Boston, MA --
|Boston Bruins Michael Ryder (73) makes the only goal scored in the shootout on Ottawa Senators' Brian Elliott in an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009, in Boston. The Bruins won 4-3. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) |
The Bruins were down 2-1 and on the power play with 9:57 left in the second period when Michael Ryder had the first of two big moments in Boston’s game Saturday night victory versus the Ottawa Senators.
“The defense went down so I was going to try and go around them and Sturm [Marco Sturm] was in front but I just kind of got too excited and then I gave it back to Zee [Zdeno Chara
]," said Ryder of his game-tying goal. “He gave it back to me and I said, ‘This time I’m going to shoot it,’ and Sturmy [Marco Sturm] had a good screen in front.”
Ryder knew he had an opportunity.
“Well, I kind of knew that I had an opening and with the power play we knew that when wanted to get more shots on net and not try and get too fancy and tonight we did that,” said the winger, postgame.
“We moved the puck well, when we had that first shot we took it and I think that was one thing we were not doing before," continued Ryder. “We were not taking that first shot we were trying to make another play.
“Tonight we took what they gave us and it worked.”
Bruins head coach Claude Julien agreed.
“Tonight was more about creating speed through the neutral zone,” he said. “We talked about getting better with our middle drive and our net front presence, screening and then banging away," he said.“Those first two power play goals were results of that. Good middle drive and even though it is the power play we hit them with some speed and scored a nice goal.
“The second [goal] was a nice shot by Michael Ryder but it was a great job by Sturmy to create that screen. The goaltender never saw anything.”
Ryder's goal in the second stanza set up Dennis Wideman's would-be game winner in the third period. Unfortunately for Boston, the Bruins goals did not hold up and a heartbreaking Ottawa tally in the final minute of regulation sent the game to overtime and eventually a shootout.
Boston and Ottawa were both unsuccessful in their first three shots of the penalty shot contest and in sudden death, Ryder's name was called.
"It is one of those things where you look at your roster and you go with what you have," said Julien when asked about his decision to go with Ryder in sudden death. "Some of it is about deke-ing and some of it is about shooting.
"He was having a pretty good night and he was on."
Julien's hunch paid off.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, I was just going in on him,” said Ryder. “I was just seeing what he was giving me and I didn’t give him much for a deke, so I just wanted to try and get a high shot on him and I beat him glove side.”
In 26 games played this season, Ryder now has seven goals and three assists for 10 points, but prior to Saturday, the right wing's most recent offensive success had come on November 19 when he netted two goals against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas
, who after the game took personal responsibility for the B's having to go to the extra session, felt like Ryder's timing was impeccable.
"I was sick to my stomach,"said Thomas. "That was a game that was in the bag and I let the team down.
“I mean I didn’t even see Rydes’ shot, I just asked him where it went because I just couldn’t watch.
"Rydes bailed me out," said Thomas.