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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Bruins frozen by the Penguins

Before the game the Bruins played against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, it was announced Patrice Bergeron would be sitting out for personal reasons. Normally this would be concerning, but the way the B’s are playing right now, it just seemed like an inconvenience. The Bruins entered the game looking for an impressive 8 game win streak. There is no question the B’s are the hottest team in the NHL, with no losses since February 15.

The Pens had an extreme lack of neutral zone defense, which led to a number of early B’s chances.  Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury started out the action with a ridiculous save on a Zdeno Chara breakaway that led to some tussling along the rear boards with 17:25 to go.

Michael Ryder said, “We definitely had some chances early and Fleury made some really big save to keep them in it. I think after that they tightened up pretty well. That’s the way the game goes sometimes.”

 A rousing and fairly predictable bout between Shawn Thronton and Michael Rupp followed and brought the fans to ear-splitting noise levels. A holding call on the Pen’s Ben Lovejoy gave the B’s the first powerplay of the evening with 6:50 to go, and, like the rest of the period, the action centered around the Pens’ net. However, as was the theme for the first period, the B’s came away frustrated and empty-handed. At 1:29 to go, Nathan Horton and Craig Adams dropped gloves in front of the Bruins goal and Horton dominated. The first period ended with an onslaught of shots from the Bruins, none of them finding Fleury. There were a combined 25 hits in the period, 13 from Pittsburgh and 12 from the B’s.

The Bruins started the second period slowly with a ‘too many men on the ice’ penalty. This gave the Pens their inaugural power play, which the B’s smoothly killed. The next few minutes were dominated by giant hits from the Bruins, most notably an earth-shaking hit on Paul Martin from Zdeno Chara, and Matt Cooke from Boychuk. Chara scored his first goal since January 17th on a wrister straight down the lane with help from a beautiful feed from David Krejci, giving the B’s a 1-0 lead with 12:34 to go in the period. Johnny Boychuk was stopped twice by Fluery from long range, allowing the Pens to take it up ice and even the score on a cleaned up rebound from Jordan Staal with 9:51 to go. The Pens’ Dustin Jeffery snuck a beautiful attempt behind Thomas to give the Pens their second goal in a minute and ten seconds with 8:41 to go in the period to put Pittsburgh up 2-1. The Pens outshot the Bruins 15-11 in the frame.

The B’s saw some of their best chances of the night 20 seconds into the period, with Fleury having to work to save rebound after rebound, which he barely managed to do. Fleury lucked out again at 2:30 into the period, when a shot Daniel Paille took on an open goal was wide. Dennis Seidenberg delivered the most vicious hit of the night on Kris Letang with 12:15 to go in the match. Milan Lucic was serving two minutes for hooking, driving the Garden crowd into a frenzy. The period was largely a back and forth struggle played out at center ice, with neither team getting that many shots off, and the clock started to quickly tick down. With 3 minutes to go Jordan Staal had a great chance to ice the match with another goal, but Thomas managed to get a hold of his long-range shot and cover. The B’s pulled Tim Thomas with 1:15 to go, and it turned out to be a great choice. With 32 seconds remaining David Krejci fired a desperation flick off a spectacular Nathan Horton feed and it somehow found its way behind Fleury, tying the score at 2 and sending it into OT.

According to Krejci, “There were a lot of things that happened, all I know is that Mark Recchi was the extra shooter and did a good job going to the goal. They went hard after the puck, we tried to get a quick shot. I tried to pick the corner and it worked.”

The overtime period was wrought with suspense and anxiety. With 3:08 remaining, the Pen’s Dustin Jefferey made a steal and faked out Thomas, ending the game and the B’s 7 game win streak in the process.

After the game Bruins coach Claude Julien said “Well you know, to me, we probably played half a game. The first half of the first period we started off well, and then the second half of the first we just slipped. Same thing happened in the second period. I thought the third period we battled a lot better…lately we’ve been winning games because we played 60 minutes and tonight wasn’t the case.”