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Game Day: Islanders @ Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
0:00 - Ryder had a late bid for the hat trick, but the final is 7-2. Boston wins their eigth straight at home. They'll be back here tomorrow, waiting for the Red Wings, who play tonight.

2:33 - Kessel scores. He was late on a play between Savard and Lucic. He just shot from the slot and buried it. 7-2. MacDonald is out.

4:28 - Ryder scores. A mirror image of his other goal. Beautiful! 6-2, Boston.

4:40 - Manny had to stop both Patrice and the puck from going in. Pretty funny.

4:52 - MacDonald stops Axelsson.

5:51 - Islanders penalty.

8:37 - Park scores. Boston remains in the lead, 5-2.

10:09 - Savard in the box for high sticking.

10:28 - Now its Hnidy vs. Jackman. Hnidy on points.

10:50 - Wow. Wideman scores. And Luch beats up Witt. Wow. 5-1, Boston. What a period.

12:01 - Hunter, slashing.

12:32 - The sold out Garden was rocking to the Beatles' "Shake It Up Baby."

13:02 - This time it's Krejci who fought his way to the net and finessed the puck by Joey. 4-1, Boston.That's more like it.

13:12 - Wheeler, who waited for the always-patient Krejci, put the over MacDonald. 3-1, Boston.

13:27 - Fernandez foiled Guerin on a breakaway.

14:25 - Not much flow here in the third...

16:57 - Wideman with a hard shot. Save MacDonald.

17:41 - Lucic finally tests MacDonald.

18:06 - New York has had the puck in the B's zone for all of the period, thus far.

19:58 - The Isles controlled the faceoff.

New York Islanders' Sean Bergenheim (20) plays with 2 sticks against Boston Bruins' P.J. Axelsson, left, as Bruins' Patrice Bergeron watches in the background during second period action, Friday, Nov. 28, 2008 in Boston. Bruins' Aaron Ward, back right, reacts, after Islanders' Bergenheim took his stick. Bruins won 7-2. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
20:00 - Third period. Boston is 10-0-2 when leading after two periods. B's start off shorthanded with the remainder of the Bergeron penalty.
0.0 - Manny made one more save at the horn. A better period for Boston, but clearly not their best. Shots are 24 - 18, Boston.

15.1 - Save Fernandez.

25.4 - Begeron to the box for hooking.

51.1 - Another icing for New York, who are back on their heels.

2:04 - Isles icing.

4:44 - Ryder was in the right spot at the right time. A snap shot from inside the circle to MacDonald's left. It beat the Isle's goalie clean and put the B's up 2-1.

5:07 - Lucic went flying and landed front first on the ice after another pile up in front of MacDonald. The big man was clearly angry about the circumstance and for sure looked for a jersey number.

7:01 - Chara with another huge save, this time on Chara who was just off his left post.

7:17 - Tambellini in the box for high sticking.

8:21 - MacDonald bobbled a slow roller towards his net and nearly scored on himself. The crowd out a collective, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" The replay showed just how close it was...

9:38 - Wheeler just made a backhand pass through his legs to himelf, which gave him enough space to get to the net with a shot that MacDonald just stopped. Very, very nice.

11:40 - Wideman hits the post with another shot from the point. The tide seems to be turning. Shots are 13-13.

12:14 - A shot from Ward at the point, with Nokelainen right in front. MacDonald holds on, but there is some more pushing and shoving.

13:14 - A nice sequence. A very tough stop by Fernandes, Hunwick, who's stick was broken, kicked the puck out of harm's way. Wheeler took th epuck into the Isles zone and shot high.

Boston looks a bit more awake this period...

14:29 - Save Fernandez, through traffic.

15:25 - High sticking, Hnidy.

16:32- This time Kobasew beats MacDonald, although it took a big pile up and a chop or two. We're tied, 1-1.

17:11 - Tambellini in the box for a trip. The break the B's need?

18:23 - MacDonald robs Kobasew with a sitting split save.

18:52 - Islanders icing.

19:55 - Islanders control the faceoff.

20:00 - Start of the second. I would look for some heavy physical play from the B's, early.
0:00 - Boston can't be thrilled with a sub-par period, but maybe it is just a turkey hangover.

Thankfully, there are 40 more minutes to go. Shots ended up 9-7, NYI.

12.1 - Icing Boston.

1:27 - The second half of the period has been much better for Boston. Kessel just had another glorious chance.

2:55 - This time it's Jackman who goes down hard after a Lucic hit in the corner. No call, but the Isles were not happy, particularly after Jackman stayed down for a bit.

4:57 - Lucic came out of the parking lot to hit Jeremy Colliton. Luch as 92 hits this year, the most in the NHL.

