Live Blog: Senators at Bruins

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November 28, 2009

Live Blog: Senators at Bruins End of shootout, Bruins win 4-3: Once again, just as it did Wednesday in Minnesota, it took four rounds of a shootout for the Bruins to get the two points. And just as it did Thursday, the win propelled the Bruins into first place. Michael Ryder beat Brian Elliot in the first sudden-death round to give the Bruins a big win they almost relinquished after blowing a one-goal lead with 19.3 ticks left in regulation.

Ryder's goal came after teammates Patrice Bergeron, Blake Wheeler and David Krejci couldn't beat Elliot. Tim Thomas, looking a bit rusty in his first game back since Nov. 14 (17 saves on 22 shots), stopped all four Ottawa shooters. He first denied his nemesis Alexei Kovalev, who has had his number in the past with a nice save. Then he made pad saves on Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher, while Daniel Alfredsson missed the net in between as the third shooter.

So Thomas came up big once again in the shootout, redeemed himself for a shot he maybe could have had on the game-tying goal by Milan Michalek and all is well on Causeway St. as the Bruins are back atop the Eastern Conference.

End of overtime, 3-3: The Bruins are headed to their third straight shootout. They're 1-1 during that stretch and 4-4 overall this season in what apparently is their destiny. The Bruins outshot the Senators 33-22 in regulation and overtime but somehow they find themselves still tied.

Overtime, 2:38, 3-3: The Bruins had plenty of empty-net chances to end this game but failed. If they lose here, that will haunt them.

Overtime, 4:27, 3-3: Under way in an overtime the Bruins and fans didn't think they would be in.

End of regulation, 3-3: Milan Michalek has tied the game for the Senators with 19:3 ticks left and we are headed to overtime for the third straight game for the Bruins. The goal was Michalek's second of the night, and he has an assist as well for three points.

Third period, :25, Bruins 3-2: The Senators have pulled their goalie and the Bruins just missed two empty-netters as they try to hold on for the win here.

Third period, 3:06, Bruins 3-2: The Senators are going on their fourth power play as Mark Recchi is headed to the penalty box for hooking. Questionable call if you ask this scribe, but my opinion doesn't matter here. What matters now is that the penalty kill does its job and preserves the lead.

Third period, 7:57, Bruins 3-2: Still find it hard to believe that the Senators basically chose now-Rangers defenseman Wade Redden over Zdeno Chara and then subsequently let Redden walk via free agency as well?

Third period, 10:41, Bruins 3-2: Dennis Wideman has given the Bruins their first lead of the game with his first goal since Oct. 3. The goal came on the power play and the suddenly hot Bruins power play is 3-for-5.

David Krejci got the primary assist and his second point of the night, while Blake Wheeler got the secondary assist. Wideman also has a goal and an assist.

Third period, 11:57, 2-2: The Bruins are on their fifth power play as Alex Kovalev was called for interference. The Bruins are 2-for-4 on the power play tonight.

Third period, 13:43, 2-2: Some back-and-forth action starts the third period. The Bruins had one solid chance when Mark Recchi made a beautiful pass to a streaking Marco Sturm in front of the net, but Sturm failed to reach the puck.

Third period, 18:41, 2-2: Under way in the third period. Let's see if Claude Julien gave another Knute Rockne speech in the dressing room.

End of second period, 2-2: The Bruins responded well in that period and what's been even more impressive has been their power play, which is now 2-for-4 after power-play goals from Michael Ryder and David Krejci got us to this point, tied at two after two.

The Bruins are really cycling the puck well on the PP and they're showing just enough patience. Sometimes they wait for that perfect shot, but when the clean shot has been there, they haven't wasted time with that extra pass or stick-handling.

Second period, 4:52, 2-2: Chris Phillips is in the penalty box and the Bruins are going on their fourth power play. They're 2-for-3 tonight.

The Bruins killed off that last Ottawa power play and are now 2-for-3 killing off power plays tonight.

Second period, 8:08, 2-2: Marco Sturm is in the penalty box for tripping and Ottawa is on their third power play. They're 1-for-2 tonight.

It needs to be said that I was just asking if Michael Ryder was still on the team because of his invisible play recently. Ryder's last goal was Nov. 14 in Pittsburgh. I'll eat my words on that one!

Second period, 10:03, 2-2: Michael Ryder just tied the game on a power-play goal and the Bruins' power play is really clicking tonight at 2-for-3.

Ryder took a great feed from captain Zdeno Chara and rifled it top shelf for his seventh tally of the season. Marc Savard got his third assist in as many games on the goal.

Second period, 11:47, Senators 2-1: The Bruins are on their second power play as Senators forward Chris Kelly is in the sin bin. They're 1-for-2 tonight after scoring on their last man advantage.

Good start to the period here and it's almost reminiscent of the Bruins' start to the third period Friday when they scored in the first minute.

Second period, 19:19, Senators 2-1: A great start to the second period for the Bruins as David Krejci just cut the Ottawa lead in half with his third goal of the season. The goal came seconds after Nick Foligno was sent to the box for tripping and the Bruins are 1-for-2 on the power play.

Dennis Wideman and Mark Recchi had the helpers and the Bruins break an 0-for-9 drought on the power play.

