ATLANTA (AP) -- The Boston Bruins held an opponent without a power-play goal
for the second time in three games.
Of course, they didn't give the Atlanta Thrashers any chances, either.
Boston played penalty-free hockey for the first time in 21/2 years and Martin
Lapointe scored the go-ahead goal in his 700th NHL game to lift the Bruins to a
6-4 victory over the Thrashers on Wednesday night.
"I loved that, especially against a team like that," Boston goaltender
Andrew Raycroft said of the disciplined play. "Obviously, that's one of our
strengths, defense. We had enough defense to contain it."
Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who weren't called for
a penalty for the first time since March 28, 2001, against the Toronto Maple
Leafs. Oddly, the Leafs didn't have a penalty in that one, either.
Rob Zamuner added an empty-net goal with 1:04 left, and Travis Green, Michal
Grosek and Mike Knuble also scored for Boston, which snapped a four-game
winless streak (0-2-1-1).
"We had to win, no matter what," Raycroft said. "We let it go and tried
Marc Savard tied it early in the third period by stuffing in a rebound for
the Thrashers, 1-4 in their last five. They still lead Tampa Bay by one point
in the Southeast Division.
Slava Kozlov, J.P. Vigier and Shawn McEachern had goals for Atlanta.
"We've got to go back to the drawing board," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley
said. "We're not in this business to lose games, and right now, we're just not
playing well enough."
With 8:40 left, Patrice Bergeron stole the puck in the corner while the
Thrashers were in the middle of a line change. He fed a pass to Lapointe, who
skated in alone and beat goaltender Pasi Nurminen.
Atlanta defenseman Shawn Heins, coming off the bench, couldn't make it in
the zone fast enough to stop Lapointe.
"It's just very disappointing, for the second game in a row, to lose the
game on a play where we simply lost focus," Hartley said.
The Thrashers blew three one-goal leads, including one after just 20
seconds. Kozlov took a cross-ice, backhanded pass from Patrik Stefan and beat
Raycroft. They also led 3-2 after a short-handed goal by McEachern early in the
second, when he completed a two-on-one with Garnet Exelby.
The Bruins made it 3-3 when Grosek redirected a shot from the blue line by
Ian Moran, and it skittered through Nurminen's legs. Moran took the puck only
seconds after a big hit by Exelby put him on the ice.
"That was a great goal if somebody got to that," Nurminen said. "A couple
goals kind of got under me, and I've got to take those away."
A diving, backhanded goal by Knuble gave Boston its first lead. Nurminen
stopped a shot by Glen Murray but couldn't corral the rebound. Knuble, with
Atlanta center Randy Robitaille draped all over him, put it back in just before
"We had a lot of confidence we'd close out the game," Thornton said.