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Bruins Notebook: Toronto 3, Boston 2 (SO)

by Tom Halkin / Boston Bruins
Savvy and Z...

Not that either of the two needed to justify their respective places on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, but Boston’s two representatives to the big show reinforced their standing among the league’s elite with their strong veteran presence amongst the youngsters on Thursday.  Zdeno Chara started the scoring for the B’s as he blasted a shot by Toronto’s Vesa Toskala off a feed from his counterpart Savard.  Marc Savard then recorded his second assist of the night less than two minutes later when he found teammate Marco Sturm open at the top of the goal crease for the B’s second goal.

Z finished the night 1-0-1 and a +2 and is now 2-7-9 in his last seven games. The captain also had some key break-ups on the B’s late-game penalty kill, making use of his reach to disrupt passing lanes.

Savard finished the night 0-2-2 and a +1 and stands 1-4-5 in his last three games, and 3-5-8 in his last seven.  It was his tenth multiple point game of the season.

Understandably, both men were obviously a little disappointed with the final result.

“We wanted these two points,” said Savard afterwards. “It’s tough.”

“It’s a huge weekend,” he continued. “But we got a point tonight and we are now tied with the Rangers, so it sets up a big weekend.”

“I think that we really battled for 60 minutes,” added Chara. “We brought a good effort for tonight’s game, everyone worked really hard...and right now we will take any point. You can either look at it as the glass is half empty or half full.”

A Caged Beast
Fan-favorite, and recently named Young Star, Milan Lucic, who suffered a broken nose and 15 stitches for his efforts in the Bruins last game in Philadelphia on Saturday tricked a few members of the Bruins press core when he came out for warm-ups with no type of shield on his helmet whatsoever.  

Lucic had stated that he would be wearing a protective full-cage on his helmet for the next couple weeks, so the absence of any type of protection had some Bruins staffers pretty worried.

But, as promised, when Milan returned to the ice for game time, there was the cage.  He will be in the cage for another two weeks, before switching to a half shield (which he will also wear in place of the cage during the Young Stars game, because of the game’s offensive nature).

P.J. out. Pascal in.
P.J. Axelsson, who is day-to-day with a bruised right foot, missed his second game tonight. Though P.J.’s is a hard game to replace, the Bruins called up Pascal Pelletier from Providence to take his spot in the lineup.  

Pascal, who is having an All-Star year with the P-Bruins (Currently fourth in the AHL in points with 24-24-48 totals at the halfway mark), had a solid night in his NHL debut, playing almost 10 minutes alongside fellow rookies David Krejci and Vladimir Sobotka.

Afterwards, Pelletier was disappointed, but excited about his debut:

“The more I was out there, the more I felt comfortable.  We had a couple of scoring chances, especially in the third...So it was fun.”

The Kids are Alright!
Pelletier, Krejci, and Sobotka, all of whom played together in Providence this year, looked as if they fit right in tonight, despite their lack of NHL experience.  The trio played 9:56, 12:34, and 13:00 respectively, and was even +/- wise.  They also earned a lot of praise from their teammates and coach for stepping up.

“I thought the young guys did a pretty good job tonight,” said Coach Julien. “They spent a lot of time in the offensive zone.”

Oh Canada...
For the second straight home game, a Canadian team was in the TD BankNorth Garden and with them traveled a fair number of their faithful fans.  The boisterous contingent of Leafs fans, just like those from Montreal last week, engaged in some good-natured cheering wars with the fans of the Black and Gold and clearly added to the Original Six atmosphere.

Happy Birthday to Aaron Ward
Last, but not least, a Big “Happy Birthday!” is in order for Aaron Ward, who celebrated his 35th birthday last night. Wardo has been playing great since returning from his broken foot, scoring goals in two of his first three games back, including the game-winner on Saturday in Philly.
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