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Game Day: Hurricanes vs. Bruins

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.
Carolina 1 0 1-2

Boston 0 1 3-4

First Period-1, Carolina, Pitkanen 3 (Brind'Amour, Corvo), 4:50 (pp).

Second Period-2, Boston, Savard 10 (Kessel, Lucic), 7:06.

Third Period-3, Boston, Krejci 12 (Sobotka, Hnidy), 3:54. 4, Boston, Thornton 2, 11:54. 5, Carolina, Whitney 11 (Brind'Amour, Walker), 15:24. 6, Boston, Yelle 5 (Axelsson), 19:57 (en).

Shots on Goal-Carolina 13-9-12-34. Boston 9-12-15-36.

Goalies-Carolina, C.Ward. Boston, Fernandez. A-17,565 (17,565). T-2:23.
10:00 p.m.
The B's have landed in St. Louis and are resting up for tomorrow's tilt with the Blues. But before the club left, head coach Claude Julien spoke to the media about Patrice Bergeron...

Head Coach Claude Julien
On the status of Patrice Bergeron
I don’t know.  The doctors have been looking at it.  They have not given us any indication as far as the severity of it.  I think everyone saw that it was a collision at center ice.  Obviously he went down a little dazed.  I talked to the doctors after the period, and still right now we are not able to give you a verdict.  So that is all I can tell you guys about that situation.

On if Bergeron was taken to the hospital…
I know he was here after the second period.  I don’t know what they have done with him since.  I have been in my office. I know Dr. [Peter] Asnis (Head Team Physician) was looking at him and that’s all I can tell you right now...I went to see him after the second period.  He said he got dinged pretty good.

On if Bergeron was alert when he spoke to him between periods…
The worst thing to do is to try to think of what is happening there.  I try not to think too much about it and wait for the trainers to go and say, for example, if it’s a stiff neck, or a shoulder, or whatever.  I saw him move his feet a little bit and saw him try to get up.  It obviously wasn’t anything near what happened to him last year.  He was up and again I went into the trainer’s room for a couple of minutes and let the doctors to continue to do their job.  He knew the score and everything else.

Look for an update on as soon as one is given by the organization. JB

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled center Martin St. Pierre from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) and placed forward Marco Sturm on long-term injured reserve.

St. Pierre will join the team after the Bruins’ Saturday matinee against the Hurricanes and travel with the club on their upcoming road trip to St. Louis and New Jersey. Sturm, meanwhile, is out indefinitely due to injury.

The leading scorer for the P-Bruins this season and second leading scorer in the AHL, St. Pierre has recorded a 10-25-35 line in 30 games. His 25 assists lead the team and his 10 goals rank tied for second. This is St. Pierre’s first recall to Boston this season...

0:00 - That's 13-straight wins at home for Boston. More in a bit...

2.2 - Yelle takes a pass from Axelsson for an empty net goal. It's 4-1, Boston.

13.4 - Time out Carolina.

54.0 - Ward leaves his goal. Carolina has an extra attacker.

1:56 - Good penalty kill for the Bruins...

3:25 - A shorthanded bid for Axelsson, who forced Ward to make a butterfly save.

4:02 - Thornton is going to the penalty box for an elbow and he does not like it.

4:36 - Fernandez stops one shot, but Whitney gathered the rebound and stuffed it by the goalie. It's 3-2, Boston.

5:47 - Axelsson blocked a shot and looked like he was struggling...

8:06 - That's what the building needed. Shawn Thornton works hard, goes to the font, shoots and scores over the right shoulder of Ward.

9:08 - Ward stops Kessel...

11:55 - A big shot from the point for Chara. Ward snagged it.

16:06 - Sobotka grabbed the puck insude the circle, waited, and backhand dished to his good friend David Krejci who was waiting on the doorstep. Goal! 2-1, Boston. The sold out Garden roars...

17:33 - Ward's turn. This has turned into quite a goaltending duel.

19:01 - Manny has already had to make two saves. Boston needs to bring that intensity back up and quick.

20:00 - Start of the Third.
0:00 - The Bruins played better in that period, and if not for Bergeron leaving the playing surface shaken up, it was a much better session.

6.9 - Samsonov hit the post.

1:09 - Another questionable icing call on the Bruins...

2:57 - Wheeler "outchases" the Carolina defenseman to grab a would-be icing and dish to Ryder. But Ryder's shot is gloved down by Ward.

