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Friday, January 18, 2008

Game 45: Bruins lose in a shootout 3-2 to Toronto, are 22-18-5

Overall a very sloppy game. The Bruins aren't playing that well lately, and the Maple Leafs never play well. Nevertheless the game was fun. A lot of fans trekked to TD Banknorth Garden last night, many of them from Toronto. The Bruins really needed a win last night, and for a while I thought they had one, but they couldn't hold on. Luckily the Bruins got a point out of it.

The first period didn't start out too well. Alex Steen scored very early over the shoulder glove side to give Toronto the early lead. The Bruins had to play catch-up, and that the did. later in the first, right after a power play ended, the Bruins were still passing in the Leafs zone when the puck was fed to Zdeno Chara, who blasted it into the back of the net. A minute later Marco Sturm got the rebound from Savard's shot, faked out Toskala, and scored, giving the Bruins the lead.

In the second period, as well as in the first, the Bruins were relying heavily on Auld. Auld was making key saves, but he had trouble controlling rebounds. Only once was Toronto able to capitalize on this. The Bruins defense did a great job finding the rebounds. The aforementioned Leafs goal came with 8 seconds left in the second period, when a rebound was shot past Auld. With the game tied the Bruins and Maple Leafs played a very intense third period. Toward the end of the period, Andrew Ference was called for high sticking Darcy Tucker (I didn't see it, but I would have supported it. Good Job Ference!). I then did see Darcy Tucker scratch out and cause himself to bleed. the idiot refs bought it and Ference was penalized 4 minutes with two minutes left in the third. The Bruins were on the ice killing the penalty when Jeremy Reich went on a breakaway. he was tripped up as he was about to shoot. It should have been a penalty. It was a textbook penalty shot case, but the Jack-ass refs didn't call it. Instead Pavel Kubina was sent to the box for two minutes.

With one man in the box for both teams, I saw something I had never seen before. When overtime started, the crowd got to see three on three hockey. Toronto just waisted time until Kubina was released and then the Bruins were down a man for another minute and a half. Wideman and Chara were on the ice the entire kill as they, with some help from Auld, killed off the penalty. At the end of their very long shift, Wideman got hit with a puck and went down. Shinzawa has reported that he'll be okay. After a scoreless overtime, the game went into a shootout.

T: Tomas Kaberle going down, faking out Auld, and hitting the post.
B: Phil Kesel skated down but went for a wrist shot instead of his usual deke move. Toskala made the save.
T: Mats Sundin was able to fake out Auld and score easily
B: Marc Savard lost control of the puck and was only able to softly tap the puck to Toskala
T: Alex Steen gave Toronto the win when he easily faked out Auld and scored

Alex Auld had a great game, but a lousy shootout. Meanwhile the Bruins shooters have continued to do a poor job getting the puck in the net on the shootout.

At least the Bruins got a point out of this one. They needed two. With the way the standings are shaping up, every point matters. The Bruins need to be able to take two from the last place team in the division. The Bruins have a two game weekend coming up. They play a home and home with the New York Rangers. Tomorrow's is at 1:00, Sunday's is at 12:30. The big one is on Tuesday, however, when the Bruins travel up to Montreal to try and beat them for the first time this season. (rebound put in)(Tomas Kaberle, Mats sundin Alex steen kessel, savvy) (Ference high on Darcy)


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