Final, Bruins 6-2: This one is in the books, as the Bruins bounce back from Thursday's disappointing effort against Buffalo with an impressive showing in Colorado.
Brad Marchand had the biggest day with his first four-point game, collecting two goals and two assists. But there were plenty of other contributors. Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi each had a goal and two assists, Milan Lucic two goals, David Krejci two assists, Tim Thomas made 32 saves and Greg Campbell sparked the club with an early fight after Boston fell behind 1-0.
The Bruins will now look to build off this win as they complete their road trip in Los Angeles on Monday, but they'll do it without Marc Savard. Savard is traveling back to Boston to be evaluated after suffering an apparent head injury on a check by former Bruin Matt Hunwick in the second period.
Third Period, 18:25, Bruins 6-2: The Bruins ice this one as Brad Marchand scores a shorthanded empty-netter. That's his league-leaguing fourth shorthanded goal of the year and his career-high fourth point of the game.
Third Period, 17:08, Bruins 5-2: The Bruins will be shorthanded as Dennis Seidenberg gets a double minor for high-sticking. Koci gets a misconduct for the ensuing scrum, but it's a power play for Colorado, which has pulled Budaj for a 6-on-4 advantage.
Third Period, 15:54, Bruins 5-2: Bergeron with another steal and sets up Ryder for a chance in front. Budaj makes the save, and another scrum develops as Ryder pokes at the puck.
Third Period, 14:52, Bruins 5-2: Wheeler gets plastered into the boards by big David Koci, as the physical play continues with both fourth lines on the ice.
Third Period, 12:20, Bruins 5-2: Things have calmed down a bit now that the Bruins have extended the lead back to three after Colorado threatened to make a game of it early in the third.
Third Period, 9:56, Bruins 5-2: The Bruins push the lead back to three goals with a huge goal by Patrice Bergeron, who flipped it in with a backhand from one knee.
Johnny Boychuk and Marchand pick up the assists, with Marchand deserving special credit for occupying the attention of both the goalie and the defenseman as he planted himself in front at the right post.
Third Period, 4:30, Bruins 4-2: The Bruins survive the penalty thanks to several big-time saves by Thomas.
The best came after Dennis Seidenberg gave away the puck from behind the net right to Kyle Cumiskey all alone in front, but Thomas made the stop.
Third Period, 2:30, Bruins 4-2: The Avs have a chance to pull even closer as Michael Ryder takes a hooking penalty.
Third Period, 1:41, Bruins 4-2: The Avs cut into the lead as Kevin Shattenkirk lifts a backhander from the slot over Thomas.
Third Period, 1:20, Bruins 4-1: Budaj is coming up big early as he's tested right away by the Bergeron line.
Third Period, 0:16, Bruins 4-1: The Avs have pulled Anderson and Peter Budaj is now in goal for Colorado to start the third.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 4-1: The final frame is under way, with the Bruins looking to close out this win. They are 15-0-0 when leading after two periods, but Colorado has rallied before, going 5-9-4 when trailing after two.
Second Intermission Notes: Another strong period for the Bruins. Colorado outshot Boston 14-9 in the second, but Tim Thomas didn't let anything get by him and the Bruins produced two more goals with well-timed counterattacks.
Both the Bergeron and Krejci lines are really going in this one. Mark Recchi has a goal and two assists, Brad Marchand a goal and an assist and Bergeron an assist and is a plus-3, while Krejci has two assists and Milan Lucic two goals.
There was some bad news in the second, with Marc Savard suffering another head injury. He was hit into the glass by ex-Bruin Matt Hunwick. Savard appeared dazed and was cut. he was helped to the locker room and will not return to this game.
Zdeno Chara is a plus-3 so far, while the snake-bit Nathan Horton has managed to be a minus-1 with just one shot in 11:14.
End Second Period, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins weathered Colorado's counterattack in the second, and extended the lead with two more goals to take a 4-1 advantage into the third.
Second Period, 19:04, Bruins 4-1: The Bruins add another, with Milan Lucic scoring his second of the game on another 2-on-1 break.
Lucic got the pass back from Krejci at the left post an buried it.
Second Period, 17:12, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins survive that Colorado power play despite a mad scramble in front with Thomas out of the net late in the man-advantage.