4:42 - A right pad save by Fernandez. Very tough, but Boston recovers and heads back down the ice.

5:33 - With a lack of choices, Kobasew crossed the blueline and just put a shot on goal. Ward snared it and held on.

5:55 - Boston has continued to hold sway (or at least keep the momentum). But a questionable icing call halts play...

8:20 - Sobotka makes a bid for a goal, but wasn't able to get a stick on a shot from the point. Ward covered up.

9:08 - Obviously, play continues. Kessel had a bid for a goal and was stoned by Ward, who is having an outstanding game.

11:23 - A collision. Bergeron is down. Scary moment.  They are bringing the B's doctor onto the ice. Patrice is moving his legs. He's getting up. Koabsew and Savard helped him part of the way and he made it down the hallway on his own.

We'll give an update ASAP.

12:54 - Marc Savard showed a lot of patience and waited Ward down and then flipped it over his outstretched right leg. Nice, nice goal. It's 1-1. Kessel got an assist -- That's his 17th game in a row with a point.

13:06 - Boston had some troubles clearing the zone, but the puck squirted to Fernandez, who hung on for a faceoff.

14:14 - Milan Lucic retrieved a puck near the Carolina goal line, in the corner, and fed to Savard, who forced Ward to make another save.

15:11 - Boston has carried the play, but just has two shots to speak of...

18:42 - Kessel had a goal disallowed...high stick.

19:22 - Another near miss for the Bergeron line. This time it was Kobasew who was stopped by Ward's padding.

19:56 - Carolina won the draw.

20:00 - Beginning of the Second. The B's enter the game with a 4-2-2 record when trailing after  one period.
0:00 - End of the first. Not Boston's best period of the season, but far from their worst. The damage was minimal. Carolina leads, 1-0. And they lead in shots, 13-9.

Bruins lead in hits, 10-2.

54.2 - Someone in the crowd just yelled, "Let's go!"

It's been a sleepy period.

2:52 - Manny had to make two more stops. The B's can't get out of their own way -- literally. Kessel and Lucic collided about a minute ago.

5:13 - Cam Ward stops a Chara shot from the point. Shots are 9-7, Carolina.

7:18 - Finally a break. Kaberle in the box for Carolina -- hooking. He stopped Ryder from having a clear shot a the Hurricanes goal.

8:50 - Axelsson hit the post. Bergeron had grabbed the puck after a Carolina clearing attempt hit an official and Cam back to the center. Bergy dished to Axelsson. Axie had Ward beat, shot, and hit the crossbar.

10:06 - Sobotka puts a shot on goal. Shots are 8-2, CAR.

13:51 - Manny just needed to make three more saves (shots are 6-0, CAR). Boston needs to get things going in the other direction or this is going to be a very long afternoon...

Lashoff for hooking is not going to help.

15:10 - Pitkanen scores (rather easily) as Carolina was able to get the Bruins back on their heels and make Manny move left to right. He didn't quite make it and the score is 1-0, Carolina.

15:55 - Fernandez first save on the first shot of the game is a tough one -- he paddled it away.

16:23 - Lucic for interference. Milan was questioning the call on the way to the box.

16:26 - Icing Carolina. It's a snooozah so far.

17:07 - A nice hit by Thornton got some applause.

18:05 - Wow. The Garden is quiet. Maybe everyone still needs to wake up...

19:59 - Boston wins the faceoff.

20:00 - Start of First Period.

Boston starters:
Axelsson, Bergeron, Kobasew, Chara, Stuart, Fernandez
Carolina starters:
Samsonov, Staal, Ruutu, Seidenberg, Pitkanen, Ward

Switching to time on the clock...

12:39 p.m.
The lines looked like...
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Bergeron - Kobasew
Wheeler - Krejci - Ryder
Thornton - Yelle - Sobotka
Chara - Stuart
Hunwick - Wideman
Lashoff - Hnidy

Nokelainen, Sturm, A. Ward

12:29 p.m.
Cam Ward and Manny Fernandez led their respective teams out of the locker room.

Boston is in their third jerseys. Carolina is in their normal away whites...

12:08 p.m.
More from Coach...
As far as Marco Sturm is concerned, there is no real news as of yet.

