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Game Day: Bruins @ Maple Leafs

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins

Boston 1 0 2 0-4

Toronto 1 2 0 0-3

First Period-1, Toronto, Blake 14 (Stempniak, Moore), 13:58. 2, Boston, Wheeler 14 (Ward, Krejci), 15:14.

Second Period-3, Toronto, Stempniak 8 (Blake, Moore), 4:13 (pp). 4, Toronto, May 1 (Mitchell, Mayers), 14:49.

Third Period-5, Boston, Wideman 9 (Krejci, Ryder), 2:17 (pp). 6, Boston, Chara 11 (Savard, Axelsson), 14:07 (pp).


Shootout-Boston 3 (Wheeler G, Krejci NG, St. Pierre G, Ryder G), Toronto 2 (Stempniak G, Blake G, Kulemin NG).

Shots on Goal-Boston 10-11-8-1-30. Toronto 6-15-8-5-34.

Goalies-Boston, Thomas. Toronto, Toskala. A-19,258 (18,819). T-2:34.

Boston wins shootout. Final score 4-3.
Stempniak beats Thomas.
Wheeler beats Toskala.
Thomas stops Hagman.
Krejci missed the net.
Blake beats Thomas.
St. Pierre beats Toskala.
Thomas stops Kulemin.
Ryder beats Toskala.
Boston wins the shootout!
0:00 - That was scary. We're going to a shootout.

54.0 - Save Thomas, clear Axelsson.

1:40 - OH NO! St. Pierre for tripping. Toronto on a four-on-three PP.

2:00 - Kobasew negates an icing by racing back to touch up...

4:03 - Chara makes Toskala work. No goal. Nice save.

5:00 - Start of Overtime. It's four-on-four in sudden-death OT.
0:00 - End of regulation. We're going to OT.

1:13 - Thomas with a left pad save to keep the score 3-3.

1:43 - Tim made a save on Stajan. Stajan presses Thomas, but Ward is there to shove the Leaf away from Timmy.

3:12 - Hooking on Ryder. Michael does not look happy. It's four-on-four.

3:40 - Ponikarovsky sends it into the stands and he gets a delay of game penalty.

5:53 - Chara came knocking on the back door. He beats Toskala and ties the game 3-3. Shots are 28-26, Boston.

6:33 - Toskala with a save on Wideman.

6:38 - This time it's Kubina going to the box for the Leafs.

9:23 - Some outstanding work by the Krejci line scares the heck out of Toronto but does not garner a goal...

10:39 - Grabovski grabs Axelsson (sorry) and gets a minor. Boston's second PP on the night.

12:38 - Thornton with a long shot that nearly handcuffs Toskala. Nice idea.

14:27 - It looks like Wheeler is determined to win this thing on his own -- he is skating so hard.

17:43 - Wheeler (?) Wideman scores! Dennis threw it on net and somehow the puck found its way through Toskala. It's 3-2, T.O.

19:42 - Toronto is called for a minor. Boston is on the PP for the first time.

20:00 - Start of the Third.
0:00 - Two defensive breakdowns have led to the 3-1 score in Toronto's favor. Boston is 0-6-2 when trailing after two. Ugh.

53.5 - Yelle with a shot that goes just wide.

1:17 - Some pressure by Boston...

5:11 - A defensive breakdown leads to a gorgeous opportunity for the Leafs. May scores and the B's are down 3-1. Ugly.

5:46 - Nokelainen with a point blank shot on Toskala.

7:57 - Boston dumps the puck into the Toronto zone...

11:34 - Toronto has turned on the jets...scary time to be Tim Thomas.

15:47 - As he falls, Kubina Stempniak put a rebound past Thomas. Again, there seems to be a loose guy in blue and white in front of the net. It's 2-1, Leafs.

16:14 - Wheeler in the box for high sticking.

18:45 - Sobotka with terrific drive down the right hand side and he put the puck in the slot, but nobody was home.

20:00 - Start of the Second.
0:00 - A decent period for the Bruins, who seemed to bounce back from their Monday afternoon issues. Shots were 10-6, Boston and the score is tied 1-1.

1:07 - Krejci with a shot, rebound comes out in front of the goal and Ryder is just shy of the bounce.

4:46 - Wheeler tipped an Aaron Ward shot by Toskala. The Krejci line is really working hard and both Wheels and Ryder were right there on the goal line to make life difficult on the leafs.

6:02 - Somebody forgot about (Toronto's) Blake in front of the net. He got a clean pass and scored, cleanly. It's 1-0, Toronto.

6:14 - Sobotka looks pretty comfortable on the first line...

9:04 - Nice kill by the Bruins (and the post).

10:38 - Grabovski hits the post behind Thomas. Phew.

11:32 - Axelsson in the box for hooking.

13:13 - The Krejci line had a nice shift and made things uncomfortable for the Leafs.

