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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Game 19: Bruins beat Penguins in a shootout 4-3, are 9-8-2

You know what, I'm okay with the Bruins giving up thrid period leads, as long as we keep winning in overtime and shootouts.

Towards the end of the first period, the Penguins got on the scoreboard first when Recchi got the puck at the Bruins blue line. Recchi skated a couple feet forward and shot a wide open shot. I thought the shot was saveable but it went past Brian Finley and into the Bruins net. I guess I can't really blame Finley though. Apparently Finley got hurt sometime in the first period. Finley closed out the period but at the start of the second period, Tim Thomas replaced him. It was later reported that Finley had a lower body injury.

The Bruins made their move in the second period, scoring three goals. The first one came ten minutes into the period on the powerplay. Savard had the puck and passed a great feed right in front of the goal. Apparently Chistov put the puck into the net but it was very hard to tell. It could've been the Penguins goalie who tipped the puck in, it could've been Phil kessel who put the puck into the net, or a Penguins defender could have had an own goal, it was unclear. The official goal however went to the new guy Stan Chistov.

Two minutes later Patrice Bergeron had the puck in the Penguins zone on a two on one breakaway with Marco Sturm. Bergeron then passed it to Sturm right in front of the net who scored, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

Another two minutes later, the Bruins were on the powerplay in the Penguins zone. The Bruins top PP line was passing the puck around when Zdeno Chara got the puck, he drove it to right into the Penguins goal. It was a lightning fast drive, something that Chara has been doing more of recently. Assists on the goal went to Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard.

The Bruins started the third period up 3-1, but it didn't stay that way. In the middle of the period Glen Murray had an amazing scoring opportunity that consisted of the puck hitting the post twice. The Penguins managed to clear the puck to the Bruins blue line where Brad Stuart was skating towards it. Brad Stuart completely misplayed the puck though and Malkin, a Penguins center, got the puck, skated right in front of the goal and shot a wide open shot past Thomas to score.

Then, with 30 seconds left in the game, the Penguins were on the powerplay when Recchi, skating away from the goal, shot a beautiful backhanded shot into the top left corner of the net, tying the game. This goal was not because of a lapse by the Bruins defense. The Nesn commentators seemed to think Bergeron might have been able to block the shot but I didn't think so. It truly was a perfect shot.

Overtime was fun to watch. Both teams had great scoring chances that were highlighted by fantastic saves from the Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.

Pittsburgh elected to shoot first in the shootout:
P: Michel Ouellet's shot missed the goal.
B: Marco Sturm's shot went through the legs of Fleury and into the net.
P: Evgeni Malkin's shot was saved by Thomas.
B: Patrice Bergeron's shot was saved by Fleury.
P: Sergei Gonchar's (former Bruin) shot hit the post...

... and the Bruins won the game 4-3. Overall it was a good game. This one wasn't like the usual blown third period leads. The Bruins really did give it their all in the third period and the Penguins just managed to get two third period goals. Also a little last minute note, Chara, Alberts, Mara, and Brad Stuart saw a lot of playing time last night. Coach Lewis only put Mark Stuart and Nathan Dempsey out on the ice for 8 minutes. I guess he didn't think Mark Stuart was at a 100% yet.

Well, I'm looking forward to a nice Thanksgiving meal. Have a nice Thanksgiving Bruins Nation.


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