Bruins Look to Ride Momentum of Win Over Senators As They Welcome Lightning to Town


December 2, 2009

Bruins Look to Ride Momentum of Win Over Senators As They Welcome Lightning to Town The Bruins welcome budding superstar Steve Stamkos and the Lightning to the TD Garden on Wednesday as they hope to take their second straight game on home ice and build a new winning streak.

Boston is coming off a 4-3 shootout win over Ottawa on Saturday while the Lightning come to town on the heels of a 3-0 shutout loss at home against Colorado. The Bruins are 6-1-3 in their last 10 games while the Lightning are 4-3-3.

On Saturday, goaltender Tim Thomas started his first game after a six-game absence and struggled a bit, so it is unknown whether head coach Claude Julien will turn back to rookie Tuukka Rask, who went 4-1-1 while Thomas was out. For more information and updates, be sure to check back throughout the day on our Bruins Live Blog at

When And Where

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.


Bruins (13-8-5, 31 points, second place in Northeast Division, fourth place in Eastern Conference)
Lightning (10-7-8, 28 points, third place in Southeast Division, eighth in Eastern Conference)

Head to Head

This is the first of four meetings between the Lightning and Bruins. The two clubs meet in Tampa Bay on Dec. 28 and on Feb. 1, then again at the TD Garden on March 25.

The Bruins were 3-1-0 against the Lightning last season.

The Bruins lead the all-time series 38-15-9-0.


The Bruins held a press conference on Wednesday after their morning skate to announce that Marc Savard has signed a seven-year extension with Boston with an average cap hit of $4.2 million per season.

Savard has 10 points this season but was out for a month with a broken left foot and returned on Nov. 23. Savard has been a constant point producer since signing with the Bruins on July 1, 2006, with 96, 78 and 88 points respectively over the last three seasons.

The Bruins have been playing much better as of late and are looking more like the team people expected them to be coming into this season. They broke a string of two straight games with only one regulation goal, but the Bruins have been unable to close it out in regulation, going to three straight overtimes and shootouts. They are 2-1 in those shootouts, but obviously, they would prefer to finish things off in regulation.

?Yeah, we?re definitely letting some teams off the hook and giving away a point at times, but on other occasions, it has been a result of us fighting back to get to overtime and a shootout,? said forward Blake Wheeler. ?Either way, you obviously take the point, but it would be nice to finish a team off in regulation.?

The Lightning will come in looking to get their power play going and to get more dirty goals. They were 0-for-7 on Monday night.

"Obviously, our power play pretty much lost us the game," said point man Marty St. Louis to St. Petersburg Times. "We didn't get anything accomplished, and that falls on our top guys, especially me. I'm out there quite a bit."

"It was pretty frustrating," said fellow point man Kurtis Foster. "It didn't seem like we were on the same page."

Tampa Bay head coach Rick Tocchett thinks using captain Vincent Lecavalier along the side-wall instead of on the point will spark the power play. Lecavalier has yet to score a power play goal this season.

"[We made the switch] to get him a little more involved," Tocchet said. "We were a bit too stagnant with him on the point, and quite frankly, we were giving up too many shorthanded chances. We just couldn't have it."

Projected Lineups

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

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

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask


Ryan Malone–Steven Stamkos–Marty St. Louis
Alex Tanguay–Vinny Lecavalier–Jeff Halpern
James Wright–Paul Szczechura–Steve Downie
Kurtis Foster–Zenon Konopka–Stephane Veilleux

Mattias Ohlund–Victor Hedman
Andrej Meszaros–Kurtis Foster
David Hale–Lukas Krajicek

Antero Niittymaki
Mike Smith

Goaltender Matchup

Tim Thomas
is 6-6-3 with a 2.36 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Thomas has three shutouts this season and had missed six games prior to his start on Saturday.

Tuukka Rask recently started six games straight for the Bruins, the longest string of starts in his NHL career. His record overall is now 7-2-2 with a 2.02 GAA and a .929 save percentage. 

Antero Niittymaki
is 6-3-3 with a 2.18 GAA and a .931 save percentage.

Mike Smith is 4-4-5 with a 3.22 GAA and a .893 save percentage.

Stat Sheet

Patrice Bergeron
leads the team in points with 18. He is tied for the team lead in goals with seven and second on the team in assists with 11.

Captain Zdeno Chara leads the team in assists with 13 and is tied for second in points with 14.

Blake Wheeler has a goal and an assist in his last two games and is tied for second on the team in points with 14. He is tied for first with Bergeron for the team lead in goals with seven.

Forward Marc Savard has a three-game point streak going with an assist in each of his last three games. Savard now has four goals and 10 assists.

