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Game Day: Bruins @ Hurricanes

by John Bishop & Angela Stefano / Boston Bruins
Third Period Recap: Despite tense moments with a five-on-three in favor of Carolina near the end of the period, David Krejci solidified the B's 3-1 win over the 'Canes with a shorthanded goal with just 3:48 remaining.  Chuck Kobasew then made it 4-1 with the Bruins still on a power play exactly a minute later, and Patrice Bergeron scored a fifth goal - an empty-netter - while the Bruins were still shorthanded (six-on-four) with 50 seconds to go.  The season series is over, and Boston has swept the Hurricanes.

0:00 - Bruins win!

50.6 - Bergeron scores into an open net. It's 5-1. I'm off to the room.

1:26 - Sobotka in the box for a hook.

2:48 - Kobasew! Power play goal. It's 4-1, B's.

3:20 - Kaberle in the box for a hook...

3:48 - A terrific goal by Krejci, shorthanded. Woooooooooo. It's 3-1, B's.

5:34  - Hooking on Kobasew. It'll be a four-on-three for the 'Canes. Shots are 31-28, Carolina.

6:!5 - Save Thomas...

6:46 - Ruutu in the box for Carolina.

6:50 - Crosscheck on Stuart.

10:31 - Another save for Timmy...

11:24 - Yelle shot. Ward save. Faceoff in the Carolina zone.

12:35 - Offsides Carolina.

14:59 - Lucic had a nice chance down in the slot, but couldn't get a shot away. Great pokecheck by Ward.

15:31 - Corvo is down...

15:43 - Shot Thornton. Ward holds on.

16:23 - Wallin goes to the locker room with a cut. Hit by the puck?

16:39 - Carolina was giving the B's fits...

18:31 - Offsides Carolina. Sloppy start to the third.

18:42 - Icing Boston.

20:00 - Start of the Third.
Second Period Recap: The Bruins take a 2-1 lead into the final period thanks to a goal by Shane Hnidy at 5:34.  Hnidy tied his career season-high total of 12 points with the goal, which came from a pass by David Krejci off a faceoff.  It was the only goal of the period.
0:00 - End of Two. It's 2-1, Boston and the shots are even 21-21.

33.0 - B's having some trouble clearing the zone...

2:11 - Manny took it in the chest on the bench.

4:12 - Some good back-and-forth.

6:34 - Krejci sent one into the padding of Ward, who boxed the puck around, but found it.

9:20 - Phil needs the anti-venom. He just missed on a shot that got through Ward. But the Carolina goalie recovered in time.

10:04 - Bergeron hit the side of the net...

10:34 - Ward gave it the old Statue of Liberty after making a glove stop on Savvy.

11:01 - Lucic hits the post.

11:20 - Timmy with a nice save on Larose on a shorthanded breakaway.

11:37 - Brind'Amour is in the box for the Hurricanes. A big chance for the B's.

13:57 - Yelle in the box for the B's.

14:26 - A faceoff win by Krejci, a shot from Hnidy and a tip by Sobotka = GOAAAAL! Boston leads, 2-1.

14:30 - Kessel just couldn't find a back door pass from Krejci.

15:20 - Samsonov blocked a shot and went to the locker room.

17:47 - Stuart breaks up a Carolina breakout...

18:33 - Icing Carolina.

19:57 - Bergeron wins the draw.

20:00 - Start of the Second.
First Period Recap: The Bruins played catch-up for part of the first period.  At 11:03, Eric Staal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 1-0 lead with the first goal of the game.  But Blake Wheeler took advantage of a power play and tied the game with 2:35 remaining, thanks to a rebound from a shot by Andrew Ference off a drive to the net by Milan Lucic.
0:00 - End of the First. Not the finest period. But hey, 1-1, after one isn't too bad.

33.6 - Timmy makes a nice stop on Staal who fired from the slot. Chara and Larose had words after the whistle and both men go to their respective dressing rooms. They each got two for roughing.

1:16 - Glove save Thomas.

2:35 - On a drive started by Lucic going to the net, Ference got the puck at the blue and fired. The puck lay just outside of the crease and Wheeler picked it up and beat Ward. Give Krejci a helper.

3:10 - Staal slashed Kobasew. The B's get their first PP.

4:46 - Bitzy had enough of Bayda and he hopped into a scrum in front of the Hurricanes bench and let the winger know how he felt.

5:39 - Glove save Thomas. He holds on with traffic in front.

7:13 - Axelsson went to the B's bench limping. Icing Boston.

8:57 - Carolina scores. Whitney to Cullen on a SEGA 95 goal. Yuck.

9:59 - Kessel, Krejci and Sobotka combine for a nice scoring opportunity, but to no avail.

11:02 - Right pad save by Thomas.

12:19 - A nice shift by the new Savard line. Wheels and Savvy seem to have a little chemistry in the early goings.

14:42 - Zdeno Chara gloved a puck out of the air and hit the post behind Timmy. Luckily, the B's regained possession.

15:26 - Wheeler hits the post on a shorthanded breakout...