6:55 - This time it's Axelsson who just misses on a drive off a gorgeous pass from Aaron Ward.

8:10 - A kid on GardenHDX just showed off a sign that read, "My First Bruins Game." He got a nice round of applause.

8:37 - A good shift of work by Savard and Co. I can't overstate how impressed I am with Phil Kessel, who has added a bit of snarl to his game.

11:12 - Another Fernandez save and some more pushing and shoving. Shots are 7-4, NYI.

11:55 - Bill Guerin and Zdeon Chara are in the middle of some shoving in front of Fernandez, who had just held on for a faceoff. New York's Bergenheim and Chara go to the box -- no doubt for roughing. Cross checking.

12:06- Save MacDonald -- the Bergeron line has been Boston's best, thus far.

12:43 - Thompson was looking for another one, but the puck fluttered on him and he did not get the shot away.

14:45 - Milan Lucic just missed on a Savard feed to #17 in the slot.

16:27 - Save Fernandez.

18:15 - In a goal that was eerily similar to the goal Tim Thomas gave up on Wednesday, old friend Nate Thompson beat Manny over his left shoulder. 1-0, NYI.

18:57 - Ward, from the point, did the same.

19:01 - Bergeron, with a tip in off a Kobasew feed, made MacDonald work pretty hard for his first save.

19:56 - NYI wins the faceoff, but Nokelainen skates  into the zone and controls the puck

20:00 - First Period. This game is timed perfectly for the Bruins to bounce back from a ho-hum performace against the Sabres. The streaking Islanders should be a formidable opponent.

Watch for Nate Thompson to be on fire to start. The former Bruin was claimed off waivers by the NYI earlier this season.

Starters for Boston: Thornton, Yelle, Nokelainen, Hunwick, Wideman, Fernandez
Starters for NYI: Park, Hilbert, Campoli, Jackman, Meyer, MacDonald

Switching to time on the clock...

11:50 a.m.
Patrice Bergeron walks to the ice in the Bruins new third jersey. (Photo: Babineau)
Coach Julien on the loss in Buffalo
"I didn't like that loss...(and) our players felt the same way. When you start taking losses lightly, because you've won a lot of games in a row, I don't think that is a good sign. They didn't like losing and that was encouraging to see."

11:38 a.m.
The lines...
Lucic - Savard - Kessel
Axelsson - Bergeron - Kobasew
Wheeler - Krejci - Ryder
Thornton - Yelle - Nokelainen
Chara - Ward
Hunwick - Wideman
Stuart - Hnidy


11:28 a.m.
Manny Fernandez and Joey MacDonald led the clubs out of their rooms...The new B's uniforms are very sharp.

Press Box Notes
Today is the Bruins annual Day After Thanksgiving matinee game and the debut of the Bruins new Third Jersey System.  The Bruins will wear the Third Jersey System for 16 games this season (13 home, 3 road). The Bruins are 9-6-1 all-time during their Day-After-Thanksgiving matinee games.  The Day After Thanksgiving matinee has been a Black and Gold tradition since the 1990-1991 season.
  • The Bruins enter tonight’s game winners of their last seven at home (7-1-1 at home this season).
  • Manny Fernandez is expected to start in goal tonight for the Bruins.  Since losing his first start of the season on October 11, Fernandez has compiled a 5-0-1 record.  He is 5-1-1 on the season with a 2.55 goals against average and .910 save percentage.
  • Phil Kessel has a career best seven game point streak in progress with 4-4=8 totals over that span.  Matt Hunwick has a five game point streak in progress with 3-3=6 totals, while Chuck Kobasew and David Krejci have four game point streaks with 2-3=5 totals and 2-4=6 totals respectively.
  • Milan Lucic is playing in his 100th career NHL game today (and 100th with the Bruins).
  • For the Islanders, Bill Guerin has a seven game point streak in progress with 2-7=9 totals over that span.
  • On Thursday, the Islanders assigned forward Mitch Fritz to their American Hockey League affiliate in Bridgeport, while the Bruins assigned defenseman Matt Lashoff to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

11:21 a.m.
One of the media members asked Coach Julien if he felt as if he had a lot to be thankful for this year: "I can't complain, so far..."

On Matt Lashoff being sent down: "Right now our 'D' is healthy and they were playing a couple of home games (in Providence). We want to keep our guys fresh...there's a good chance you are going to see him back up here, again."

10:24 a.m.
Coach Julien was pushed back until 10:50 a.m...

9:42 a.m.
Book Signing on Saturday
Boston Bruins alumni Andy Brickley, Bob Beers and B's team photographer Steve Babineau will be at Booksmith in Coolidge Corner in Brookline at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday!

