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In many respects, the Bruins’ season ended in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Penguins. While they won a fight against Matt Cooke as a form of retribution for Marc Savard’s season-ending concussion, they played some of the most uninspired hockey you’ll ever see in mustering only 17 shots on goal. How can a team fighting for their playoff lives against a team that took out their best player put forward such a lackluster effort? Game No. 82 might as well have been that Thursday night.
Not so fast.
The Bruins hardened their grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in the East against team they needed to beat in the 10th place New York Rangers, winning Sunday afternoon 2-1. New York now sits five points back with 10 games to go. Meanwhile, the surging Thrashers currently hold the ninth spot, three points behind the B’s with 11 games to go. As fate would have it, the Bruins and Thrashers square off on Tuesday night.
After a scoreless first frame, the Bruins nearly went up 1-0 when Daniel Paille’s penalty shot attempt failed to find the back of the net. Miroslav Satan avenged the miss just 23 seconds later with his fifth goal of the season to put the Bruins up 1-0.
The B’s increased their lead to 2-0 on a rare goal from the underachieving, under-performing, overrated Dennis Wideman. (Hey, at least I didn’t make fun of his mother or something.) Wideman lit the lamp midway through the third period in what turned out to be a pivotal goal. Why?
Well, the Rangers gave the scare when Michael Del Zotto spolied Tuukka Rask’s bid for the shutout with just over three minutes left in regulation. Rask finished with 23 saves in the win.
As previously mentioned, the Bruins skate against the 9th place Thrashers on Tuesday night. If they hope to build a new winning streak and claim a playoff spot, they better improve their 1/19 mark on the power play since Marc Savard’s season-ending injury..