16:19 - Samsonov hits the post.

16:45 - Stuart in the box. Slashing.

18:30 - Timmy makes his first stop.

18:34 - Icing Boston...

19:51 - Boston won the draw and sent the puck deep.

20:00 - Start of the First Period.

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

7:19 p.m.
Boston Starters:
Chara, Wideman, Thornton, Yelle, Bitz, Thomas
Carolina Starters:
Pitkanen, Babchuk, Jokinen, Brind'Amour, Larose, Ward

7:12 p.m.
Derek Sanderson is in the house ladies and gents. He got a nice reception when he was introduced to the crowd.

6:46 p.m.
Contrary to what you might expect, B's head coach Claude Julien has no problem participating in this evening's ceremonies.

"It's nice for us to be here because he was obviously an important part of this organization as well," said Julien. "So for us to be able to be here and participate in that is great.

"We're looking forward to going to the bench and then participating in it and being there to honor a guy who's done a lot for both organizations."

Wesley's reputation as a class act is well founded.

"He's a great person, a great individual, I know that much about him," said Julien. "I think it's great timing for both us being here and honoring a guy who's deserving it."

Julien was emphatic about his reasoning.

"This organization thrives on class; it honors its former players, and certainly he's one of those, and I think it was important for us to be a part of that," said the coach.  "But when the puck drops, let's get to work."

6:37 p.m.

Hunwick, Karsums, Nokelainen and Ryder.

New Lines, Better Results?
Hoping to create a goal-scoring spark among the B’s offense, head coach Claude Julien has rearranged the lines for tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.  This time, Blake Wheeler will be on right wing with Marc Savard at center and Milan Lucic at left wing, while David Krejci will center a line with Vladimir Sobotka and Phil Kessel.

“It’s not about one or the other; it’s just about making a change for us, trying to find ways to create some offense,” said Julien.  “Sometimes moving players around just gives you the spark that you need.”

Wheeler, for one, is excited about playing with his new linemates.

“You’re being treated to playing with two great players,” he said.  “They’re two very different players, but at the same time, they play very well together because of that, so it’ll be very fun to work with those guys and try to put the puck in the net.”

Wheeler spoke to his plans for working with Savard and Lucic.

“We’re a little bit different – he’s obviously hitting guys all over the ice, and I probably stickhandle a little bit too much, but in essence, we both like to get down and dirty in the offensive zone,” he said of Lucic.  “That’s when we’re playing our best, and that’s when we get a lot of our scoring chances.”

And as for Savard, the center’s phenomenal passing is what Wheeler’s looking forward to the most.

“Whenever he has the puck, I’m going to try to find and open spot, and I’m going to try and skate,” he said.  “He’ll give it to you if you’re skating and if you’re open, so as long as you keep your feet moving and work for him, he’s going to put it on your tape.”

6:31 p.m.
Tim Thomas was the first Bruin out of the room. The Carolina goalie is anyone's guess -- all of the Hurricanes are wearing #2, Wesley on their backs.

4:02 p.m.

A New Outlook...
J.P. Dumont #71 of the Nashville Predators and Dennis Wideman #6 of the Boston Bruins battle for position at the TD Banknorth Garden January 29, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
This little four-game losing streak has been the most hardship the first-place Bruins have seen all season, but they’re staying positive and start this week’s road trip with a solid effort and a win.

“We’ve been pretty intense here for quite a bit of the season,” said Dennis Wideman.  “We’ve got a young team that, a lot of us, probably haven’t been in first place like this for a long time, and it’s something to learn.”

When you’re on top, he explained, everyone is coming after you – not the other way around – so the Bruins have had to be spot-on constantly.

“It’s something that may be a little more mentally draining through the course of a long season,” Wideman said.  “We just ran into a little bit of a dry spot here, and we weren’t playing quite as well, and obviously when we’re playing other teams that are playing their best and playing well, and you don’t play your best, it doesn’t matter how good you are – you’re not going to win.

But the smiles around the locker room this morning seem to indicate that the B’s are recharged and ready to go.

“Four games is enough,” said Wheeler.  “Everyone here has a lot of pride, and you’ve got to stop [a losing streak] somewhere.”

The rookie forward credited Coach Julien with doing “an excellent job of motivating [the team] and keeping [them] with the right focus.”  Julien’s positive attitude probably helps.

“Everybody goes through it,” he said, citing the San Jose Sharks, the Western Conference’s top-ranked team, as an example.  “It’s called a challenge, not necessarily a slump.

“You go through those things, and you fight through it, and you hope it makes your team better in the long run.”

World-Class Coach
Coach Julien was already honored by the NHL with the chance to coach January’s All-Star game, and now there’s talk of a nomination for a coaching spot with Team Canada in next year’s Winter Olympics.

“It’s always an honor to represent your country,” said Julien.  “Just to hear to be considered is certainly an honor.”

While he admitted next year’s games will come up quickly, Julien also said he’ll stay focused on taking the B’s to the top.

“I want to do well here, and I think if I do well here, the rest can take care of itself,” he said.

