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Game Day: Bruins @ Lightning

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.
Third Period Recap: With his Lightning on the power play Vaclav Prospal scored the game-winner with just 1:33 to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 win over the Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins. Lightning goalie Karri Ramo was spectacular at times and made 40-saves for Tampa.

0:00 - Boston falls to Tampa Bay, 4-3.

1:00 - Draw in the Lightning zone. Manny is out.

1:33 - Prospal scores to put the lightning ahead. Three Bruins bunched in front, but Prospal got the puck in the slot and fired. It's 4-3, Lightning.

2:50 - Ference accidently tossed the puck out of the rink. It will give the Lightning a short five-on-three.

4:45 - Krejci hit Roberts and gets an interference call. The Lightning get a power play.

4:58 - Ramo just made an unbelievable save on Kessel -- again.

5:40 - Savard just missed...

7:06 - Yelle and Malik collide.

7:27 - Whistle. Roberts and Thornton chat for a bit...

7:38 - Save Fernandez.

9:24 - Kessel puts another good shot on Ramo, who turns the bid away.

10:57 - A good block by Stuart save by Fernandez.

12:20 - Tampa killed the penalty.

14:07 - Ramo with two big saves...

14:23 - Bruins on the power play.

15:30 - The teams are at four-on-four.

Internet Issues!
Second Period Recap: Mark Recchi started the scoring in the second when he tipped a Josef Melichar shot past Boston's Manny Fernandez. However, a terrific cross ice pass by Chuck Kobasew was received by Zdeno Chara who deposited it into the Tampa net to knot the score at 3-3. After two periods the Bruins lead in shots, 28-14.
0:00 - There was some pushing and shoving at the end of the period, but nothing came of it. It's 3-3 after 40-minutes.

20.0 - Kess hit the post!

35.1 - Stuart followed a teammate's low hard shot into the crease and made it very difficult on Ramo.

3:09 - Wheeler and Krejci combine on two scoring chances. Shots are 27-12, Boston.

4:43 - Chara scores off a breakaway pass by Chuck Kobasew. Zee shot from the circle to the right of Ramo and beat him high. It's 3-3. Give the helpers to Chuck and Aaron Ward.

4:57 - Icing Boston.

6:30 - Ramo stops Bergeron on one last shot during the Bruins power play.

8:24 - Tripping on Artyukhin. Boston gets a PP.

10:00 - That is was a very pretty goal. Mark  Recchi tipped a Melichar shot over Fernandez to make the score, 3-2, Tampa Bay.

10:27 - Offisdes Tamp Bay. Shots are 19-11, Boston.

12:59 - I think Koci might have taken a B's shot high.

14:34 - Ramo robs Axelsson as the veteran forward shot from between the circles.

16:08 - Malik interfered with Lucic. B's PP.

17:04 - Icing Boston. A terrific PK, all told.

18:20 - A big save by Fernandez...

19:56 - Bergeron wins the draw. Tampa remains on the PP.

20:00 - Start of the Second Period.
First Period Recap: Boston began the game hoping to renew the dominance that the club had enjoyed through most of the first half of the season, and an early goal by Phil Kessel seemed to put the B's in a good state of mind. But successive Tampa Bay goals by Jeff Halpern and Adam Hall put Boston in a 2-1 hole. However, on the power play, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference tied the game late in the period off a pass by Marc Savard and beat Lightning goalie Karri Ramo cleanly to tie the score at 2-2 after 20-minutes.
0:00 - Boston won a final faceoff and got two shots off before the horn. It's 2-2 after one.

29.5 - Ramo makes his best save of the game against Krejci on a two-on-one breakaway.

1:55 - Thornton to the box for cross checking and unsportsmanlike conduct. A four minute PP for Tampa.

2:53 - Man, one heck of a fight. Stuart vs. Roberts. Both men landed several blows, but like the earlier bout, the Tampa Bay man got the takedown off an unbalanced punch.

3:18 - Fortuitous. Savard found Ference on the faceoff dot and he beat Ramo cleanly for Boston's second goal. It's tied, 2-2.

4:56 - Halpern didn't make an effort to avoid Fernandes in his crease and got called for goaltender interference.

5:46 - Manny made a stop on Lecavalier and Malone tried to go to the front of the net and Ward put him on his stomach.

6:01 - Tripping to Ference.

6:15 - Ference hit the post.

6:37 - Icing San Jose.

9:07 - The Krejci line was buzzing around Ramo's net, but didn't get anything through...

10:32 - Thornton and Koci went at it. Thorts landed a couple, but on his last one lost his balance and Koci got the takedown.

11:00 - Axelsson steals a puck and quickly dished to Chara who shoots. Ramo stopped it.

11:53 - Karsums leveled Eminger with a check in front of the penalty boxes.

15:01 - And that one, too. Oh man. Hall got that on on a wraparound.

15:16 - I spoke too soon (sorry). The Lightning score on their first shot. The Bruins would like that one back. Give that one to Halpern.

15:41 - Thus far it has been all Bruins. The Bolts don't have a shot.

18:22 - Kessel scores! Thank goooodness. He and Savard and Lucic hooked up on what looked like a VERY easy goal. That's Kessel's 25th goal. Give helpers to Savvy and Luch.

19:20 -  Ramo makes his first save...

19:58 - Boston wins the opening draw.

20:00 - Start of the First Period.

Boston Starters:
Thornton, Yelle, Bitz, Ference, Wideman, Fernandez
Tampa Bay Starters:
Malone, Lecavalier, St. Louis, Murphy, Malik, Ramo

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

4:57 p.m.
Hey, the scoreboard reminds us that today is the anniversary of the Miracle on Ice.

