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It was a historic night at TD Garden Thursday night, but for all the wrong reasons. The bumbling Bruins found a way to blow a two-goal lead, then fell in the shootout to the Canadiens, 3-2. The loss marked the ninth in a row for the B’s, making this the longest losing streak for the franchise since the 1924-25 season.
Boston lit the lamp first on a late first period power play, when Mark Recchi potted his 11th goal of the season to give the B’s a 1-0 lead. The B’s added to that advantage in the second, when Blake Wheeler knocked home a rebound off a David Krejci wrister, past Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak, to double the Boston lead.
The Bruins held that lead until late in the second, when Montreal capitalized on a power play chance of their own, as former Bruin Glen Metropolit pushed one past Tuukka Rask to get the Habs on the board. Just 39 seconds later, Montreal’s Roman Hamrlik tied the score, driving one past Rask to even the game at 2-2.
Both teams went scoreless in the third period and overtime, and through two rounds of the shootout, the goalies kept both teams off the scoreboard. Then came former B.C. Eagle Brian Gionta, who flipped the puck past Rask to give Montreal their first lead of the game. Boston’s Marc Savard couldn’t answer the score, stoned by Jaroslav Halak, leaving the Bruins empty-handed, beaten by the Canadiens for the third straight time this season, 3-2 in the shootout.
To add insult to injury, it seems as if the Bruins have also lost the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes. USA Today was first to report Thursday evening that Atlanta has traded the talented winger to the New Jersey Devils. Who and what the Devils sent in exchange for the highly coveted Russian is still unknown, but reports indicate that there are two roster players, a prospect, and a draft pick involved. New Jersey is second in the Eastern Conference, behind Washington. The rich just keep getting richer.
Back in Boston, the B’s will look yet again to get themselves two points in the win column Saturday afternoon when they host the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver is in the midst of the NHL’s longest road trip ever, a voyage that will take them to 14 different cities, due to the preparations being made in the city for the upcoming Olympic games. The Bruins will hit the road themselves after Saturday’s matinee for their final four games before the Olympic break, beginning Sunday afternoon against these same Canadiens.