12:33 p.m.
Chuck Kobasew will play tonight and the Bruins will participate in this evening's ceremony to honor Glen Wesley.

11:56 a.m.
Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice after skate. This should indicate that the Tank will be in goal tonight.

11:10 a.m.
From Joe, a loyal True Believer...
I read your take on the practice yesterday. Good reading. But there were two really funny things that had us laughing in the stands...

The first one was when Zee broke up a rush and came in alone on Thomas. He uncorked his patented slapper from about 30 feet and it rang off the post or crossbar. Thomas turned around to look and when he saw it wasn't in the net he started bouncing around wildy waving the "safe" sign to let Zee know it never went in.

It really is true he hates having a goal scored on him, even in practice!

The other thing was watching Ference and Zee play keep away near the end of the practice. At one point, Ference knocked the stick out of Chara's hands and they swapped sticks.

I don't know which was funnier - Ference trying to take a slapshot with Zee's stick, or watching Zee skate around with what looked like his putter.

Thanks for the input, Joe. Glad you enjoyed practice!

BTW: The skate is starting soon, and from the looks of it most of the club is going to be on the ice. This morning's playlist in the locker room included Cold Play, U2 and Train. JB

10:32 a.m.
Okay so this vid is a little stale. But, I have been looking for it for a couple of days and I finally found it.

NESN's Naoko Funayama spoke to David Krejci and Vladimir Sobotka about playing together again, and David acted as Vladi's interpreter -- sort've.

In all seriousness, the two Chech's ability to pick up English in a short time is pretty amazing.

Enjoy that video, and Blake Wheeler's commentary, here.

10:05 a.m.
Tim Thomas was featured prominently in a recent article about the upcoming Winter Olympic games in Vancouver.

"While I always considered being a goalie before watching the Olympics, Jim Craig clinched it for me," Thomas said. "That's when I really wanted to be a goalie. Jim Craig became my hero. It's been a dream of mine since I was 5 to play in the Olympics.

"It's still far enough away where you don't want to think about it too much, but if I were to get the opportunity, it would be a dream come true for me." ...more.

9:51 a.m.
Boston connections abound...

Mike Ryan (photo:
Another old friend, this time from my seasons at Northeastern University, Mike Ryan, was called up by the Hurricanes on the 16th.

Mike is a BC High grad out of Milton, MA.

From -- Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forward Michael Ryan from the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League.

Ryan, 28, leads Albany with 25 goals and 42 points in 40 games with the River Rats this season. The Boston native has played in six games with the Hurricanes this season, averaging 5:39 of ice time per game. The Hurricanes signed Ryan (6’1”, 188 lbs.) as a free agent on Oct. 31, 2008.

9:31 a.m.
Just ran into Hurricanes radio voice (and all-around great guy) Chuck Kaiton.

We were laughing about the WTIC 1080 bumper sticker on the back of one of the forklifts under the stands and were reminiscing about Glen Wesley's career in Boston, Hartford and Carolina.

Glen Wesley Night is tonight, and the first 15,000 fans in attendance for the game will receive a mini-replica Glen Wesley banner.

Details on tonight's ceremony are here.

8:52 a.m.
In case you missed it...
In this Oct. 21, 2008 file photo, Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Mathieu Schneider (18) protects the net with goalie Kari Lehtonen, of Finland, during an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa, Fla. The Montreal Canadiens acquired Schneider from the Thrashers on Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 for two draft picks. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, File)
From – Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today the acquisition of defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the Atlanta Thrashers, as well as a conditional draft pick from the Thrashers at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, in return for a second-round pick at the 2009 draft (Anaheim’s pick previously acquired by the Canadiens from Washington) and a Canadiens third-round pick at the 2010 draft.

"We were looking for a defenseman who could contribute offensively. Mathieu, an experienced player with a lot of offensive upside, will bring depth to our core group of defensemen and will be an asset on our powerplay," said Bob Gainey. 

Schneider, a 20-season veteran, made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in 1987-88. The 39-year-old, New York City native recorded 717 points (216 goals, 501 assists) and posted a plus-63 rating in 1,241 NHL regular-season games, with Montreal, the New York Islanders, Toronto, the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Detroit, Anaheim and Atlanta.

7:59 a.m.
Raleigh, NC. Photo:
Welcome to North Carolina.

It's not as warm as you might think around these parts, but there is no snow on the ground and the skies are clear.

For those of you who are interested in how a hockey team travels, there is a team breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

It's in a private room and is generally a very quiet affair.

Then, there is a bus at 10:15 a.m.

However, many of the players and coaches (and myself) tend to find alternate transportation to the rink. My reasons are probably pretty similar to everyone else's -- I want to get some work done before the hectic part of the day (morning skate) begins at 11:30 a.m.

Home teams skate at 10:30 a.m.

Often the coaching staff will get in a little prep work, players (like Marc Savard) might work on their sticks and others, like Assistant Coach Craig Ramsay get in a workout.

Coach Ramsay actually runs the stairs in most every arena we hit.
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