Monday, March 30, 2009

B's Weekend Game Recaps- Back to Back Road Wins set B's up Nicely for Final Push...

Recaps of the B's wins in Toronto and then Philly as pulled from the AP &;

Saturday Night in TORONTO (AP) -The Boston Bruins seem to be gearing up for a long playoff run. After holding a comfortable lead in the Eastern Conference for most of the season, the Bruins can finally see the start of the postseason coming into view.

A 7-5 victory over the Toronto on Saturday night left Boston with just eight games remaining in the regular season. Coach Claude Julien believes each of them is important even though his team seems destined to wrap up the No. 1 seed a little early.
"We've got our own issues," Julien said. "Just because we're in a playoff spot doesn't mean that everything's OK. Our play in the last month and a half hasn't been up to par. We need to get better in our game. "So those games do mean something for us. It's about fine-tuning ourselves and getting some momentum heading into the playoffs."
In the game Mark Recchi scored two goals, Dennis Wideman and Matt Hunwick each added three assists, and Chuck Kobasew, Michael Ryder , Shawn Thornton, David Krejci and Blake Wheeler also scored for Boston. Alexei Ponikarovsky scored twice for Toronto, and Nikolai Kulemin, John Mitchell and Niklas Hagman added goals.
Boston roared ahead by scoring three goals in a 3:43 span. Recchi tied it with his second power-play goal on a tip-in at 9:01, and Thornton put the Bruins ahead for good at 11:30. His long shot through traffic seemed to fool Pogge.
"Everyone pays $450 bucks a ticket, so they got their money's worth anyways," said Thornton, from Toronto. "I only know that because I had to buy them for my parents."

Leafs coach Ron Wilson called a timeout at that point to try and settle his team, but Krejci made it 6-4 on a breakaway at 12:44. Curtis Joseph was sent in to relieve Pogge - the reverse of what happened during a 5-3 loss in Buffalo on Friday night - but the game was put out of reach when Wheeler scored at 17:04. In the third period, Hagman scored his 20th goal of the season - and the 100th of his career - with a high wrist shot at 14:39. That was a welcome sight in his first game since sustaining a concussion Feb. 26.
Notes: Boston won five of six against the Maple Leafs this season. ... Defenseman Jay Harrison played his first game for Toronto in two years after signing a free-agent contract this week. ... Bruins forward Phil Kessel missed the game because of an undisclosed injury. ... Leafs goalie Martin Gerber served the second game of his three-game suspension.

Sunday night in PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Boston Bruins are gradually returning to their midseason form. Tim Thomas made 45 saves for his career-high 32nd win, Milan Lucic scored two goals and the Bruins held off the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on Sunday night for their third straight victory.
Dennis Wideman and Mark Recchi also scored, David Krejci added three assists, and Zdeno Chara had two assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins, who snapped a five-game road losing streak Saturday night with a 7-5 victory in Toronto.
Asked if the team was getting back where it was defensively when it won ten straight games and 15 of 16, Thomas said, "I think it's a step in the right direction.
"Offensively we were opportunistic and scored some big goals and we're getting that part of our game together," Thomas explained. "We're making steps forward in the other direction. but I don't think anybody thinks that we're completely there. I think it's a step in the right direction."

Thomas was especially effective midway through the second period when he thwarted a Philadelphia two-man advantage for 1:52 and made a brilliant stop on a shot by Scott Hartnell. A few seconds later, he denied Mike Knuble's attempt from the doorstep."It's frustrating," Hartnell said. "It would've put us right back in the hockey game. It was probably a big motivation shift on their part."
"It was really good to come out of this weekend with four points, no matter how you get them," Thomas said. Claude Giroux, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne scored for the Flyers, who had won four of their previous five games. Antero Niittymaki, making his first start in seven games, made 27 saves for the Flyers. "Ready to play, moving side to side, and timing and stuff like that I was a little rusty," Niittymaki said. "But I've felt a lot worse."
Giroux put the Flyers ahead at 4:56 of the first period, scoring from the side of the net after taking a pass from Arron Asham.

Boston then scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead.
"I think our forecheck tonight was better than what we've seen in a long time," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "We were much better defensively, obviously, and had much fewer breakdowns. We're establishing ourselves as a four-line team again." Lucic teamed with Michael Ryder on a 2-on-1 rush to tie it at 10:39. After Wideman scored
with a slap shot through a screen with the Bruins holding a two-man advantage at 13:55, Lucic added his second goal at 17:54, scoring from inside the left circle. Krejci picked up his third assist of the period on the play. "We wanted to come out hard," Lucic said. "We got the momentum on our side and we just controlled the second and third period." Richards made it 3-2 with 2:11 left in the second period when he redirected Ryan Parent's long slap shot for his 29th goal. Recchi reached around Philadelphia defenseman Braydon Coburn to poke in a rebound of a shot by Chuck Kobasew at 4:21 of the third period. Skating with the extra attacker, Gagne scored on a goalmouth scramble with 1:12 left in the third period to bring the Flyers closer.

Notes: The Flyers recalled RW Andreas Nodl from the Philadelphia Phantoms, their American Hockey League affiliate, to replace LW Riley Cote, who injured a finger during a fight against the New York Islanders on Saturday. ... Flyers G Niittymaki had won both previous starts against Boston this season with a 1.17 goals-against average. ... Philadelphia C Jeff Carter played his 300th NHL game. ... The Bruins and Flyers split the season series 2-2, with the each team winning twice on the road. ... The Bruins return home for their next three games. ... Philadelphia had a season-high 48 shots

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