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The Boston Bruins are currently on a four-game winning streak and are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference. During the last week, they sweep their three-game road trip against The Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Buffalo Sabres. And then capped it off Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks at home, beating the hottest team in the National Hockey League in the final second. The Bruins were impressive during their first road trip of the season, but it may have come at a steep price.
The Bruins lost Left Winger Loui Eriksson early in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night. After delivering a pass in the open ice, he took a cheap shot from Sabres enforcer John Scott. Eriksson was helped off the ice by teammates and did not return to the game. He, who has two goals and an assist in eight games, stayed overnight in Buffalo and did not return home with the team until Thursday. He has been diagnosed with a concussion and is out indefinitely. Scott, who was given a five minute major for charging and a game misconduct, has been suspended by the League indefinitely.
In arguably the most anticipated game of the season thus far, the Bruins took on the man that led them to a Stanley Cup Championship just three seasons ago. The Mentor versus The Student. Tim Thomas versus Tuukka Rask. And it was everything anyone could have hoped for and more from a fans point of view. Both were spectacular in net. