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Game Day: Bruins @ Rangers

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
0:00 - Rangers win, 4-3.

4.4 - Faceoff to the right of the Ranger goal.

23.0 - Chara shoots and Lundqvist saves. Boston has six men on the ice.

Internet troubles...

4:46 - Bergeron shot, blockered away by Lundqvist.

6:22 - Zherdev scores. The puck was dumped in and caromed off the end boards and Zherdev had an open net to shoot at. It's 4-3.

7:14 - Faceoff in New York end...

11:25  - Henrik's turn. Recchi is robby by Lundqvist.

12:08 - Manny with an elbow save.

12:36 - Fernandez stops Zherdev...

14:22 - Stuart made Lundqvist work for his latest. Stuey unleased a bomb and Henrik had to make a nice glove save.

16:13 - Wow, that was easy. Michael Ryder picked the puck up all alone in the faceoff circle to Lunqvist's right and beat the netminder to tie the game at three all. Shots are 24-20, NYR.

16:45 - Manny got slammed in the crease, but held on to the puck for a faceoff.

17:48 - Chara got the puck along on the blueline and fired. Give a phantom assist to Bitz who had Mara tied up down low and may have distracted Lundqvist. Ward and Axelsson got the actual helpers.

18:55 - Manny is reacting like he is a little hurt. Hmmm. Kobasew is in the box for hooking.

20:00 - Start of the Third.
0:00 - Give the Rangers credit. They are working very hard.

2.8 - Girardi caught someone high and the Bruins will have a power play thanks to a double minor for high sticking.

45.9 - That was random (and a bit disconcerting). Drury didn't like a hit given by Krejci and tried to pick a fight, but Krech wrestled him to the ground before anything happened.

2:23 - Lundqvist headed the puck away (soccer style).

3:34 - Give that goal to Ryan Callahan. Fernandz thought he had the puck in his equipment. He did not and the puck crossed the goal line. That makes it 3-1, NYR. Avery got an assist.

6:13 - This shot by Gomez handcuffed Manny, but he held the puck to his chesk and waited for the whistle.

7:48 - Gomez scores. He beat Manny on the shortside between the post and the skate -- very similar to Krejci's goal versus Huet.

7:57 - Wideman tripped and fell on the puck near the endboards in the Bruins end. Faceoff in the Boston zone.

8:11 - Another save by Fernandez. Shots are now 15-10, NYR.

8:47 - Aaron Ward's stick snapped on a slap shot and there was a breakaway the other way. Marc Savard got a penalty for hooking on the play.

9:47 - Another big save for Fernandes, who caught this one in his stomach padding.

11:42 - Wow. Terrific glove save for Fernandez...

11:52 - Ward to the box for hooking.

12:12 - Lucic and Avery went to the ice in a heap. Nothing came of it besides an "Avery, Avery, Avery" chant.

14:56 - A fight. Orr vs. Thornton. It looked as if, after both men landed heavy blows, something went wrong and the officials broke up the bout.

14:59 - Kobasew takes it all the way from the center ice dot and beat Lundqvist on the breakaway. It's 1-1. A very, very nice goal.

15:52 - Icing New York. Some words between some Bruins and Avery (of course).

16:59 - That was coming. Give the goal to Antropov, but the Rangers had done a good job of keeping the Bruins backed up into their own zone. That was Antropov's first as a Ranger.

17:56 - Lundqvist with a big save to keep the score knotted at 0-0.

18:50 - New York has kept Boston busy, thus far. The B's are having trouble getting out of their own end.

20:00 - Start of the Second.
0:00 - A very intense first period. A good period for both teams.

1:27 - Icing Boston. A very, very even game thus far. Shots are 7-7.

4:36 - That pressure continues. The B's now lead in shots, 6-7.

5:50 - Boston tested Lundqvist three times during their best pressure of the day.

6:21 - A near miss for Drury turned into a long drive from the point, which Manny caught high up in his chest and held on...

8:48 - Lundqvist pounced on a puck near his right post. The next faceoff will be in the Ranger end of the ice.

10:28 - Ward hit the side of the goal on the latest Bruins attempt. Shots are 4-3, NYR.

12:26 - Bergeron missed on a shorthanded (partial) breakaway.

12:47 - Another nice save by Fernandez...

14:09 - Chara is in the box for interference and Avery tried to send the other four B's, too.

15:14 - And the Bruins ice the puck.

15:27 - Manny had to make a tough first save...

16:39 - Avery missed his first two checks on his return to MSG. The crowd loves him, though and they chanted his name.

17:29 - Important kill for New York.

19:49 - Marc Savard is held on the way to the net (Drury). Boston gets an early PP.

20:00 - Start of the First.

Boston Starters:
Ference, Wideman, Lucic, Savard, Kessel, Fernandez
New York Starters:  Girardi, Staal, Antropov, Drury, Dubinsky, Lunquvist

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

12:28 p.m.
"We'll have Bitzy [Byron Bitz] in there," said head coach Claude Julien when asked what his strategy for dealing with the absence of center Stephane Yelle. "Bitzy's a centerman -- he played there in school and he played there most of last year [in Providence] -- so he's a guy who can be slotted in there.

"If we see that it's not a good transition for him, I think a versatile guy."

12:07 p.m.
It's Manny Fernandez in goal for Boston...

Scratches (thus far):
Yelle, Hunwick, Montador

10:46 a.m.
More on Recchi...
Coach Julien weighed in on his newest forward:
"Certainly in tight around the net he’s extremely good; he always has been, at tipping pucks.  Last game it was a crossbar, tonight it was two goals.  Ending in tight he’s very good at.  He’s a guy who’s a pretty good veteran in this league and still doesn’t mind going into what we call the 'dirty areas'.  Hopefully he set a good example for everyone else."

10:34 a.m.
The B's are in Madison Square Garden preparing for their 12:30 start versus New York.

9:36 a.m.
After several postgame sessions trying to explain the recent woes of the Bruins, on Saturday Aaron Ward returned to the stump to proclaim the relative virtues of his club.

"We played better," said the defenseman. "The difference is [that] we played with emotion.  We played with a grit.  We got [the puck] in, we played simple.

"It’s all those things I wish I could've told you after those games we lost.

"We were helping ourselves out there which is a key to us being that successful," he said.

And the victory came under tough circumstances.

"We knew what we had in front of us with Chicago," said Ward. "They’re on a roll.  They’re a young team.  They play very similarly to the teams we’ve lost to recently: high paced, quick on the fore check, and high tempo teams.

"We just managed to match their intensity and we helped ourselves...with where we placed pucks, where we were for teammates in our zone and in the neutral zone.

"And again we had some great performances by Timmy Thomas," he said.

Ward also said that an influx of veteran blood helps, too.

"Recchi reinforces the fact that you can be really, really old and still play the game," said a chuckling Ward of his friend and new/old teammate Mark Recchi.  "No, sometimes, lessons learned over your career really come back to help you and I played with him in Carolina and I was excited for the fact that you know, when you play with a player day in and day out, what his intangibles are. 

"He possesses those abilities to get pucks in tight and in front of the net.  He gets in hard to get to places.

"I’m a defensemen who played against him in Tampa: he’s tough to play against," he said.

Ward talked about Recchi's nickname -- a moniker that seems to fit right in with the Black & Gold.

"They call him “The Wrecking Ball” because he gets his rear end in there, and gets his body in a position where he’s still getting an opportunity off a rebound or tip or something," said Ward. "He gets dirty goals; he gets gritty positions and gets those tough to get goals.

"That’s not skill, that’s part of your personality."

8:23 a.m.
Stephane Yelle's Status
After Saturday's game, Coach Julien described center Stephane Yelle's status as "probably doubtful."

"As you saw, he took a bad fall there, and banged himself in the boards...he’s for sure ‘out’ [Saturday], and I don’t know what’s going to happen as far as Monday," said Julien. "I mean he’s going to be day-to-day and he’s going to be reevaluated, but for sure tomorrow he’s not playing.

"I haven’t even spoken to our trainers as far as if whether he’s going to jump on a plane with us or if he’s just going to meet us in Columbus if he needs to."

7:51 a.m.

"To me, it was definitely a step in the right direction and something to build on," said Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien after the Bruins 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

But there is room to improve.

"I don’t think it was a perfect game," explained Julien. "We still had some moments in the second period where they seemed to take the play to us, and third period, they started putting pressure on us.

"But our guys were determined [and] I really liked the way we came out in the first period -- not just in that we took the lead -- but [it was also] the way we were moving the puck; the determination we were showing," he said.

There was certainly a change in the Bruins since their game versus the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.

"We were sharp in our decision-making," said Julien. "I think you’ve got to remember too that we played a team that’s one of the better teams in the Western Conference.

"This is a young team that’s got a lot of skill, a lot of potential, and is a team that’s well-respected in the West.  It wasn’t going to be an easy game, but that’s probably what we needed, that kind of a challenge."

"I thought we played fairly well, finishing pucks, and being greedy, moving the puck, and putting pucks at the net I thought really gave us some good momentum," said the Bruins coach.

The Bruins will attempt to maintain that momentum today against the Rangers.
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