Second Period, 15:12, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins will be shorthanded for the first time as Greg Campbell is called for tripping.
Second Period, 14:44, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins extend the lead with a counterattack as Brad Marchand makes a steal and breaks in on a 2 on 1.
Marchand fakes the shot from the left, then feeds it over to Mark Recchi for the easy tap in. Recchi has factored into all three goals with a goal and two assists.
Second Period, 13:45, Bruins 2-1: Thomas comes up big, stopping Ryan Stoa at the right post, then while still down making the save on Galiardi's turnaround rebound.
Second Period, 12:27, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins can't get much going on that power play and the sides are back at even strength.
Second Period, 10:27, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins get another power-play chance as Chris Stewart is called for boarding Chara.
The Bruins have also announced that Savard will not return to this game after being injured earlier in the period.
Second Period, 8:35, Bruins 2-1: There are gatherings after most whistles now, with Foote involved again. This time he was tangled up with Seguin, but no penalties were called.
Second Period, 5:26, Bruins 2-1: Things get a little nasty again, with David Krejci and Adam Foote exchanging cross-checks and slashes. that brings Andrew Ference and Shawn Thornton in to help Krejci. Out of the scrum, Krejci and Foote each get two minutes for cross-checking, so it will be 4 on 4.
Second Period, 3:19, Bruins 2-1: Marc Savard is down and hurt after a collision in the corner with ex-teammate Matt Hunwick. Savard appears to have been cut and is helped off the ice by Chara and Kampfer and goes to the locker room.
Second Period, 1:20, Bruins 2-1: Another strong shift by the Bergeron line as the Bruins pick up where they left off in the first.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 2-1: The middle frame is under way in Colorado. The Bruins are 11-1-0 when leading after the first period, while Colorado is 1-8-2 when trailing after one.
First Intermission Notes: It took a couple minutes – and a wake-up call from Greg Campbell – to get going, but the Bruins came on strong in the opening period and take a 2-1 lead into the second.
The Bruins had a 19-8 edge in shots, with Patrice Bergeron leading the way with four shots. The hits were even at 9-9, but Brad Marchand delivered the biggest with a huge check on Matt Duchene.
Marchand also scored the first goal for Boston, while Milan Lucic added his career-high 18th with a power-play strike. But it was the physical play that was the key to that period, with Campbell's early fight with Cody McLeod sparking the Bruins after Colorado had struck first with a fluky goal that bounced in off a couple of bodies in front.
End First Period, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins head into the first intermission with a one-goal lead after snapping out of an early slumber with two goals.
First Period, 18:16, Bruins 2-1: David Jones nearly ties it for Colorado, driving the net from the left side and beating Thomas, only to clang it off the near post.
First Period, 17:51, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins can't convert that power-play chance, as O'Byrne comes out of the box.
First Period, 15:51, Bruins 2-1: O'Bynne will head to the box now, as Campbell draws an interference call to put the Bruins back on the power play.
First Period, 15:23, Bruins 2-1: Nathan Horton and Ryan O'Byrne in a bit of a shoving match. No penalties, but lots of rough stuff in this one for two teams that don't see each other often.
First Period, 14:45, Bruins 2-1: Brad Marchand with the hit of the night, belting Matt Duchene just inside the Colorado blue line.
First Period, 12:00, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins take their first lead of the day as Milan Lucic scores on the power play.
David Krejci shot wide, but the puck came back off the boards and slipped under Anderson to Lucic, who banged it home from the top of the crease. That's a career-high 18 goals for Lucic
First Period, 11:40, 1-1: The Bruins get their first power play as Ryan O'Bryne is sent off for delay of game.
First Period, 10:30, 1-1: Mcleod takes a late shot on Thomas after the whistle, drawing a crowd of Bruins, but the gloves stay on this time.
First Period, 9:20, 1-1: The Bruins answer back to tie it as Brad Marchand bangs in a shot deflected in front.
Mark Recchi sent the initial shot in from the right wing, and it was blocked but banked in off Marchand from the top of the crease.
First Period, 7:54, Avalanche 1-0: Some wide-open play here with chances at both ends. Colorado had a 3-on-1 break, but Tyler Seguin gets back in time to help break it up without a shot.