15:33 - Wideman blocks Blakes' attempt...he was hobbled, but remained on the ice.

16:25 - Ryder with a shot from the post, Toskala tracks it down.

18:37 - Kobasew with a floater towards Toskala, who makes a circus save.

19:43 - Toronto sends their first attempt into the stands. Faceoff in the Bruins end.

20:00 - Start of the First Period.

Switching to time on the clock...

7:34 p.m.
Tonight's lines...
Sobotka - Savard - Kobasew
Wheeler - Krejci - Ryder
Axelsson - Yelle - Bitz
Nokelainen - St. Pierre - Thornton
Chara - Ward
Hunwick - Wideman
Stuart - Hnidy

7:25 p.m.
Look for the Wheeler - Krejci - Ryder line to be back together.

7:01 p.m.
NESN is reporting that Tim Thomas will face Vesa Toskala between the pipes.

Aaron Ward will play...

5:31 p.m.
The Bruins are in the Air Canada Centre getting ready for the 7:30 p.m. tilt with the Maple Leafs.

Sorry about the lack of updates -- the lack of a true morning skate didn't help -- but we only have to wait until 7:00 or so for news on the lineup.

The Toronto contingent says the weather in Southern Ontario is overcast with some flurries and that the mood on the bus ride over to the ACC was good.

12:46 p.m.
On Wednesday, prior to leaving for Ontario, Marc Savard told the press that he didn't have any answers as to the reason for the third period collapse against the Blues.

"Sometimes games go like that," he said. "We had chances before that, early on, they didn’t go in.

"We just have to get back to working hard."

Like his coach, Savard pointed to last season for inspiration.

"We have to do like we did last year, we have to battle to win games; obviously we played some battling teams, the Islanders and St. Louis," he said. "We have to better in that regard like we were last year.

"It’s tough to flip the switch and get back going the other way...but we have to," said Savard.

In a way, the Islanders and the Blues may have taught the Bruins some valuable lessons.

"We’ve played a lot of hard-working teams," said Savard. "[They] are battling every night.

"Those are the teams that we’ve had trouble with because our battle level has to get back up."

The Bruins hope that they can still switch from the turbo charged sportscar they were in November, to the rugged army jeep they need to be in January.

"You just hope that grinding is still part of your game," said Julien. "We still have to win battles and races, it’s just we probably have to grind it out even more.

"I think that’s what we have to get back to."

12:32 a.m.
With Patrice Bergeron  (and, obviously Marco Sturm and Phil Kessel) being the only player(s) who didn't travel, it was a lightly attended optional skate for the Bruins this morning.

According to the Toronto contingent, Manny Fernandez, Aaron Ward, Matt Lashoff, Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference were the only fellows who took the ice.

9:41 a.m.

Catching up…
The Bruins are in Toronto and will hit the ice for morning skate at 11:30 a.m.

By all accounts yesterday’s practice at Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington was a good way to regroup after a disheartening shootout loss to the Blues on Monday.

After that game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien explained that the club is not the same team that was steamrolling the league before Christmas.

“The reality is right now we can’t be the same team that people have seen since the beginning of the year – not with that many injuries,” said Julien. “I think it’s important that people know that we’ve got to grind it out a little more like we did last year than what you’ve seen at the beginning of this year.

“You face those situations, and that’s called adversity.

“It’s frustrating for everybody; it’s frustrating for the players, frustrating for the fans and people that have seen our team in better situations before,” he said.

Julien expanded those thoughts on Tuesday.

“I think it’s more of a situation where there are parts of our game that have slipped and we just have to work at it,” he said. “Injuries are part of it [but] it’s more than injuries.

“Even our team play hasn’t been up to par as of late and that’s the truth and that’s a fact. 

“I think it’s more about doing those kinds of things that we’ve been doing at the beginning of the year: such as moving the puck up the ice and winning those races and battles,” he said.

During his frank assessment, Julien spoke to some of the things that were hallmarks of the Bruins club late last season and throughout most of the current campaign.

“Lately, when you watch some of those games, we’re not as strong on the puck as we have been,” said Julien. “It’s about the focus you have going into a game.

“Throughout the course of a season, those kinds of things will have a tendency to slip.

“We’re no different than any other team in this league.  We’re going to have our downs…[but] I think what I want to see as a coach is us trying to work our way back up there.  That’s the main thing right now.”

Lucic a no go for Montreal
It looks like the B’s travel party going to Montreal will be one body lighter.

“I think this break coming up, for me I have to take full advantage of it,” said Lucic. “It’s just being safe.

“Obviously it would have been great to be a part of it once again, especially with the 100-year anniversary of the Canadiens.

“But I got to experience it last year and now [Blake] Wheeler can have fun at that game this year,” he said.

More in a bit. JB
Media Relations intern Tim Miller contributed to today's Bear Essentials and provided extensive coverage of practice on Jan. 20th
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