Tuukka Rask got a rare, early season start tonight for the Bruins. Unfortunately, every time he’s seen action, the Bruins have lost – including tonight. In the other end, it was Jaroslav Halak for St. Louis. If not for the “all world” start by Tim Thomas, Halak would be getting all the October accolades for NHL goaltenders.
Coming off a sloppy effort in Washington last night, it was the Blues that were the better team by far in the first period. They out skated the Bruins but early on Nathan Horton’s tough angle shot beat Halak but after it rang off the post it never crossed the line. There was joy in the stands but after a quick phone call to Toronto, it was confirmed that the puck never crossed into the net and we stayed scoreless.
Late in the first it was Dennis Seidenberg’s error that directly led to Vlad “they traded me instead of Savard” Sobotka’s first goal of the year. Sobotka found himself alone in the slot with time to cherry pick the corner and he cleanly beat Rask at the 16:40 mark of the opening frame. When asked about his former teammate, Rask said, “I tried to challenge him there, then he had a lot of time and then I kind of bumped into our D-man. It was a good shot, but obviously if you’ve got that much time in front of the net you can pick a corner, but tried to challenge him and did not do a good job.”
Coach Julien must have said the same thing between the first and second as he did last night between the second and third periods. The Bruins picked up their physical game which led to a couple of fights and increased chances on Halak. David Backes flattened Mark Recchi which led to Andrew Ference chasing down Backes. Ference earned a 2/5/10 for instigating the battle. Later on it was the same thing only Mark Stuart burying Jay McClement of the Blues and BJ Crombeen challenged Stuart without earning the 2/5/10. Same situations called differnetly. To me and the Bruins bench boss, it was confusing at best. When asked about the similiar situations with different penalties called, during his press conference Julien responded, “I don’t know what to say to you. They always have a reason, and you have to respect that. I really thought it was very similar, you know, when it was the other and somehow we ended up at the short end of that one as well.”
Nathan Horton beat Halak for a second time only to ring another off the post. This time the light went on, the horn sounded, everyone stopped and once again the fans were joyous. Until the call was made to Toronto. Once again the Bruins were on the short end of video review but again, the refs got the call right.
Greg Campbell’s first as a Bruin tied the game with exactly seven minutes remaining in the game. Michael Ryder continued his excellent play this season leading a three on two rush on the left wing. With Andrew Ference jumping into the rush to make it a four on two, the Blues defense sagged a bit giving Campbell the enough room to one time Ryder’s pass to the slot past Halak.
Halak was pleased afterwards but wished he stopped Campbell even though he sounded like he knew he wasn’t getting to the Campbell shot, “I wish I could (have had a chance), I just tried to get there and hoped it hit me, but it passed me. Like I said, the big key was that we didn’t give up.”
The highlight to the OT period was TJ Oshie absolutely flattening David Krejci at center ice. Clean hit but Krejci left the game after leaving a small pool of blood on the ice. Oshie described the play and was hoping Krejci was not hurt too badly, “It was two guys going at the puck. I tried to get low and get a good center of gravity. It looked like he was coming to hit me as well. It was a hard battle tonight. It was a physical game. I certainly hope that he is ok and he’ll be right back.”
Finally the game was decided in the shootout. Halak’s good fortune with the posts continued as Patrice Bergeron and Michael Ryder rang shots off the post with Tyler Seguin scoring in between them. TJ Oshie and Brad Boyes scored for the Blues during the gimmick.
The B’s go to Pittsburgh next Wednesday then home for the Montreal Canadiens Thursday
As always….Go B’s!
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Written by Jim Mulligan