Week in Review
The Bruins concluded another busy week with four games. The load lightens up a bit next week with just two games scheduled and a total of eight games in the next three weeks. The Bruins went 3-1-0 and secured six more points as they lead the Northeast Division. Let’s take a look back on Week 2 of the Bruins 2013 season.
Anton Khudobin made his season debut Monday night at Carolina. The artists formerly known as the Hartford Whalers swept the four games from the B’s last season and again played them tough. The B’s penalty killing was the story early, killing off a 5-on-3 and adding a shorthanded goal by Brad Marchand. The power play unit chipped in another 1st period goal to spot the B’s a 2-0 lead. The Canes got one back later in the 1st but Nathan Horton’s spectacular rush late in the 2nd period from just outside his own blue line gave the B’s a 3-1 lead. Shortly thereafter, the Canes exploded for two quick goals helped uncharacteristically by Bruin giveaways. With all the momentum on the Canes side and Carolina turning the game into a track meet, the B’s did what they do best, by controlling Carolina’s scoring chances and taking control of the play. Late in the 3rd, Dougie Hamilton jumped on a lose puck in front, faked out a Canes defensemen who committed to a shot block and fed a perfect pass to David Krejci for what proved to be the game winner. Tyler Seguin got his first goal of the season when he cashed in on an empty net for a 5-3 final.
It was a quick turnaround the next night as the B’s faced a rested New Jersey team that was already in town waiting. The Devils executed their game plan to perfection by clogging the neutral zone and slowing the pace, limiting the Bruins to 14 shots on goal in the first two periods. New Jersey broke through in the second becoming the first team to score a power play goal against the B’s when David Clarkson scored with 11:30 remaining. The Bruins came out strong in the 3rd and finally tied it with just over 4:00 remaining when Nathan Horton slid one under the pads of Jonah Hedberg to tie it at 1-1. After a scoreless OT the teams traded shootout goals though the first three rounds and stayed deadlocked until Brad Marchand scored in the 6th round. Rask stopped New Jersey’s final attempt by Marek Zidlicky to secure the B’s third win in a row.
Thursday night brought the Buffalo Sabres and newly acquired Steve Ott, who looked to stir things up in this Northeast Division rivalry. But it was the Sabres John Scott who set an early tone by beating down Bruin enforcer Shawn Thornton in the 1st period. Thornton would leave the game with a concussion and will miss 7-10 days. After a scoreless first, Buffalo got on the board first, but the B’s answered with three straight, led by two goals by Brad Marchand. It looked as though the B’s would cruise, and perhaps seek out justice for Thornton, but Milan Lucic after being denied a scoring chance took a boarding penalty, and with the Ryan Miller pulled during the delayed penalty, the Sabres buzzed in the B’s end and forced a holding call on Zdeno Chara. With a full 2:00 of 5-on-3, Buffalo Thomas Vanek (who else?) scored to cut the lead to 3-2. Tyler Ennis then tied it 33 seconds after the second penalty expired. All hell broke lose defensively in the 3rd after David Krejci gave the B’s a 4-3 lead. Buffalo got the next four courtesy of several defensive breakdowns, 2-on-1 chances, and an empty net goal. Thomas Vanek finished the night with a hat trick and two assists and continues to be a Bruin killer. The 7-4 loss was the first regulation loss of the season.
One had to think that after the defense was “brain dead” against Buffalo as Claude Julien called it, the Bruins focus would be in the defensive end in Toronto on Saturday night. Chris Bourque got the B’s on the board mid way through the 1st when he drove to the net and took a pass from Chris Kelly and beat James Reimer for his first goal in a Bruins uniform. The Bruins limited the Maple Leafs to 21 shots on goal en route to a 1-0 victory. Tuukka Rask stopped all 21 including one from point blank from old friend Phil Kessel in the third, and Boston killed off a late Toronto power play as the B’s wrapped up a six point week.
Player of the Week: Nathan Horton
This week’s honor goes to Horton who scored two goals and added two assists in four games. Horton’s goal against Carolina was a thing of beauty, as he skated from just outside his own blue line and through two Canes players late in the 2nd period of that game. His second goal of the week came late in the New Jersey game and tied the game at 1-1. The B’s would go on to win in a shootout in a game that looked like it was going to be a 1-0 loss.
Opponent of the Week: Thomas Vanek
Thank you Captain Obvious. Vanek is almost a given every night against the B’s. Three goals, two assists, a +4 rating, and nightmares every time he is on the ice. Other strong performances included New Jersey’s David Clarkson (Goal, 7 SOG),Carolina’s Alexander Semin (2 assists, 5 SOG, and a +3 rating)
Fun Fact of the Week:
Phil Kessel career vs. Boston, 19 games, 3 goals, 6 assists, -18 rating.
The Week Ahead:
Wed Feb 6 at Montreal 7:30
Sat Feb 9 TampaBay 1:00
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