even without regulars Mark Stuart and Andrew Ference. I did speak to Stuart between periods today and he told me he is skating and will be traveling with the team out west for the three game road trip in Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles. He wouldn't say for sure if he will play in any of the games on the trip but it sounds like the calvalry could be starting a comeback.
As I said, the Bruins will be heading west this week visiting the Ducks, Sharks and Kings in that order on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Today's three stars were all from the Ranger side.
3 – Erik Christensen with a goal and an assist.
2 – Henrik Lundqvist – solid all day and stoned Sturm on the penalty shot. Sturm scores there and the game is tied at one and the result could have gone in the Bruins favor. They outplayed New York for most of the first period.
1 – Brandon Dubinsky – factored in every Ranger goal today with a goal and two assists. Solid game all around
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Written by Jim Mulligan