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The Bruins had it then lost it, surrendering a two-goal lead in the third period and losing 4-3 in a shootout. The teams traded goals and fights in the 1st. Boston took command in the 2nd, while Los Angeles did the same in the 3rd. The Bruins could not recover and could not retain whatever horrendously unlikely stroke of fortune let them beat the Sharks, as Thomas let two goals by him in the shootout.
Boston’s Adam McQuaid and Los Angeles’ Brandon Segal provided the game’s first highlight, and went toe to toe, trading blows. Both landed some good punches until McQuaid wound up on top and the refs pulled them apart.
Later in the period, the Kings drew first blood when Jarret Stoll tipped in a pass that came from behind the net, while Thomas was still distracted. Nine seconds later, Shawn Thornton got into a scrape with Raitis Ivanans, and end up without a helmet and on the ground.
That must have rattled the Bruins, as Tim Thomas later wound up far away from where he was supposed to be, with Los Angeles threatening. David Krejci had to jump in the way to prevent the Kings from re-taking the lead. After such a close call, someone on the Bruins must have prayed to the Dark One, because Satan soon got them a goal. That’s Miroslav Satan, who knocked in a wrist shot with 1:40 to go in the period.
The 2nd period was all Boston. At the 10:53 mark, Blake Wheeler hit a wrist shot to put Boston up 2-1. Just 11 seconds later, Michael Ryder tipped the puck in to give Boston a 3-1 lead. Mark Stuart got into a scuffle with Jarret Stoll, which also featured some shoving by Adam McQuaid. In the end, Stuart was given a holding penalty.
A series of Boston penalties at the period’s end gave Los Angeles a 5-on-3 situation. They couldn’t capitalize on it, even though Thomas lost his stick as the puck went into the netting. Several players tumbled into a dog pile on the play, nearly coming to more blows.
Los Angeles couldn’t score on the 5-on-3 again, but Stuart’s cross checking 1:00 in gave the Kings another one. They failed to capitalize on that one too, and Boston killed off the penalties to restore full strength. Not that it mattered, as Thomas later let two goals slip past him within 2:22 of each other.
The overtime period was fairly solid, with each team putting up a good performance to bring on the shootout. Thomas let Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, the two goal scorers in the 3rd, put two more past him, as Krejci and Satan could do nothing with their shots.
These two worked in lockstep to give Boston what should have been a regulation win. Wheeler’s goal had Ryder in position to distract the Kings near the goal (which featured a deflection off a Kings player), and Ryder’s goal featured an assist from Wheeler.
Tim Thomas is an abysmal failure. Still, that Vezina Trophy should fetch a good price on the trade market, where Thomas should be right now. Even so, Rask is good enough, so I’d be willing to trade Thomas for peanuts at this point.
Of the two fights, Thornton vs. Ivanans deserves the nod, since the punches were enough to remove Thornton’s helmet as the two wrestled to the ground. They even had the Rocky music going on in the background.
“There’s no doubt they gained some confidence from that [game with Anaheim]…” – Claude Julien before the game on Los Angeles’ recent performance.