The NHL season is a long one and sometimes you get a game that’s a total stinker. Tonight was that stinker. Ya, the Bruins shutout the Florida Panthers by a score of 4-0 but for the first fifty five minutes tonight….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Both teams played and won last night and they got in late to Boston so the sluggish game could be blamed on that. Sometime it happens when you play 82 games including travel.
Tuukka Rask started tonight and won. It was his first win since the Bruins went up 3-0 in Philadelphia last May. He was solid tonight but caught a few breaks along the way. The Panthers hit a couple of posts and one David Booth shot rang off his mask, knocking it off his head. Rask wasn’t fazed by the shot and after the game he calmly explained that, “…it just hit my jaw just on the side kind of there, and when that happens it just explodes and the mask drops. It’s nothing dramatic.”
Tuukka’s biggest save of the night came with roughly fourteen minutes left in the game and the Bruins holding onto a 1-0 lead. With the B’s on the power play, Dennis Wideman sent Christopher Higgins in on a breakaway on Rask. Tuukka held his ground and Higgins shot the puck wide but the Cats came back and set up Bryan Allen from the left point. His shot was a beauty but Rask’s glove was better leaving Allen just looking up at the ceiling – probably wondering how to beat the Bruin netminder.
Tonight was also Nathan Horton’s first game against his old team. He assisted on all three Lucic goals and and continued his outstanding play. Talking to him after the game, you could see he was psyched to have a good game against his former team but he kept a low key ‘it’s just another regular season game’ approach by saying, “…you want to win games. You want to be in the best position possible come playoffs, but it’s definitely a little bit nicer to beat my old team.”
Offensively, Milan Lucic’s second career hat trick powered the B’s to their third win this week. Looch scored them in every way possible and also scored two within a 15 second span. His first was a wrist shot that beat Vokoun short side, under the arm. The second was a slap shot from the circle that went far side and his last was a tap in on a goal mouth scramble from the crease. As far as Lucic’s early production, the happy Bruin stated, “…it’s no secret, goals and everything didn’t come easy for me last year and I’m just happy that I worked hard this year and happy how things are going so far, so you know, it’s great that I’m having early-on success, but I need to keep it up and keep pushing for more.”
The Cats put 41 shots on the Bruins tonight. I’m like most puck fans and don’t like seeing that much rubber coming at my goalie. For the most part, the shots were not in the danger zone and the B’s kept most of them to the outside. I also didn’t like the parade to the penalty box but the B’s were once again perfect on the penalty kill. The B’s were 0-2 on the power play but with a four goal win, that’s OK for now.
After a mini slump, the Bruins have now won three in a row.
Next up for the Bruins, the Pacific leading LA Kings. This was one of my pre-season “must see” games. This should be very entertaining night and the Kings swept the B’s last year. Be sure to check out my buddy Eric Cooney’s take on the Kings/Bruins this weekend. I met Eric at the draft in LA this past June and he knows his pucks.
One other note, please help me welcome Matt Prestonto the Bruin stable here at prosportsblogging.com. His first couple of blogs are well written and will definitely be an asset here at the site.
As always – Go B’s!
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Written by Jim Mulligan