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Game Day: Bruins @ Canadiens

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
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.
Boston  1 1 1 3

Montréal  1 0 0 1

BOS:  Wideman, D. (19:59 in 1st), Thornton, S. (08:02 in 2nd), Savard, M. (19:03 in 3rd)
MTL:  Lang, R. (PPG, 18:18 in 1st)

GOALIES, BOS: T. Thomas (W)  MTL: C. Price (L)
As seen on NESN:
0:00 - Bruins win the game 3-0. A terrific effort for Boston.

4.9 - Ryan O'Byrne with a high crosscheck on Chuck Kobasew.

56.5 - Wooooo! Savard got the puck at the redline after the second of two Bruins clears. He hit the empty Montreal goal from nearly the halfway point of the rink.

1:19 - Ward tackles Kostopoulos and prevents a second attempt on Thomas. Montreal timeout, Price is out.

1:57 - Krejci with a one-man effort to keep the Habs in their own end.

2:32 - Latendresse went down hard (upper body?). He had to be helped off.

3:28 - Yelle line bottles up the Habs...

4:28 - Thomas with a diving save on Komisarek.

7:08 - A sneaky shot by Higgins on Thomas. Timmy shoulders it away.

8:27 - Save by Thomas...

8:51 - Krejci to Wheeler right in front of Price. Very close.

10:03 - Boston is controlling access to their own zone...

11:27 - Lang with a hit, but he went down hard and looks like he is favoring his left leg.

13:07 - Stuart with a hard shot from the blueline. Price tracks it down...

13:58 - Toe save Thomas.

14:27 - Kostitsyn shot, Thomas save. Repeat. Timmy has 19 saves, today.

14:47 - Another save by Thomas on a Kostitsyn.

16:25 - Thomas stops a Kostitsyn with a blocker/stick and sends the puck out of play.

16:42 - Thomas has had to be sharp, already...

18:04 - The hold (Lucic on Plekanec) gets called, but the potential knee-on-knee from Komisarek on Lucic doesn't. Montreal on the PP with Lucic in the box.

19:16 - Thomas gloves down the first Habs bid of the third.

20:00 - Start of the Third.
0:00 - Ryder with a late bid, but no goal. Price with an excellent save to keep the game 2-1.

15.0 - Wheeler (?) hit the post.

1:45 - The Canadiens crashed the Bruins net as Thomas held the puck along the goal line and sent Timmy flying. The Bruins did not take kindly to that and there was a mess. Shawn Thornton looks VERY interested in the proceedings.

Looks like the B's will get a PP, for what was an obvious late play. Kostopoulos got a minor for a charge.

2:26 - One of the Kostitsyn's hits the post...

2:45 - Lucic with a punishing hit on Kovalev.

3:56 - Excellent pressure by the B's.

6:40 - Kovalev offsides. Another big break...

7:24 - Wheeler to the box for clearing the puck into the stands. Not good. Another five-on-three.

7:30 - Thomas with a save and then there was a pile up in front. Nothing much happened, though.

8:00 - Icing Habs.

9:10 - Uh oh. Savard to the box. Habs with a five-on-three.

10:02 - Boston has a too-many-men penalty to serve.

11:58 - Thornton scores. Terrific shift by the energy line. With fine plays by all three men on the Yelle line. Shawn just redirected a feed past Price. I think that is his career high 5th.

12:33 - Icing Montreal.

14:52 - Kovalev gets Ward up high. He's back in the box...

15:21 - Bergy with a turnaround shot that Price turns away...

17:30 - Kovalev takes down Kessel. Boston back on the PP.

17:58 - Timmy has to make another save on Markov and then smothers the rebound.

19:12 - Wheeler shot, Price save.

19:22 - Komisarek shot, Thomas save.

20:00 - Start of the Second.
0:00 - All-in-all, a very good period for Boston.

00.6 - Wideman picked up a Komisarek clear and wristed a gorgeous shot over Price -- A very big goal for Boston to tie it up, 1-1.

35.8 - Kessel went to the box. Ahhh, welcome to Montreal. Kess went for a high stick and, like Ward, was unhappy.

57.7 - O'Byrne in the box for interference. Boston is on the PP for the second time. They are 0/1.

1:10 - Thomas needed to make another save, and then Stuart had to clear.

1:42 - Lang, with a body in front, uses the screen and beat Timmy high.

1:55 - Kovalev with a tough shot on Thomas. Timmy stops it and holds on...

