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Fenway Park was on the edge of its collective seat for the third annual Winter Classic. It was a close, tough match, but the Boston Bruins somehow clawed out a 2-1 victory at the end. The 1st period was nothing special, really. Some back and forth action, with a nice looking save or two on each side, which saw a 9-6 shot advantage for the Bruins. Daniel Carcillo got into it with Shawn Thornton as well, but Thornton was dispatched to the ground fairly quickly.
The 2nd was where the action really picked up. The action had made its way into the Bruins’ zone, where the puck was being passed around the goal. Tim Thomas was knocked into by a Flyers player, due to the closeness of the puck and goal. Instead of doing his job, Thomas was distracted and left the goal to deliver a hit. Meanwhile, the puck was on the other side of the net and easily tapped in (by Danny Syvret, for his first career goal). That demoralized the ball park in a hurry.
It stayed that way into the 3rd, even after each team traded power plays. Dennis Leary had to come out in the middle of it and lead the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Sweet Caroline” to stop the lackluster Bruins from not trying on many of the plays. It may have taken awhile to kick in, but kick in it did. The Bruins were on the power play again late, and had the puck crisscrossing around the Flyers’ zone when, in the right place at the right time, Mark Recchi was able to tip in a pass just pass Michael Leighton to tie the game with 2:18 left. A tripping penalty gave the Bruins another power play, which carried into overtime. The power play expired, but the Bruins were back. Just 1:57 into overtime, in a similar situation, Marco Sturm tipped in another shot for the impressive win.
On a pass that was going to the side, Recchi had the wherewithal to tip it in at the right angle and the right time. Bergeron, in overtime, shot off a hard pass that was right on target, not even needing much of a deflection from Sturm.
Sure, he stopped 24 of 25 shots, but if it weren’t for Thomas’ poor judgment, the Bruins wouldn’t have been in such an uncomfortable position. More evidence he’s nowhere near the goalie he was last year.
There was only one fight, but Carcillo/Thornton was a good one, with hard punches. Plus it was the first ever fight in a Winter Classic.
“We over-passed. We passed up on some great shooting opportunities.” – Bruins Coach Claude Julien on the bulk of the Bruins’ performance.