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In what was easily the most entertaining hockey game of the Bruins season thus far, Boston dropped the hammer on the Dallas Stars last night at the Garden, doubling up on Dallas, 6-3.
The teams got the fireworks going early and often, with three fights in the first four seconds, and four bouts overall in the first period. Shortly after the puck was dropped, it was Gregory Campbell and Steve Ott dropping their gloves and going at it just one second into the game. Ott landed a few good punches, bloodying Campbell’s face and sending him to the locker room temporarily. That was the only fight Dallas won on the night, with Shawn Thornton winning a battle against Dallas’s Krsytofer Barch a second later, followed by an Adam McQuaid vs. Brian Sutherby bru-ha-ha at the four-second mark.
Once the dust settled, the scoring came soon after. Milan Lucic got the Bruins on the board first, just 35 seconds into the game, tallying his team-leading 21st goal of the year. Less than a minute later, Patrice Bergeron gave the B’s a 2-0 lead, on a goal that would send Stars starting goalie Andrew Raycroft packing, in favor of Kari Lehtonen.
Lehtonen stopped the bleeding for Dallas, but only temporarily. Midway through the opening round, er… period… Bergeron scored his second of the game to give the B’s a 3-0 lead. Before the period was over, Shawn Thornton rounded out the first 20 minutes with his eighth goal of the year, sending the Bruins into the first intermission with a seemingly comfortable 4-0 lead.
That seemingly comfortable lead would get very uncomfortable as the game went on. Dallas scored the only goal of the second period, when Karlis Skrastins breaks up the shutout, hammering home the puck from the slot to get the Stars on the board. Dallas then carried that momentum into the final period, scoring twice in the first four minutes, with Brenden Morrow and Brad Richards lighting the lamp to bring the Stars within one.
Fans were on the edge of their seats for most of this game, but it was because of all the physicality up to that point. Now, B’s fans were dreading a collapse of historic proportions. Thankfully, Tyler Seguin came to the rescue. The rookie spun and delivered the puck past Lehtonen from the top of the right circle, giving Boston a two-goal cushion again. Fellow rookie Brad Marchand added an empty-netter in the waning moments of this one, resulting in the 6-3 final score.
For Boston, it was their ninth win in their last 12 contests, while Dallas dropped their fourth in the last five. It doesn’t get any easier for either team, as the Stars travel to East-leading Philadelphia this weekend, while the B’s host the red hot San Jose Sharks at the Garden for a Saturday matinee.
Daniel Paille, who had been subbing in the lineup for the injured Marc Savard, will miss Saturday’s game and three more for a suspension, after receiving a match penalty in last night’s game for an elbow he threw to the head of Dallas’s Raymond Sawada. Paille leveled Sawada with a blindside hit in the second period, sweeping around Sawada’s right side, leading with an elbow that caught Sawada’s shoulder and head. In anticipation of Paille’s unavailability, the B’s have recalled forward Zach Hamill from Providence.
Tags: Adam McQuaid, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Shawn Thornton, Steve Ott, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin