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Game Day: Bruins @ Predators

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     0 1 1 0-2

Nashville 1 1 0 0-3

First Period-1, Nashville, Legwand 13 (Tootoo, Suter), 14:24.

Second Period-2, Nashville, Legwand 14 (J.Ward), 12:24 (sh). 3, Boston, Wheeler 16 (Krejci, Sobotka), 13:25.

Third Period-4, Boston, Chara 13 (Bergeron, Wideman), 18:44.


Shootout-Boston 1 (Wheeler G, Bergeron NG, Axelsson NG, Kessel NG), Nashville 2 (Fiddler NG, Sullivan NG, Legwand G, Legwand G).

Shots on Goal-Boston 6-10-8-1-25. Nashville 11-6-10-4-31.

Goalies-Boston, Fernandez. Nashville, Rinne. A-17,113 (17,113). T-2:35.
Boston loses shootout. Predators win 3-2.

Nashville Predators right wing Martin Erat (10), of the Czech Republic, scores a goal against Boston Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez in a shootout during an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009. The Predators won 3-2. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Wheeler beats Rinne.
Fiddler hits the post.
Bergeron is stopped by Rinne.
Fernandez stops Sullivan.
Axelsson misses the net.
Erat beats Fernandez.
Rinne stops Kessel.
Legwand beats Fernandez.
0:00 - End of Overtime.

8.2 - Kessel is stopped on a breakaway.

1:27 - Outstanding work by Axelsson kills the remainder of the penalty.

2:51 - Save Fernandez...

3:37 - Hnidy to the box for holding. Timeout Nashville.

4:07 - Stuart slams Arnott.

5:00 - Start of Overtime.
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, of Slovakia, lets out a yell as he falls backwards and teammate David Krejci (46), of the Czech Republic, celebrates after Chara scored the game-tying goal against the Nashville Predators late in the third period in an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009. The goal sent the game into overtime, but the Predators won 3-2 in a shootout. De
0:00 - End of Regulation. We're going to OT.

1:16 - A bold move pays off. Chara scores to tie the game, 2-2. Phew.

1:39 - Yelle was on the doorstep, but Rinne was there to grab a bouncing puck. Fernandez is off the ice.

2:47 - Erat shot, Fernandez save.

2:54 - Icing, Boston.

3:52 - Rinne was handcuffed by a lob. He had to grab the puck clean or Sobotka had a goal.

4:50 - Boston is unable to get set up...

6:50 - Rinne holds on to a Sobotka dirve.

7:22 - A nice shift from the energy line.

9:29 - The B's are having trouble hitting the net...

11:47 - Another terrific save by Fernandez.

12:14 - Krejci on the shorthanded break -- shoots high.

12:45 - Bergeron came within inches of tying this thing up shorthanded.

13:09 - Arnott with another tough shot for Fernandez.

13:14 - Aaron Ward to the box for holding.

14:35 - Fernandez makes a dek hockey save on Sullivan -- paddle down.

15:29 - Mark Stuart goes to the box. Slashing.

16:56 - Icing Boston.

17:25 - Rinne had to flag down another long shot (this time by Lucic)...

18:22 - Nashville icing.

18:32 - A long shot off the end boards is pounced on by Rinne.

19:01 - Stuart pounds Erat...

20:00 - Start of Third.
Boston Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez (35) watches as Nashville Predators forwards Ryan Jones, left, and Martin Erat (10), of the Czech Republic, fight or the puck with Boston Bruins center Marc Savard (91) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
0:00 - Boston really woke up after that shortie. It's 2-1, Nash after 40-minutes.

1:23 - Andrew Ference got called for slashing...

3:19 - Big save by Fernandez who knocks the puck out of the way.

4:06 - Icing Boston.

6:35 - Phew. Sobotka with a good pass to Krejci, who broke his stick on the shot, but Wheeler picked up the trash and put the puck away for his 16th goal. Thank goodness.

7:36 - Shorthanded goal for Nashville. Legwand scored when the B's could not clear and a pass made it to him near the circle to Manny's left. It's 2-0, Nash.

8:15 - Huge save by Fernandez.

9:35 - Erat goes to the bod to give the B's a four-on-three for :59 seconds.

10:09 - Yelle in the box for interference.

10:36 - Bergeron with a very tough shot on Rinne, who kicked it away with the right pad. In the meantim, Krejci drew a penalty from Sullivan.

12:43 - Suter in the box. Another PP for Boston.

13:36 - Jones gets around a Bruin and brings it straight to the net -- Fernandez save. Very quick game...

16:18 - Wideman shot. Rinne save. Nice kill for Nash.

19:07 - Chara drive, Rinne save.

18:22 - Hamhuis to the box for Nash.

19:21 - An uneven start...

20:00 - Start of the Second. Goals please!
Nashville Predators right wing Jordin Tootoo, center, is congratulated by teammates including defenseman Ryan Suter, right, after Tootoo scored against the Boston Bruins during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
0:00 - Nashville is playing very well. It's 1-0, Nashville.

4.2 - Diving sweep check by Savard.

1:05 - Save Fernandez.

1:58 - Wheeler is in the box for interference.

2:50 - Man, these guys are pretty good...

5:36 - Tootoo Legwand didn't miss that time. He turned and fired and beat Fernandez through traffic. It's 1-0, Nash.

6:38 - Lucic had a partial break and he sends it high.

8:12 - Tootoo had a partial break and missed the net.

9:09 -  Bergeron with a nice hit along the boards to kill a Nashville chance.

9:56 - Best shot so far, Kessel with a turnaround bid off a Lucic pass.

12:30 - Manny is very active in his crease and was giving one of the Preds heck...

13:58 - Yelle challenged Rinne.

16:15 - Two big saves for Fernandez right in the blue of the crease.

17:35 - An NHL move by Sobotka leads to a scoring chance by Boston...

18:55 - Bergeron forechecked hard and ended up with a good shot on goal. Save Rinne and he holds on.

19:46 - Nashville controls and gets the puck deep.

20:00 - Start of the First Period. Now just score...

Pekka Rinne, 6'5, 207 lbs. is in goal for Nash.

Let's switch to time on the clock.

7:42 p.m.
It's Manny...
Manny Fernandez was the first man onto the ice for Boston, so he will be in goal.

The Nashville contingent says the lineup appears to be the same as last night.

A decent guess at the lines...
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Bergeron - Karsums
Sobotka - Krejci - Wheeler
Thornton - Yelle - Bitz
Chara - Ward
Ference - Wideman
Stuart - Hnidy

Hunwick, Ryder, Nokelainen

4:02 p.m.

Murray & Marchand's Angela Latona headed out to Providence last night and, even though the P-Bruins fell 5-1 to San Antonio, members of the B's AHL club were pleased to talk about sending their best to Boston to contribute to the B's spectacular season. JB
Providence Bruins head coach Rob Murray loses a lot of good men to Boston. And that’s the way he wants to keep it.

“We want them to go up and we don’t want them to come back,” Murray said after Friday night’s 5-1 loss to the San Antonio Rampage. “I’ve always felt that its an opportunity for somebody else to step up.”

The most recent transactions between the P-Bruins and their parent club, the Boston Bruins, have been the emergency recalls of forwards Martin Karsums and Vladimir Sobotka on Feb. 12. To be sure, a good portion of the Providence bench can say that they have been shipping up to Boston, with about eight of the AHL’s elite dressing in Black & Gold this season.

“We have a lot of depth,” said Providence forward Brad Marchand. “It’s happened a few times this year where a lot of guys get called up and…guys step up and have big games when that happens.”

“Just like any other organization, somebody gets called up so the ice time trickles down to other players who might not see that opportunity if our full roster was here,” Murray said.

Marchand, who was just named Reebok Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month for January, could very well be that next breakout star. Tallying 11 goals and 23 assists in 52 games for Providence this season, the 20-year-old from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is already well on his way.

“It was nice to get it [Rookie of the Month] –– really shows the depth of our team when a player gets an award,” the right winger said. “Its not one guy, its how everyone connects and how everyone’s playing at that time, so I was just fortunate to get the bounces. I’m very happy to get that award. It’s very meaningful.”

