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Game Day: Thrashers vs. Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
0:00 - Excellent work by Krejci keeps the puck bottled up in the ATL zone, and the B's win, 4-3.

29.7 - Axelsson pokes the puck out of the Bruins door and the face-off comes in the neutral zone.

1:01 - Atlanta pulls Hedberg.

1:41 - LOOOOOOOOOOOCH! Lots of work by the big man who scores the hat trick at the exact right time. Lucic has literally picked his team up and put them on his back. Three goals and an assist - his first four point game of his career. Boston leads, 5-4.

2:40 - Icing. Face-off in the Atlanta zone. Time out ATL.

4:24 - Lucic got another stick and made a hit that sprung the puck from the B's zone.

4:55 - Big pressure from Atlanta. Lucic stopped a puck with his stick and it broke.

5:51 - Handpass, Bruins.

6:25 - One of the linesman got smoked by a line drive by Ference.

7:17 - Fernandez stops the puck and takes a face-off.

10:02 - Chara has his shot from the point stopped by Hedberg. The teams will now switch ends of the ice.

11:22 - Krejci puts another shot on Hedberg, but the Atlanta goalie was up to the task.

12:38 - Colby Armstrong took the brunt of a Zdeno Chara hit, but got up and fed a puck back to Kozlov, who beats Fernandez, five hole to tie the game, 4-4.

14:52 - The power play did not start well, but hey, we'll take the goal. Boston leads thanks to Lucic's tipping a Wideman shot by Hedberg. That was pretty, in any case. Lucic has two goals and an assist on the night. 4-3, Boston.

16:11 - Thorburn goes to the box. Boston on the power play.

16:49 - Hnidy shoves Thorburn into the endboards -- by the throat -- after a save by Fernandez. No penalites.

17:42 - Fernandez stones a wide open Kozlov for his 22nd save.

19:14 - Atlanta owns the draw and starts the remainder of their power play.

20:00 - Beginning of the Third.
00.0 - Overall, a much better period for Boston, but both teams need to tighten up their game to grab this one. It's 3-3 after forty.

2.7 - Sorry folks. End to end action for the last few, with Boston holding sway most of the way. But a late call puts Wheeler in the box for hooking.

5:38 - A very nice effort by Wideman, Lucic, Kessel and Krejci ends up being a goal for Boston. Krejci rifled a shot by Hedberg to tie the score and regain Big Mo for the B's. Krejci's third goal. It's now 3-3.

7:05 - Enstrom with a hold. That puts Boston back on the man-advantage. Boston is 0-3 on the PP.

9:56 - Atlanta scores. A deflection ended up in the circle on the stick of Ilya Kovalchuck and Kovalchuk scores into the open side. 3-2, ATL.

10:08 - Bergeron in the box.

10:37 - A totally different period, thus far. Let's hope Boston keeps the momentum.

13:29 - Matching penalties to Thornton and Kozlov. Shawn had words with Exelby on the way to the box.

14:03 - Lucic scores, and finishes an outstanding shift by Savard who carried the puck into the zone. Ryder got the puck and passed it to Luch, who deposited the goal. 2-2. The fans are chanting, "Loooooooooooooch." It was Milan's second of the season and has revived the crowd.

16:23 - Stephane Yelle deflects a Shawn Thornton drive past Hedberg. 2-1, Atlanta. Yelle's first goal as a Bruin, and Shawn's first assist of the year.

17:03 - Savard's shot is smothered by Hedberg.

17:33 - Wideman fires a shot that pinballs through, but is caught by Hedberg.

18:49 - Marty Reasoner in the box for interference. Boston's third man-advantage.

19:14 - Two more point blank saves by Fernandez.

19:20 - More fire from the B's in the opening seconds...

20:00 - Start of the Second Period.
0:00 - Atlanta leads, 2-0. The B's will have quite a talk in the locker room.

10.4 - Atlanta scores after a defensive miscue. Kovalchuk passed to Schneider who puts it by Manny. 2-0, ATL.

1:12 - Ference in the box for interference. Thus endeth the PP...

2:26 - Kessel is pulled down between the circles and Havelid is going to the box. Bruins power play #2.

3:11 - Hedberg hangs on to the B's seventh shot for the face-off. Shots are 14-7, ATL.

4:57 - Fernandez stops a shot by Atlanta (off his head?) and the puck goes to Jason Williams who buries the power play goal. 1-0, Atlanta.

5:50 - Nice shorthanded bid by Boston (Krejci). Hedberg had to kick out on a hot shot.

6:17 - Chara in the box for interference.

8:53 - Fernandez turns away the eighth Atlanta shot. He's been busy -- just the way he likes it.

10:24 - Icing Bruins.

11:27 - It's the Bruins turn to mount some sustained pressure and they force an icing by ATL.

13:53 -  Savard wins a faceoff to the right of Hedberg and sends it cleanly to Chara, who fires. Hedberg kicks it to safety.

14:16 - Some sustained pressure from Atlanta, but the shots are tied, 4-4.

15:27 - Fernandez stops an Exelby bid with his glove -- the toughest shot, thus far.

19:40 - Todd White is in the box for Atlanta after earning a charging call. An early PP for the B's.

19:59 - Atlanta controls the draw and winds up.