Thank you Mr. Eruzione!

4:44 p.m.

Scratches: Hunwick, Sobotka, Nokelainen and Ryder.

4:32 p.m.
It's Karri Ramo versus Manny Fernandez between the pipes.

4:26 p.m.
Andrew Ference is always a calming presence in the Bruins locker room, but even his evenkeeled approach belied some frustration when he spoke after the game on Saturday.

"I don’t know if our scoring chances were as high as the ratio probably should have with that many shots," said Ference of the B's offensive play on Saturday. "We had quite a few shots, but...not a ton of second chances and not a ton of real high-quality scoring chances.

"Those two four minute power plays as well we should, we definitely have to capitalize on something there," he said.

Ference wasn't necessarily convinced that the B's were terrible last night.

"If anything it was just getting more traffic into the net," said the defenseman. "We filtered so many shots towards it...and not to have guys with the screens or guys banging in rebounds or that real strong drive to the net [is an issue].

"Like I said, if you’re able to get that many shots through, something should go in, off a rebound or screen or something."

4:15  p.m.
The media just met with Bruins head coach Claude Julien and he revealed that the B's will have a lineup change tonight, with Martins Karsums taking Vladimir Sobotka's spot in the lineup.

Manny Fernandez will be in goal.

Speaking of the game last night, Julien said, "We definitely need a better commitment from our players. And that's not just about last night, that's about lately.

"You know, the little things that make a big difference in the game aren't there anymore.

"We've addressed that and hopefully we can turn the corner and start committing a little bit more," said Julien.

Coach Julien still looked angry and was asked how he got those points across.

"We have our ways," he said.

1:26 p.m.
Like his head coach, Bruins beat cop Shawn Thornton is a very honest guy.

Last night, when I spoke to him postgame, I told him that I thought that he and his line had played well.

Thornton bristled, somewhat, and said, "It wasn’t good enough for us. We’ve got to start chipping in, I think, offensively.

"I know personally I had to bounce back from a really bad game in Carolina, so that was my focus."

Whatever praise that was to be dolled out, Thornton passed to Byron Bitz and Stephane Yelle.

"I think Bitzy and Yeller have been pretty consistent throughout the year," said Thornton. "We were just trying to keep the puck in the other team’s zone.

"But at some point we’ve gotta start bearing some of our opportunities, too. We’re trying to get to the net but we’ve got to start chipping in a little offensively, we can’t leave it to the other guys all the time."

His description of the team's overall game was similar.

"I think that we had some chances that we could’ve buried but we didn’t," added Thornton. "But the biggest positive I think is that we get to right back out at...17 hours from now.

"The biggest thing is we have an opportunity to show the character that I know we have on this team and bounce back with a solid effort."

12:36 p.m.
Just got back from a head-clearing walk.

On my travels I found the S.S. American Victory:
A beautiful ship. (photo:
The popular American Victory Restoration Tours allow visitors to view firsthand the on-going work to restore this icon of America's merchant maritime might, a functioning, 1940s-era merchant cargo vessel which served during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Visitors experience virtually the entire ship, including cavernous threelevel cargo holds, radio and gyro rooms, hospital, galley, weaponry, reefers, steering stations, flying bridge, signaling equipment, wheelhouse, officer and crew messes, engine room, crew cabins, chartroom, lifeboats and cargo equipment.

The developing museum contains photographs of the American Victory and other period merchant ships, U.S. Merchant Marine uniforms, medals and documents, personal recollections of life at sea as well as navigational equipment, hands-on displays and weaponry.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take a tour, but if you would like to know more, click here. After that, walk across the way and take in the Florida Acquarium. JB

10:00 a.m.
The rest of the Bruins are beginning to file into a meeting room for a brunch style "team meal" before they either bus, cab or walk over to the St. Pete Times Forum.

8:52 a.m.
Martins Karsums, Matt Hunwick, Michael Ryder and Manny Fernandez were on the ice for the Bruins ice time, which began at 8:30 a.m.

Assistant coaches Doug Houda and Bob Essensa presided.

8:35 a.m.

Click the picture to watch Coach Julien's postgame briefing from Saturday.
Like anyone involved in pro sports, Bruins head coach Claude Julien hates to lose.

However, there are times when he will defend his team and entertain the possibility that there were reasons behind a loss.

Saturday was not one of those times.

"We had a lot of energy tonight," began Julien. "That wasn’t the issue.

"I think it was more a [lack of] concentration, or lack of willingness to go to the dirty areas. We can have 41 shots on net but if everything’s from the outside and the goaltender can see everything, I don’t think you’re going to score too many goals that way."

Julien did not name names, but it was clear the Coach put the loss at the feet of several players.

"You’ve got some guys right now who are not doing their job and its as simple as that," he said. "We’re going to have to demand that they do a little bit better.

"This is one of the games that I thought was the most disappointing in that area because we had a chance to win this game tonight and I thought we skated well enough.

"We had the energy to do it, but as the game went on we got sloppier and sloppier," said Julien.

Clearly, Julien and his coaching staff had already begun the process of figuring out how to overcome those issues -- and it sounds as if certain Bruins may have a rude awakening when the club meets again on Sunday.

"There’s times during the season that you’ve got to kind of convince your guys to start doing the dirty work again," continued Julien. "Maybe things have been too good for us and maybe its time we got our nose dirty again."

Julien was pressed for more details, but the B's head coach shot down that request.

"I can’t tell you more than I just said," said Julien. "I’m going to repeat myself… We had energy, we didn’t get to the inside, we don’t want to get our noses dirty, and its as simple as that.

"I can stand here all night trying to look for other things to tell you, but its as simple as that."
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