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Game Day: Bruins @ Pittsburgh

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
0:00 - Pittsburgh wins.

22.1 - Wheeler and Talbot are tangled up. Talbot to the box.

33.0 - Two of the B's shots hit the side of the Pens goal.

56.2 - Empty net goal by Stahl. Wow.

1:41 - A shot on goal. Save Garon. Shoving between Lucic and Gill.

4:49 - Another stoppage after another near miss.

5:54 - Wheeler hit the post.

7:34 - Stoppage.

9:00 - Malkin sweeps in, shot on goal, save Thomas.

10:31 - Sykora beats Thomas, just seconds after a decent PK. It's 5-4.

12:44 - Montador is in the box.

12:54 - Ooooh look out Bitzy-Cat!

14:12 - Save Thomas...

14:27 - Axelsson took down Malkin. Penalty.

17:06 - It's Ryder's turn. He spun around in the left circle and fired over Garon's shoulder to tie the game. It's 4-4.

17:31 - Sykora is in the box.

17:49 - Another shot on Thomas, but Tim has recovered and makes the stop.

18:59 - Kunitz gets his third. And two goals in 16-seconds. Wow. Not good at all.

19:17 - Gonchar scores. Yuck. Lots of traffic in front of Tim and the puck is in. The review confirms it. Give it to Kunitz.

19:28 - Wheeler goes to the box for a holding penalty.

20:00 - The Third.
0:00 - And again! But the B's take a 3-2 lead to the second break. A much better period for the Bruins.

20.6 - Ryder made Garon work for a big butterfly save.

1:56 - Stuart creams Dupuis...

4:01 - Wheeler clears the B's zone on the PK.

5:23 - Krejci to the box. Tripping. A big kill...

5:54 - Thomas with the save and he hangs on for another draw.

6:00 - Puck out of play. Faceoff in the B's end.

9:29 - Wheeler with a shortie! He worked his rear end off and was in the right spot for a beaut of a pass from Krejci. That's his 18th of the season and it puts Boston back on top.

9:44 - Thomas save on Malkin, who was on the dot to the right of the B's goal.

10:01 - Bergeron with a PK block...

10:20 - Ward going to the box. Hooking. The B's do not agree.

11:06 - Krejci, still snakebit, nearly scores -- again. Cooke got out of the box and swept the puck away.

13:17 - Cooke to the box. Boston on the PP.

14:55 - Kobasew puts another one on Garon, who turned the bid away.

15:41 - What a save by Thomas. A shot from Dupuis was labeled for the top shelf and Timmy said, "Nooooooooooo."

18:33 - Thomas just did his best polar bear rolling on snow imitation...but somehow got a save in the process.

20:00 - Second Period.
0:00 - That was too much. It's 2-2 after one and the afterburners were on for most of the period.

1:17 - Krejci shoots, Garon stops it.

3:43 - Kunitz scores. And TIMMY IS MAD. He thought that the penalty call was a bad one. Pitt scores on the five-on-three PP and the score is tied, 2-2.

4:05 - Montador is in the box for a rough.

4:33 - Thomas robs Guerin. Going from left to right, Timmy gobbled it up and didn't allow a rebound.

5:03 - Outstanding work by Wheeler, who forechecked on the PK and garnered the B's a scoring opportunity.

5:53 - Wideman is in the box for slashing.

6:46 - Thomas stops Letang.

9:44 - Kessel scores! What a great feed from Wheeler, who was falling, and found Phil behind him. Kess had almost all of the net to shoot for and he buried it. Savard and Crosby had words post-goal.

9:57 - Not a great PP for Boston, but they are pressing, now.

13:42 - Orpik is in the box. Boston is on the PP.

14:00 - Thomas paddles the puck away...

14:20 - A dazzling split save by Garon.

14:50 - Following a near miss by Malkin and some heavy Pitt pressure, Boston is called for icing.

17:28 - I haven't seen that in a looooooooong time. Malkin played the puck while holding a broken stick. Penalty. It's four-on-four for 1:25.

18:03 - Wideman to the box for holding. Uh oh.

18:54 - Give the goal to Recchi. Gorgeous tip off a Mark Stuart shot. It's 1-1.

19:10 - Guerin scores off a nice pass from Crosby. Wow. That was quick. It's 1-0, Pitt.

19:58 - Pittsburgh wins the draw. The B's are in their third jerseys.

20:00 - Start of the First Period. As seen on NESN...

Switching to time on the clock...

2:42 p.m.
Don't remember goalie Mathieu Garon?

Well, I seem to remember a highlight reel save on Glen Murray when the Bruins faced Garon when he was with the Montreal Canadiens (coached, I believe, by Claude Julien, btw).

The 31-year old goalie is 2-1-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .972 save percentage in three games versus Boston.

This season he is 6-9-0 in 17 games and enters the contest with a 3.20 GAA and a .893 sv%.

Garon was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers for Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone and a 2011 fourth round draft choice.

2:37  p.m.
My guess on the lines...

Hunwick, Hnidy, Yelle

2:27 p.m.
Andrew Ference echoed his coach when he talked about the mid-game slowdown, postgame on Saturday.

"I think that we’re starting to remedy certain things in our game, but without a doubt the second period was lacking a little bit of that jump that we started with," said Ference. "Same thing against Ottawa, we started out really well and came out with the right kind of attitude and it slipped a bit so I mean it wasn’t yelling and screaming and trying to motivate, it was just kind of refocusing and really just identifying the problem.

"It’s in our heads that we’ve got to stay focused and not really lose track of what you got to do out there."

2:15 p.m.
There was no morning skate, but the word from Pittsburgh is that Tim Thomas will be in goal and Stephane Yelle will sit out once again.

According to Pittsburgh TV, Garon will be in net for the Penguins.

Yesterday, Thomas talked about reaching the 30-win plateau for the second time.

"I was happy to get there," he said. "Wins come a little slower now than they were at the beginning of the year, but it’s nice to hit another marker.

What's next?

"You just want to finish up strong, just like the team, so that you’re feeling good by yourself heading into the playoffs," he said.

12:33 p.m.

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien was happier with yesterday's effort.

"We had a good start," he said.


"But at the same time, the inability to play that way for a full game continues to be an issue right now," said the B's coach. "Our concentration level, our commitment and all that has to be there for 60 minutes.

"Until we get that, we certainly can’t be satisfied.

"The win certainly does us a lot of good...[but] let’s hope we can build on the positive here and get those 60-minute-type games we’re looking for."

Anything less and the very talented Pittsburgh Penguins will go from prey to predator.

"The fact is, Pittsburgh’s on a pretty good roll right now, and if we want ourselves a good challenge, we’ve got it tomorrow," said Julien. "Both teams [will] have played the day before.  Hopefully, so maybe something like that will bring the sharpness into our game."

Julien talked about his strategy -- mid-game -- for restoring and heightening that concentration on the bench.

"You’ve got to work with it," he said. "I think it’s important, first of all, that you don’t let the guys off the hook.

"But screaming and yelling at them all the time’s not going to make them better and those things sometimes can wear on players, and also, at the same time, can make them nervous."

So its a matter of nudging the club in the right direction.

"Basically, I think [it's about] bringing a reminder behind the bench, telling them, ‘Guys, this part of our game’s starting to slip, let’s pick it up,’ and those kinds of things.

"Right now, I think it’s more of a focus thing from our whole team, to be able to concentrate and commit for 60 minutes, and I don’t think they’ve got themselves in that situation

"This is going to be our big challenge right now...and trying to find that game, that commitment, to do all the things we’ve been working on all year," he said.

That challenge continues in just under two and a half hours.
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