"I think we might be able to get a little bit more information this afternoon," said Julien, before he added that the club did not plan on bringing any of the club's wounded on the pre-Christmas trip.

"Right now we're probably go with what we've got," said Coach Julien. "I think we may be bringing a guy up and that's something that Peter [Chiarelli] and I discussed yesterday and he's going to make his decision today and I think that's something he hasn't addressed with me yet.

"But if we do we'll have a player on the road with us."

One reporter asked what tweaking the club had done this week.

"Hopefully, if we can cut down on our goals against that we gave up last game and at the same time," said Julien. "Well basically, we [worked on] some of our neutral zone counters to see if we cant move the puck quick through the neutral zone.

"We're closer."

Julien also spoke about some of the issues that the Holidays create in terms of distraction.

"Well, its always hard," he said. "And I guess sometimes, as much as I'm sure our better-halfs don't like [being on the road] takes away a little bit from distractions and you're able to focus on the games.

"That's one thing that we've got going here in the next few games after today and hopefully we'll finish off strongly before the Christmas break and be able to enjoy that.

"[The Holiday season is] a distraction at times but it's a distraction for everybody and I think the team we're playing against is going through the same thing," he said.

As far as his goaltending decisions are concerned, Julien was not giving any hints.

"Well, I haven't changed my thought process on that," he said. "Since day one...I've talked about having two good goaltenders and then just going game-by-game.

"I think I'll make my decision for tomorrow based on tonight's game and it could be either.

"I don't want to change my thought process [because] its worked well so far and that's the way I like to see things because it just avoids you from changing your mind," said Julien.

11:36 a.m.
Press Box Notes

The Bruins enter tonight’s matchup winners of their last 12 at home (12-1-1 at home this season).  During these 12 games, the B’s have averaged 5.25 goals per contest and have outscored their opponents 63-28. Their last loss at home came on October 23 against Toronto, the only team to have defeated the Bruins in regulation at the TD Banknorth Garden this season.

Other stories...
  • This win streak is their longest such stretch since a 16-game home win streak from January 10 – March 25, 1976. It is the longest home winning streak in the league this season and is the fifth longest in team history behind streaks of 20, 19, 16 and 15 games.
  • Phil Kessel has a career best 16-game point streak in progress with 14-11-25 totals over that span. Kessel’s streak is the longest of its kind in the NHL this season.
  • Other notable active streaks for the Bruins include: Milan Lucic, who has a five game point streak in progress with 3-2-5 totals over that span and Michael Ryder who has a three-game goal streak with four goals in his last three games.
  • After today’s game against the Hurricanes, the Bruins will play their next five games on the road and not return back to the Garden until New Year’s Day. The Bruins will play the Blues in St. Louis on 12/21, the Devils in New Jersey on 12/23, the Hurricanes in Carolina on 12/27 the Thrashers in Atlanta on 12/28 and finally the Penguins in Pittsburgh on 12/30.
  • Carolina has captured points in their last six contests, going 3-0-3. The Canes are coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over Florida on Thursday night.
  • Today’s game is the first of a four game road trip for the Hurricanes. They play at Montreal tomorrow, at Minnesota on Tuesday and at Atlanta on Friday.
  • Center Rod Brind’Amour has assists in his last five games, posting 0-5-5 totals during this streak.

Referee Change
Please note that due to travel problems, Paul Devorski (#10) will replace Justin St. Pierre (#45) as one of the referees today.

11:29 a.m.
What a crazy life…

The Bruins are in the building (and I saw Carolina, too), so no worries about any sort of issues with the weather (10+ inches of blowing, drifting snow over the last 24-hours).

But, I’ll tell you this, getting to the airport for the flight postgame may be another story...

Head coach Claude Julien spoke at 10:50 a.m. and said that the injury situation was status quo, with the exception of Marco Sturm who now has a lower-body issue to deal with. He is out, and will join Petteri Nokelainen (upper body), Aaron Ward (lower body) and Andrew Ference (tibia) in the press box.

No word as of yet on the goalies. Logic would point to two possible scenarios (I know, duh):
a.)    Play Manny Fernandez  -- it’s his turn.
b.)    Play Tim Thomas – get back on the horse.

My bet: Manny Fernandez as he was so sharp in his one period on Thursday, and even earned Toronto head coach Ron Wilson’s praise for being the difference maker in the game.
--- intern Angela Latona contributed to today's Bear Essentials.
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