Andy, Bob and Steve will sign copies of Bab's new book, Black and Gold: Four Decades of the Boston Bruins in Photographs. This is a terrific tome for the Bruins fans in your life, so stop by, pick up a book, get it signed and meet the guys! No memorabilia, please.

Friday, 8:47 a.m.

The Bruins did not skate this morning, however Claude Julien is expected to speak to the media at 10:00 a.m.

If you are just heading out the door to the game, make sure you wear black to today's matinee!

Thursday - Thanksgiving Afternoon Update
The Bruins had a pretty lengthy practice (for a session between games) on Thanksgiving morning. Afterward, however, it seemed like everyone involved was a tad disappointed with the clubs effort versus the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

Sitting in his stall in the Bruins locker room at TD Banknorth Garden, Marc Savard reiterated his postgame statements to NESN to

“Well, the biggest thing is (that) it’s one game, but we don’t want to slide,” he said. “We want to get back to what we were doing well.

“We know, all of us to a man know, it was not our best effort and we have to be ready for this weekend. These are two huge games for us and we have to take care of business on Friday, first.”

Zdeno Chara said, “We need to play the way that we can – with a more desperate attitude, more emotions and, obviously, putting 60-minutes together.

“I don’t think we discovered anything (going into the third), we knew what the gameplan was and what we should do, but for some reason we didn’t do that well in the first 20 or 30-minutes.

“And obviously, Buffalo was playing with a lot of intensity and we didn’t match that,” he said.

Savard agreed, and said that despite the success of his line, with Milan Lucic on his left and Phil Kessel on his right, he will demand the youngster’s best effort going forward.

“I think we have a great mix,” he said. “We got a guy who can bang, dig pucks out and go to the net and we got a guy with a lot of speed who can dance a little bit.

“And I am a guy who can find both of them and put the odd one in myself.

“But I’m a hard guy to play with in the sense that I expect more – more of myself and more out of them,” said Savard.

Savard said that opportunities, for a line or a team, do not come along that often in the NHL.

“As a line, if you average two or three good chances a game you’re (lucky),” he said. “So you have to make them count – and I think right now we’ve been able to do that.

“And for sure, we want to make this a special year…and we need to keep on winning hockey games and doing what it takes to win.

“We’ve been able to do that, too so far, but like I said, we had one loss, and we want to keep it at (one).”

Matt Lashoff Drives Back Down I-95
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has assigned defenseman Matt Lashoff to the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League).

Lashoff was recalled to Boston on November 19 and was a healthy scratch for the Bruins last three games.  Prior to his recall, Lashoff appeared in 15 games for Providence and posted 3-10-13 totals and 21 penalty minutes.  He split the 2007-2008 season between Boston and Providence and saw action in 18 NHL games, registering 1-4-5 totals and appeared in 60 games for the P-Bruins, tallying 9-27-36 totals.

The 22-year-old Lashoff was originally drafted by Boston in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and has seen action in 30 NHL games in his career.

Thanksgiving With the Thornton’s
Tough guy Shawn Thornton, who showed little evidence this morning that he had a scrap with Buffalo’s Andrew Peters last night, continued to show that the Bruins toughest man might also have the softest side in the B’s locker room, too.

“I didn’t do it in Anaheim, my wife was back in Portland, I think, at that point, and I was in the hotel, so I think I went to somebody’s house or we might have been on the road – I don’t remember,” he said of his inviting the single players to his house for Thanksgiving. “But in the minors we did it all the time.”

Today, Shawn’s wife, Erin, will cook a 31-pound Turkey with all the trimmings (a side of ham, stuffing, etc.) for “Bergy, Nokie, Lash, Hunwick, Stuey, Luch and maybe Savvy, but I am not sure if he is coming or not. I think that’s it.

“I guarantee there will be too much food – every time she makes Thanksgiving she makes too much,” he said, with a proud smile.

Surely, professional athletes could figure out an easier way to grab dinner in Boston – but that’s not the point.

“My first two years pro, my roommate and I ended up eating turkey pot pies on Canadian Thanksgiving,” said Shawn. “I vowed…that I would never let that happen to the (guys who can't be with their families or girlfriends).

“My wife enjoys doing it, too. She’s a very good cook. So every year, if we are home, we try and get the guys over.”

While Thornton was talking about his late afternoon party, Lucic asked if he could come over early because he didn’t know what he “was going to do until then.”

“You can come over now, bud, but you have to vacuum though,” said Thornton with a laugh. “I gotta vacuum so you can do the vacuuming.”

Although the final verdict on Luch’s plans were out, my guess is that Milan is vacuuming right now.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! JB
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