First Period, 6:11, Avalanche 1-0: Another chance for the Bruins, as Bergeron sends in a shot that Anderson just gets enough of a piece of to deflect it past the net.
First Period, 5:47, Avalanche 1-0: Shawn Thornton gets a chance alone in the slot and tees up a blast, but Anderson makes the save.
First Period, 2:57, Avalanche 1-0: The gloves come off as Greg Campbell tries to wake up with Bruins with a bout against Cody McLeod. Campbell scored the takedown late, but McLeod appeared to land the better of the punches. But more important than the punch tally will be if that effort sparks the Bruins after a slow start to this one.
First Period, 2:00, Avalanche 1-0: The Avs strike early with a fluky goal, as Kevin Shattenkirk's shot from the point bounces off a body in front and past Thomas.
Paul Stastny is credited with the goal, though it appeared to hit a Bruin in front.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: This one is under way in Colorado, where the Bruins will look to continue their strong play on the road.
Boston has earned at least a point in every road game since Dec. 16 at Montreal, going 5-0-3 away from the Garden in that stretch.
3 p.m.: As usual, Claude Julien is going with Patrice Bergeron's line to start with one, with Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi on the wings. Zdeno Chara and Steven Kampfer are on defense and Tim Thomas is in goal.
Colorado counters with T.J. Galiardi, Kevin Porter and Daniel Winnik up front, Kyle Cumiskey and Adam Foote on defense and Craig Anderson in the net.
2:55 p.m.: The Bruins have announced their scratches.
No surprise that Daniel Paille is out again up front. More of a surprise that Mark Stuart is out on defense, as Adam McQuaid returns to the lineup after sitting out on Thursday.
Ryan O'Reilly (shoulder), Brandon Yip and Ryan Wilson are out for Colorado. With Wilson out, former Bruin Matt Hunwick is back in the lineup against his old team after being a healthy scratch in Colorado's last game.
2:30 p.m.: Tim Thomas and Craig Anderson were the first goalies on the ice for warm-ups in Denver. That will be the goaltending matchup for this one.
Anderson was a Bruin briefly in 2006. He dressed as a backup for five games, but never got in a game for Boston.
2 p.m.: The Bruins open a quick two-game road trip out West with a matinee in Colorado in about an hour.
The big news out of the morning was Peter Forsberg's return to the ice. He skated for the first time with the Avs as he tests whether he is physically capable of attempting a comeback to the NHL.
Forsberg isn't signed and won't be involved in this game, but the Bruins still have plenty to worry about as they try to bounce back from Thursday's loss to Buffalo against a Colorado team trying to hold on to the final playoff spot in the West.
The Bruins have been one of the NHL's best road teams this season, and they'll look to continue that in this matchup in Denver.
8 a.m.: The Bruins didn't try to hide from the fact that they turned in a far from acceptable effort against Buffalo on Thursday, admitting they were flat and offering no excuses for the poor performance that cost them a 4-2 defeat.
Now they head out on the road with a chance to show just what they learned from that experience, as they open a two-game trip out West with a stop in Colorado on Saturday afternoon.
The Avalanche won't be an easy team to bounce back against. Colorado lost its last game, falling 5-1 to Nashville on Thursday. But the Avs won three of four before that and currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
But Colorado has been hit hard by injuries, having already suffered 231 man-games lost. The latest hit came with the news that left wing Tomas Fleischmann would be out for the season with pulmonary emboli – a blood clot in each of his lungs. The Avs are already without Peter Mueller (concussion), Kyle Quincey (shoulder surgery) and Ryan O'Reilly (shoulder), though they did get Kyle Cumiskey (concussion) back on Thursday for his first game since Oct. 30 and Chris Stewart (broken hand) returned on Jan. 14 after missing 21 games.
Having so many players out might explain why Colorado announced on Friday that Peter Forsberg would begin practicing with the team on Saturday to see if he could physically be up to attempting a return to the NHL.
The Bruins won't have to worry about Forsberg tomorrow, but Colorado has enough other threats with Matt Duchene (19-25-44 in 47 games), Milan Hejduk (15-25-40 in 40 games), Paul Stastny (16-24-40 in 45 games) and defenseman John-Michael Liles (6-28-34 in 47 games).
The puck drops at 3 p.m. eastern time, so check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action.