With just a few points separating the Boston Bruins from the middle of the playoff pack, and with the rival Montreal Canadiens (tied with the Bruins in points in the standings) in action in Winnipeg, the black and gold couldn’t afford another disappointing showing like the one on display Tuesday in Philadelphia. It would appear as if they received that message loud and clear last night, putting forth a solid, workman-like effort to earn a 2-0 shutout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dennis Seidenberg and Daniel Paille did the scoring and Tuukka Rask stopped all 26 shots he faced, including some dazzling saves on Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos, to lead the Bruins to the win.
The Boston Bruins were able to hold the top spot in the Northeast Division for a mere 23 hours, falling to the New York Islanders tonight at the Garden by a 2-1 score. Josh Bailey tallied both goals for the Isles, and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30 of 31 Boston shots en route to the victory. The win brings New York’s record to 8-1-1 in their last ten games, while the Bruins temporarily fall back to fourth place in the East with their second loss in their last four.
For one night at least the Bruins got the proverbial offensive monkey off their backs, responding to a disappointing loss to the Canadiens on Saturday by finding the net six times against the Carolina Hurricanes, earning a 6-2 win. Led by a pair of goals from Brad Marchand and a career high three assists from Dennis Seidenberg, Boston scored three first period goals and two more in the second to break the game open. The lopsided score was more than a bit deceiving however, as goaltender Tuukka Rask had to be very sharp, stopping 40 of 42 Carolina shots for his 17th win of the season.
With first place in the Northeast Division on the line and in enemy territory to face their archrival Canadiens, one would think that the Boston Bruins wouldn’t have a tough time getting energized for another important game. But instead a flat start and generally uninspired effort resulted in a 2-1 loss for Boston, with former Bruin Michael Ryder earning the game winner and goalie Carey Price making 26 (pretty easy) saves between the pipes. The loss was wrapped up with Boston failing to generate a shot on net in the final minute of the game, while on a 6-on-4 advantage with Tuukka Rask pulled and Montreal shorthanded on a Lars Eller penalty. While it was just the first loss in four games for the Bruins, there is still much to be desired with the playoffs rapidly approaching.
It ended up being quite the debut for new Bostonian Jaromir Jagr, who received a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd before going on to score the game’s only goal in the second period, helping the Bruins to a 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. Goalie Tuukka Rask was busy between the pipes for Boston, stopping 40 shots for the shutout just two nights after the Bruins gave up 47 shots to the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins are now 8-0-1 in their last night home games and remain just a single point behind the Montreal Canadiens, who they will face on Saturday night.