2:08 - Tough call... Ward to the box for tripping. Aaron has blood coming from his eye. DId he get ejected? NESN does not think so.

3:57 - A long Bruins shot from the point. With Byron Bitz crashing the goal, Price holds on.

5:31 - That looked like a high hit by Koivu on Wideman.

6:51 - Higgins to the box for a slash. Boston is on the PP for the first time.

7:43 - The Habs are asserting themselves...

8:59 - Thomas' turn to make a stop and hold on.

9:10 - Price gloves down a long Bruins bid from the blueline.

11:42 - Good defensive play by Hnidy to break up a breakaway.

12:24 - Huge kick save by Thomas on Lang...

13:26 - Thomas calms down a minor threat by pouncing on a puck and hanging on.

15:45 - Nice hit by Bitz on O'Byrne.

17:22 - Thomas with an easy save.

17:49 - Most of the period has been played in the CHC zone.

18:54 - Big, big win by Shawn Thornton. He just beat the tar out of some guy named Henry.

19:23 - Good forecheck by the Bergeron line...

19:56 - Canadiens win the opening draw.

20:00 - Start of the First Period. There's a bit of a delay because of broken glass at the Bell Centre.

Let's swtich to time on the clock...

2:03 p.m.
The lines...
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Bergeron - Kobasew
Wheeler - Krejci - Ryder
Thornton - Yelle - Bitz
Chara - Ward
Ference - Wideman
Stuart - Hndiy

Hunwick, Fernandez, Nokelainen

1:36  p.m.
Canadiens 1912-13 "Barbershop" Jersey
NESN is reporting that Tim Thomas will, indeed, start this afternoon against Montreal.

Montreal will wear an alternate uniform (shown right), today.

1:08 p.m.
With an eye towards guessing today's starter, Bruins head coach Claude Julien tipped his hand during yesterday's postgame press conference.

"I thought this was the perfect time to give Timmy [Thomas] a break," said Julien of the decision to start Tuukka Rask on Saturday. "We’ve got another big game [Sunday] afternoon – two afternoon games back-to-back.

"Timmy’s carried the bulk of the load the last little while.  He’s had the All-Star game, and we’ve tried to give him some days off, but nonetheless, somewhere down the road, you need to get that break, and I think we probably saw small signs of fatigue from Tim, and that just gives him an extra game to rest.

"Hopefully he can come up big for us [Sunday]," he said.

However, stranger things have happened...

12:26 p.m.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
While we're waiting for updates from MTL, I've been thinking about Saturday's effort in the Garden.

Clearly, it was a very complete, full-game effort for the B's, and defenseman Dennis Wideman said as much after the victory.

"You’ve got to learn from everything," said Wideman, who today leads the NHL with a plus-29. "I think tonight we played really well start to finish. They had a lot of shots, we didn’t give them a whole lot, they started shooting in the third period from just inside the blueline and pretty much everywhere.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping them to the outside, but obviously Tuukka [Rask] stood tall and played a great game.

"And that was good that start to finish we played solid and held on to that lead," he said.

11:33 a.m.

Washington Capitals' Karl Alzner (27) is checked into the boards by Boston Bruins' Stephane Yelle (18) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
The Bruins are in Montreal and will arrive at the Bell Centre soon.

With the short turnaround, the B's will not have a morning skate, but several members of the traveling crew may take the ice to get a workout in.

The B's are 7-1-2 over their last 10 and the headlines from yesterday's 1-0 shutout scream "Tuukka Rask," but a closer look reveals many different heroes.

For instance, Stephane Yelle put the puck on personal lockdown during the closing seconds of Saturday's victory.

"Those are the big plays," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien of Yelle's strong play along the boards. "Being strong on the boards, just not throwing it away  and giving it back to them, and protecting it, that’s what those experienced guys are capable of doing and it’s one of the reasons we got Stephane, is for those kind of situations."

Yelle and his linemates Shawn Thornton and Byron Bitz are emblematic of the kind of "every man on deck" game that made the Bruins so difficult to play against in the first half of the season.

Yelle's experience has been invaluable.

"You’re able to put him in those kind of situations," he said. "Saturday, he was one of our better guys on faceoffs, so we were able to put him in that spot, and just the way he handled the last few seconds there -- got the puck out and made a smart shift -- it’s just indicative of what he and his line were all about.

"He certainly warranted being out there in the last few seconds."
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