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Bear Essentials: Ottawa vs. Boston

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
The Bruins woke up this morning in eighth place (88 points) in the Eastern Conference after Philadelphia (89 points) defeated New Jersey in a shootout yesterday. Washington remains in ninth with 86 points. Buffalo fell to Montreal and is in tenth with 84 Points.

It's that tight.

5 OTTAWA 78 42 28   8 92 252 236 22-13-4 20-15-4 5-4-1
6 NY RANGERS 77 40 26   11 91 202 188 24-13-2 16-13-9 6-2-2
7 PHILADELPHIA 78 39 28   11 89 237 226 19-14-6 20-14-5 5-2-3
8 BOSTON 77 39 28   10 88 203 213 20-15-4 19-13-6 4-3-3
9 WASHINGTON 78 39 31   8 86 228 228 20-15-3 19-16-5 7-3-0
10 BUFFALO 78 36 30   12 84 245 235 19-15-6 17-15-6 4-3-3
11 FLORIDA 78 36 33   9 81 208 215 18-14-8 18-19-1 7-2-1

Early injury update…
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
In terms of injury, we should know more about Andrew Ference and his ability to make the short trip to Buffalo later this morning. He has been day-to-day with a leg injury.

Patrice Bergeron was told that he had to continue to strengthen himself and gain back some weight before he would be cleared to play. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.

"My off-ice workouts were at about 80%," explained Bergeron. "[The doctor] wants me to get back to 100% working out."

Patrice still has to gain back 10 pounds he's lost since being injured. Your author offered to lend him a diet plan, but the young B's forward politely declined.

No update on Marc Savard or Andrew Alberts was offered by Coach Julien yesterday.

Luch on the loose
Milan Lucic did not practice yesterday. However, it seemed as if it were more of a maintenance day for the rookie, who rarely misses even optional practices.

11:36 a.m.
Connectivity problems. Fixed.

Coach was in early to speak to the media. Ference will not play today and will not make the trip. He did not skate this morning, either.

Tim Thomas will start.

12:12 p.m.
More from Coach Julien's press scrum:
On Ottawa’s play as of late…
"I think we'll worry more about ourselves right now.  It’s funny how when you concentrate on your own game, it doesn’t matter what the other team does... Right now, it’s not so much what they’re not doing, but what we’re going to have to do to beat them."

On building on the last two games…
"It’s something that we desperately needed. I think our confidence in scoring goals was pretty low until these last couple of games so I guess the biggest task right now is to remember how we did it.  There was obviously some net-front presence that we had lacked for a long time.  Obviously, there were some strong plays and guys that took time to make the plays also instead of panicking and I think that was a big difference."

On which players have stood out in terms of stepping up their game…
"I think the list would be too long to be honest with you.  We talked about all those young kids that have played extremely well, but so have our veteran players.  They’ve led the way and what people see out on the ice is one thing, but what they don’t see inside the dressing room is another. And we’ve had great leadership; our guys making sure everybody’s relaxed a little bit and making sure that we’re focused properly."

12:32 p.m.
Timmy did indeed lead the team out of the room...

I think the rest of it looks like this:
Chara-Ward (sg)Thomas
Stuart-Wideman (bg)Auld
Lashoff-Hnidy Go Bruins!

Looks like Gerber on the other side. And Daniel Alfredsson will face the B's, for the first time in a bit.

1:00 p.m.
I am keeping it here. Love the current opening montage, complete with "Last of the Mohicans" music. Very good.

First Period
0:00 Starters for Boston: Lucic, Metropolit, Axelsson, Chara, Ward in front of Timmy.

Two anthems and we are on our way. BTW: The game is being broadcast live to Iraq and the solidiers watching there are being broadcast to us. Thank you for all you do!

1:54 A quick start. Thomas has two saves already and Ottawa has come out firing.

6:26 Some hard work by Metro's line leads to a penalty to Spezza and a PP for the B's.

8:35 No goal, but solid, solid pressure by the Bruins during the man-advantage.

11:50 High hit on Reich, leads to a Neil penalty and a B's Power Play.

12:30 Nice save by Gerber, who caught a drive from the point through a screen.

14:03 Thomas just made two pretty tough saves against old friend Shean Donovan. There was a pile up to his left and Dono kept hacking away until Dennis Wideman pushed him away.

16:01 Thorts just took a measure of revenge on Neil with a near knockout over the Ottawa forward. Shawn landed at least three solid shots and a sneaky jab with his left hand full of Neil's sweater.

18:29 A late penalty for Boston. Ottawa gets a shot with the man-advantage.

20:00 Marty Lapointe and Mark Stuart had to be separated at the end of the period after some shoving in front of Thomas' net.

All in all. A decent period for the B's, but they have to take advantage of their scoring opportunities.

Second Period
0:00 Boston starts with a short PK.

1:40 Jeremy Reich has a head injury and will not return reports B's PR.

2:35 Ottawa hits the post.

4:24 Great play from the Metro line. Lucic got it low, stayed in front, Metropolit picked it up and passed toward a waiting Axelsson. PJ launched a rocket past Gerber to make the score 1-0.

6:49 Alfredsson in the box for tripping.

7:55 A huge goal. After getting rocked on the boards, Krejci showed tons of patience with the puck and worked very hard to get it to the front and to Murray, who put it in the crease for Sturm to finish. 2-0, Boston.

9:49 A high, somewhat late hit by Bass left Stuart on the ice. Shawn Thornton, again acting as policeman, pounded Bass into the ice after the hit. Bad feelings everywhere, now.  Bass has left the ice. Thornton remains in the box. Bass and Thornton get charging, roughing minors. Bass must have gone to the room for repairs.

That one is not over, methinks.

10:49 Ward in the box for a hit. Ottawa on the PP.

12:23 Stuart is back.

14:47 Nice penalty kill, but Ottawa continues to press. Thomas just made a good save to slow down their offense and give the B's a bit of rest.

17:51 This period can't end quick enough. Ottawa is too hungry!

19:21 Another late PP for Ottawa after a goal mouth scramble in front of Thomas.

20:00 That was an exciting period, but even with the B's in control it was a little TOO exciting.

In between periods the B's presented the John Carlton Award to Kelly Foley  of Tabor Academy and Edwin Shea of the Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL). Congrats!

Third Period
0:00 B's start with Ward in the box.

1:13 The Sheriff Shane Hnidy scores, shorthanded, to give Boston a 3-0 lead. Nice feed from Krejci! He has one goal and five assists in his last three games.

6:00 Vladimir Sobotka just hit Dean McAmmond at the blue line. The youngster has played a strong physical game all afternoon.

11:00 Boston is playing a very sound, defensive period. Bodes well.

11:58 Ottawa in the box -- again -- Four goals would be clutch.

14:25 No goals but it killed a lot of clock.

14:49 Tim calms down a late Ottawa bid with a nice save.

19:05 Krejci should bottle whatever mojo he's found because he just made a gorgeous play to make it 4-0 Boston. Heading to the locker room! Then a plane!
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