20:00 - Start of First Period. Hedberg is in goal for Atlanta. Sturm, Bergeron, Kessel, Chara, Wideman and Fernandez are the starters for Boston.

Switching to game clock.

6:41 p.m.
And the lines...
Axelsson – Savard – Ryder
Sturm – Bergeron – Kessel
Lucic – Krejci – Wheeler
Thornton – Yelle – Nokelainen
Chara – Wideman
Ference - Ward
Stuart – Hnidy

6:15 p.m.
Boston Bruins Announce Change in Tonight's Game Format

Boston, MA -
The Boston Bruins announced today that the third period in tonight’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers will be split, with the teams switching ends at the first stoppage in play after the 10-minute mark of the period.  The Bruins and Thrashers will begin the third period in the same ends that they finished the second period.  Following the first stoppage after the 10-minute mark of the third period, the teams will switch ends, and the face-off will take place on the opposite side of where play ended. More...

3:11 p.m.

Some quotes from Bruins head coach Claude Julien, who spoke to the media this morning.

On Chuck Kobasew’s progress...
We said there was a minimum of three weeks and I think right now he’s on pace to hopefully be back sooner than later. It’s encouraging but still, he’s going out there for just a few minutes every day.

On tonight’s game plan...
We have to be focused on tonight and do it with a purpose. I thought the other day when I said we need to be a little hungrier, to make those things happen is one thing, but to finish them off is another.

On having three tough games in four days...
That’s the thing as a coach - certainly your emotions are with you, just like the players, after a game - and I certainly wasn’t happy after our last outing, but you still take the night to think it over and the next morning your thoughts are in a better place...You make a wiser decision. You learn that as a coach not to overreact right after the fact. The bottom line is we had a pretty tough practice yesterday. It didn’t last forever, but I think it was important for the guys to get the message as well.

On Andrew Ference’s play through the first seven games...
He’s probably been one of our best defenseman since the start of training camp. Why has he been that way? Because he’s been keeping his game simple, and just making the good first passes, and really not panicking out there and making good decisions. That's basically what we want from our players.

On the Atlanta Thrashers...
Having been a former teammate of John Anderson and seen his teams, as a coach, he’s done a great job. It’s pretty obvious even watching last night’s game against Detroit (Atlanta's) a well-structured team....they’re going to come at us hard tonight. They’re coming off a loss and so are we so it should make for a pretty intense game tonight.

On John Anderson as a former teammate...
This is a guy who has a great understanding of the game, who has what they call “hockey sense” as a player. Definitely a good teammate.

11:45 a.m.
Welcome back Chuck Kobasew! Good to see you on skates.

Chuck was one of only a few Bruins who took the (optional) skate this morning.

Kobasew, who is still shy of the three week minimum announced by head coach Claude Julien, looked good. He was joined on-ice by Manny Fernandez, Matt Hunwick, Petteri Nokelainen, Michael Ryder, Vladimir Sobotka and Aaron Ward (briefly).

11:28 a.m.

Watch Shawn Thornton's Vlog
After practice on Friday, the Bruins leadership was out in full force and publicly declared their effort on Thursday to be unacceptable.

Everyone involved was grateful for two things:
a.)    A tough practice.
b.)    Saturday’s game.

The players, who realize that kind of effort has been a rarity under the current coaching staff, desperately want to put the game against the Leafs (and the two shootout losses preceding that) behind them and return to the ice with their bread and butter – their work ethic – on the menu.

“The way we practiced today, that’s the way we need to play,” said alternate captain Patrice Bergeron. “You practice like you play, and today was a good effort, but we have to learn from (Thursday) when we got outworked.

“You can’t win like that. We can’t rely on our skills all the time. We’re not the type of team that can do that, so we know what we need to do – stick to the game plan – and that’s what we had done in the first six games.

“We were working hard.”

Hard work is nothing new to Zdeno Chara and he was very pleased with the way the team responded during its session in Wilmington.

“We all know that we can play better,” said the B’s captain. “It’s just a matter of not getting too down. It’s a long season and we know that we can’t win 82 games, but at the same time we realize that it was a game where we lost too many battles and pucks and races for pucks.

“We have to do better than that.”

Looking at the schedule, and the Bruins swing to the Canadian northwest, Chara knows that things could get much more difficult, quickly, if the Bruins don’t turn around their effort on Saturday against the Thrashers.

“There’s a tough road trip ahead of us,” he said. “We have to make sure that we play much better (next game).”

But how does the team refocus?

“I think it’s a good thing that we don’t have a long layoff between games,” said Zee. “Especially after (Thursday), it’s a good thing that we have another game on (Saturday).

“But it’s going to be a tough opponent, we know that Atlanta is playing well and they compete (hard) and we have to make sure we are ready.”

Head coach Claude Julien and staff were doing their best to ensure that on Friday.

“First of all, I think it’s more than just last night’s effort,” admitted Julien. “You always have to take a step back and really evaluate the situation in the best way you can.

“You don’t want to find excuses, but it was our fourth game in six nights, (and) I think we could have played a lot smarter.

The bottom line was that the Bruins “need to get hungrier,” said Julien.

“Being hungrier can get us over that little hump…and help us win some hockey games.”
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