End of first period, Senators 2-0: Patrice Bergeron was back out there at the end of the first period. But that's about all the good news we have for you from the TD Garden after one period of play. Tim Thomas allowed two goals on five shots and the Bruins, who couldn't get any of their 10 shots past Ottawa goalie Brian Elliot, trail 2-0.

Thomas definitely looks off, but again no need for the crowd to treat him as if he were garbage. It is understandable that some may have liked Tuukka Rask to ride out his hot streak, but let's not forget what Thomas has done for this team.

First period, 1:36, Senators 2-0: At 41 years of age, Mark Recchi still plays like a twenty-something as he just showed diving for a loose puck in front.

First period, 3:05, Senators 2-0: The Bruins killed off that penalty and the Senators are 1-for-2. No sign of Patrice Bergeron yet. This would be devastating for the Bruins should he be seriously hurt. He has been their MVP so far this season.

First period, 6:19, Senators 2-0: David Krejci is in the sin bin for holding and the Sens are on their second power play. They're 1-for-1 so far.

The Bruins failed to convert on their power play and they're 0-for-1 tonight. They're now 0-for-8 since going 2-for-3 in St. Louis last Monday.

First period, 8:23, Senators 2-0: Jarkko Ruutu is in the box for high-sticking and the Bruins are on their first power play.

First period, 8:50, Senators 2-0: TD Garden fans should be ashamed of themselves! They just gave the "Bronx cheer" to an obviously rusty Tim Thomas. By the way he carried your team to the best record in the Eastern Conference last year and won the Vezina!

Patrice Bergeron still appears to be in pain. He tried to take a shift but went right off.

First period, 12:38, Senators 2-0: A rough three seconds for the Bruins there. Marc Savard took a high-sticking penalty, Patrice Bergeron limped off the ice after blocking a shot and the Senators took a 2-0 lead on a power-play goal by Milan Michalek.

Daniel Alfredsson and Filip Kuba had the helpers. Alfredsson and Michalek now have two points with a goal and an assist.

First period, 13:32, Senators 1-0: Tim Thomas looked a bit rusty there letting in only the second shot he's seen since Nov. 14.

First period, 15:08, Senators 1-0: Daniel Alfredsson just gave the Senators a 1-0 lead with a nice wrist shot that beat Tim Thomas waist high. That was the ninth goal of the season for the Ottawa captain and Milan Michalek had the helper.

First period, 15:40: Nonstop action here at TD Garden and we're under way in the first period. Bruins have had some good chances thus far.

7 p.m.: Greetings from the TD Garden, where the ice is uncovered again after a busy Friday here that saw a Bruins matinee and the Celtics play last night. The big news here tonight is that Tim Thomas returns for the first time in six games and will start tonight against the Ottawa Senators in a battle for first place in the Northeast Division.

Here's the rest of the lineup:

Bruins
Forwards

Blake Wheeler–Marc Savard–Byron Bitz
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Vladimir Sobotka–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Daniel Paille

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Andrew Ference–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Matt Hunwick

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

Senators
Forwards

Milan Michalek–Jason Spezza–Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno-Mike Fisher–Alex Kovalev
Jarkko Ruutu–Chris Kelly–Jonathan Cheechoo
Ryan Shannon–Jesse Winchester–Peter Regin

Defense
Chris Phillips–Filip Kuba
Alexander Picard–Chris Campoli 
Matt Carkner–Erik Karlsson

Goalies

Brian Elliot
Mike Brodeur

1:12 p.m.: The Bruins (12-8-5, 29 points) welcome in the Senators (13-7-3, 29 points) to the TD Garden (7 p.m. ET) in a battle for Northeast Division supremacy.

The Bruins are 1-0-0 against the Senators this season. The first time the two clubs met was probably the most improbable victory of the season, as Boston erased a two-goal deficit with 1:28 remaining in regulation and won on a Patrice Bergeron shootout goal. The B's tied it in regulation on goals by Mark Recchi and David Krejci.

The biggest news out of the game day skates is that Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice for the Bruins, which usually indicates that he will be starting. But in his press briefing, head coach Claude Julien wouldn't tip his hat and reveal his starter.

"I told both goaltenders to be ready, and that I'll make my decision later today," Julien told the media.

Thomas has missed the last six games with a rumored hand injury. In his absence Tuukka Rask has been amazing, going 4-0-1 in his last five starts with a 1.60 goals-against average and .949 save percentage and started six straight games for the first time in his young NHL career.

On the Senators side, the big news is that Mike Fisher may play. Fisher has missed the last two games but has seven points in his last four games played. Fisher has 10 goals and 11 assists this season for 21 points. If he plays, expect Ryan Keller to sit.

Here's the expected lineups:

Bruins
Forwards

Blake Wheeler–Marc Savard–Byron Bitz
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Vladimir Sobotka–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Daniel Paille

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Andrew Ference–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Matt Hunwick

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

Senators
Forwards

Milan Michalek–Jason Spezza–Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno-Mike Fisher/Ryan Keller–Alex Kovalev
Jarkko Ruutu–Chris Kelly–Jonathan Cheechoo
Ryan Shannon–Jesse Winchester–Peter Regin

Defense
Chris Phillips–Filip Kuba
Alexander Picard–Chris Campoli 
Matt Carkner–Erik Karlsson

Goalies

Brian Elliot
Mike Brodeur

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