Forward David Krejci had a goal and an assist on Saturday and is now tied with defensemen Derek Morris and Marco Sturm for third place in points (12). Krejci has three goals and nine assists while Morris has two goals and 10 assists. Sturm has six goals and six assists.

Forward Mark Recchi had an assist on Saturday and now has seven helpers this season and 11 points.

Forward Michael Ryder scored his first goal since Nov. 14 on Saturday. Ryder now has seven lamplighters and 10 points.

Defenseman Dennis Wideman scored his first goal since Oct. 3, his second of the season, on Saturday. Wideman also had an assist for this third multi-point game of the season, all of them coming in the last 10 games. Wideman has nine points this season.

The Bruins have been outscored 60-59. They?re averaging 2.27 goals per game and 2.31 goals against.

The Bruins went 3-for-5 on the power play on Saturday and are now 15-for-91 overall with a 16.5 percent success rate.

The Bruins' penalty kill was 3-for-4 on Saturday and has now allowed only four goals in their last 25 power plays faced. Overall, the Bruins have allowed only 15 goals on 97 power plays faced and have an 84.5 percent success rate.

The Bruins are 7-5-3 at home this season. 

The Bruins are 2-1-1 against the Southeast Division.

The Bruins are 8-4-5 against the Eastern Conference.

The Bruins are 1-1 in overtime and 5-4 in the shootout.

Steve Stamkos
, in his second season after being drafted No. 1 overall in the 2008 NHL Entry draft, is realizing his potential and leads the team in goals (17) and points (29). Stamkos was held scoreless in his last game but had three goals and four assists in the four games before that.

Martin St. Louis leads the team in assists with 23 and has 28 points.St. Louis has been held pointless in his last three games.

Ryan Malone is second on the team with 15 goals and third in points with 23. Malone also has been held pointless in his last three games.

Captain Vincent Lecavalier has 16 helpers and 21 points. He has been held pointless in his last two games.

Rookie defenseman Victor Hedman leads the Lightning blue line in assists and points with seven.

The Lightning have been outscored 70 to 66 this season. They?re averaging 2.64 goals per game and are allowing 2.80.

The Lightning power play was 0-for-7 in its last game on Monday and is 21-for-111 with an 18.9 success rate this season.

The Lightning penalty kill has allowed 25 goals on 107 power plays faced and has a 76.6 percent success rate.

The Lightning are 4-5-4 on the road this season.

The Lightning are 3-2-2 against the Northeast Division.

The Lightning are 7-6-5 against the Eastern Conference.

The Lightning are 2-3 in overtime and 1-5 in the shootout.

Black and Blue

Milan Lucic
is out for 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain.

Defenseman Paul Ranger is on injured reserve for personal reasons.

This Date in Bruins History

On Dec. 2, 1967, Johnny ?Chief? Bucyk became the Bruins' all-time leading goal scorer with 230 goals, surpassing Milt Schmidt.


?I take pride in my defense and playing an all-around game, and blocking shots is something that comes along with that. There isn?t a lot of fat and meat around the knee area. I'm happy it didn't hit right on the bone. So I definitely feel fortunate to be okay and ready to go after getting hit with the shot.?
-Patrice Begeron on blocking shots and his recent injury doing so.

Press Box

The Bruins re-signed center Marc Savard to a seven-year, $28 million deal.

Both the Bruins and Savard win with Savard's new contract.

Tim Thomas has moved on from a rough start.

Bergeron is back on the ice; will play tonight.


The Lightning are struggling to score.

Here's the game story from the Lightning's last game.

The Bolt Report is a great Lightning blog.

You can compare your salary to that of Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier.


Here's a great story on Boston College head coach Jerry York and Boston University head coach Jack Parker:

Alexander Ovechkin was finally suspended two games for a recent kneeing incident.

Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson was hospitalized for an accelerated heart rate.

Brian Burke
received a vote of confidence from his bosses:

The Molson's officially took over the Canadiens yesterday and gave Bob Gainey a vote of confidence:

Habs forward Kyle Chipchura was dealt to the Ducks this morning for a fourth round pick:


On paper, the Bruins — considering the way they have been playing for the majority of their last 10 games — are better than the Lightning. But as they have learned the hard way, any team can win on any given day, and the game isn?t played on paper. The Bruins must not look past this game to the weekend, when they play two divisional rivals — at Montreal on Friday and at home on Saturday against former teammate Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs.

In order to remain focused on this game, the B's need to just go out and remain within their system. When the Bruins dictate play, they usually win. A strong start to set the tone will be big on Wednesday, as Tampa Bay is a team that can easily be put back on their heels.

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