Marchand played junior hockey for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) from 2004-05 to 2007-08, where he led that league with 80 points in 57 games played. He collected a gold with Team Canada for the Under-20 World Junior Competition, registering two goals in seven contests and was drafted by Boston in the third round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (71st overall).

And the success has only bled over into his professional career. During his first game with Providence, he took home an assist and, just four games later, found the back of the net to propel the Bruins over the Portland Pirates 4-1.

The Pirates gave him his first AHL goal, and the Pirates are next up on Marchand’s radar, as the men of Providence travel to Maine.

“We’re always up for those games so I really look forward to that. I know all the boys are [too],” he said. “Wanna regroup [from Friday nights loss] and really have a strong performance.”

The back-to-back games for Providence will be followed up with a third, the second game at home in three days, as the Bruins face the Manitoba Moose Sunday afternoon.

“We gotta make sure we get those two points; [Manitoba is] one of the top teams of the league, so its going to be a big test for us.”

1:05 p.m.
Only four guys were on the ice for pregame skate.

Martins Karsums, Vladimir Sobotka, Matt Hunwick and Manny Fernandez were on the ice for Boston.

Reports are good about last night's landing, which was deemed "smooth" after a rocky flight to Newark on Thursday.

The weather in Nashville is overcast with drizzle, but the mood in the room is described as focused.

12:42 p.m.

New Jersey Devils goaltender Scott Clemmensen reacts to the fans as he is named the star of the game after shutting out the Boston Bruins 1-0 in an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 13, 2009 in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Clearly, there is no need to panic. However, the B's do face the possibility of losing a fourth (gasp!) game in a row after dropping just their 10th game in regulation.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien couldn't seem to conjure up a lather when he spoke to NESN's Naoko Funayama postgame, but for those of us who are with him everyday, it was obvious that the frustration was boiling just under the surface.

"I don't know," said Julien, who searched for answers to the B's power outage. "I think we played well enough to win this game and we shouldn't be hanging our heads after this loss."

No, one bouncing puck does not a slump make, but unfortunately, that's what it looks like on paper. And that's particularly so because the bad bounces have come in three straight games.

"I had plenty of time," said Tim Thomas to the Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa. "I turned my stick to put [the puck] in the corner, but I moved it too fast and just didn't get my stick on it. The easiest shot of the night, one of those that kind of lulls you to sleep . . . all of a sudden, it was just so soft."

That shot came off a faceoff loss by, arguably, the B's best player on the night -- Patrice Bergeron (25-shifts, 17:54 and seven shots).

“[Madden] won it clean," Bergeron told Matt Kalman of "You’ve got to try to tie him up. I wasn’t able to do it and that’s it."

New Jersey Devils' Bryce Salvadore, right, controls the puck as Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron attempts to squeeze between Devils' Brendan Shanahan, left, and goaltender Scott Clemmensen (35) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 13, 2009 in Newark, N.J. The Devils beat the Bruins 1-0. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Like Thomas, Bergeron seemed to have shouldered much of the blame for the loss as he complimented the play of his team.

“The way we showed up today is the way we’ve got to play, the way we’ve got to win," explained Bergeron to Kalman."It’s the way we’ve been winning games."

Neither man deserves to have the finger pointed at them.

"We just couldn't finish," said Julien to NESN. "Everything else just seemed to go well. We moved the puck well and we had them bottled up in their own end for quite a while -- we had our chances and we just have to work a little harder, maybe, at finishing.

"Other than that, I thought our team deserved better."

In an ironic twist, Thomas and the Bruins may have been out-Timmied by 31-year-old Scott Clemmensen. The former Boston College standout, stood on his head to continue the incredible hot streak he's been on since the Devils lost future Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur to injury in November.

"He played well," said Julien to Funayama, in an echo of comments usually reserved for his own goalie. "When you stop all these shots you have to give him credit.

"I think he was very good for them tonight."

But Julien refused to yield.

"For our part, I thought we were even better."

The B's have a chance to reestablish their dominance tonight against the Nashville Predators.

Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m. on NESN and WBZ Newsradio. I'll have the in-game blog kicking at 7:30 p.m. JB
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