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B's Power Play Goals Garner Win

by Dyan LeBourdais / Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins' Michael Ryder (73) celebrates his goal in front of Atlanta Thrashers' Boris Valabik, left, of Slovakia, and Christoph Schubert, of Germany, in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009, in Boston. The Bruins won 6-4. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston, MA -- On Wednesday night the Boston Bruins beat the Atlanta Thrashers 6-4 and the high goal count for the B's was somewhat of a surprise.

It’s no secret that the lack of scoring by the Black & Gold has been something that the team, and all-star center Marc Savard, had been focused on.

"I think throughout that stretch where I didn’t have any points in five games, [the results] were obvious. I think three of those [games] I had zero shots," said Savard. "[Head Coach] Claude [Julien] talked to me [and] obviously all the coaching staff [wanted me] to get results and pucks in net.

"I was almost forced to shoot one in the power play. [I] still wanted to pass the whole time so finally I just turned the shot," said Savard, who scored on the power play 9:44 into the first period, which and acted as a catalyst for the B’s attack as Danielle Paille and Vladimir Sobotka each netted another goal in the next 1:08 of play.

Julien was happy with Savard's results.

"You saw the results tonight in the stat column and what he was able to accomplish," said Julien of Savard's power play goal and two assists. "I think the goal he scored is not one everyone can score. He was in a tight angle. He roofed it. He sold the pass and got the goalie to move then he roofed it.

"We talked about him having to shoot more, but don’t just shoot for the sake of shooting. If you are going shoot from fifty feet out then might as well look to pass. He has to get it himself in those positions and I think that sometimes he is in tight and he’ll look to make the perfect play instead of shooting," explained Julien.

Savard felt pretty good about ending his drought.

"It felt good, everybody worked hard tonight," he said.

"It seems that we were on our heels there a couple times and we stepped up and got some big goals when we need them. And that’s what your power play is there for you to do," he continued. "We haven’t used [the power play] as a weapon as yet and hopefully it is a sign of good things."

B’s captain Zdeno Chara, who scored a power play goal off a pass from Marc Savard at 2:44 of the second period, said the power play production is good a good sign for the team.

"It’s big because early in the season we were not getting any production from the power play and lately it’s been better and better. Even if we don’t score every game... at least we are creating a lot of chances and some scoring opportunities and tonight we scored three [power play] goals so that was huge," said the veteran defenseman.

Another veteran B’s sniper, Mark Recchi, agreed on the importance of the PP.

"We’ve had some good opportunities, and we’ve had some good power plays the last little while,” he said. “I think our power play is definitely going on the right direction and if we continue to work at it and do the right things we will score goals.”

No doubt, this win and all these power play goals bring home some good holiday cheer, particularly to the fans in Wednesday’s sold out TD Garden.

"It was one of those Christmas games that are tough because everybody is excited about the holidays. [It] seems like whoever can stay in it the longest gets the win," said Savard. "And even though it wasn’t the prettiest, at the end we stuck with it and we got what we wanted: two points to pull little ahead of these guys a little further and we are happy with that."

Recchi added, "The bottom line is we needed two wins before Christmas and we got them.  A lot of positives happened in the last two games and we will enjoy our Christmas break now.

"This is a good win for us,” he added. “We hit a little bit of a bump there and we showed a lot of character the last two games."

Coach Julien agreed.

"We have lost some games this year where we were a pretty sound hockey club, but we didn’t score enough to win and we end up with no points," said Julien. "Obviously our power play scoring three goals tonight was huge.

“And the fact that we scored five goals, six with the empty netter, that is something that we can build on."
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