This week proved how fragile a playoff position really is if you are sitting in the sixth through twelfth positions in the Eastern conference. Last Sunday, after coming off their tenth straight loss, the Bruins sat in the not so enviable twelfth position. A quick road trip to the cities of Montreal, Buffalo, Tampa and Sunrise was just the thing the B's needed. After the game Bruin rookie net minder Tuukka Rask said, ” Definitely a great week for us. That’s what you want after a 10-game losing streak. We wanted to get back on track and get some wins. We had to really battle through it. I think everybody was really tired today. But we really pushed it to the limits and got the win. So it’s a great road trip.’’
Coming into last night's game at the Florida Panthers, the Bruins had run off three straight and had themselves tied for eighth but still looking outside of a playoff position due to tiebreakers.
It was definitely not the best game either team played this season. The Bruins were very lackluster and at times seemed to be not interested. The Panthers took first period leads of 1-0 and 2-1 leads on goals by Nick Tarnasky and Stephen Weiss. Sandwiched in between the two Panther goals was a lucky David Krejci goal. Coming into the game Panther goalie Tomas Vokoun had a save percentage of .930 in spite of a 19-21-9 record. Krejci's goal was scored off a clean breakout led by Dennis Wideman. Wideman hit Krejci on a cross ice pass. Krejci's shot went 5 hole on Vokoun as he came across his crease. It was one I'm sure he should have had. The B's tied the game halfway through the third period when Mark Recchi deflected a shot in just after a Bruin power play expired.
Overtime was pretty entertaining as both teams took penalties so the teams skated 3 vs. 3 for half the OT period.
The gimmick….errr shootout went to eight shooters before the Bruins prevailed. Now the guys not playing in the Olympics are off until February 23. First practice is the 24th in preparation for the Montreal Canadiens at the Garden on March 2nd.
Miroslav Satan was scratched last night due to a laceration on his hand but he says it will not effect his Olympic status.
After the game Adam MacQuaid was sent to Providence. I would guess he will be called up for the Montreal game after the break as the 6th or 7th defenseman. With Johnny Boychuk and Mark Stuart out with injuries, MacQuiad's status is up in the air. With this transaction, he will get regular ice time in the next couple weeks in the AHL.
Last night's three stars:
3 – Nick Tarnasky's goal gave the Panthers an early lead
2 – Stephen Weiss's goal gave the Panthers the last lead of the night
1 – Mark Recchi – scored to force the game into OT and the clinching goal in the gimmick
For a Panthers perspective, see Jack Powell's writeup from last night
Enjoy the Olympic break and as always Go B's!
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Written by Jim Mulligan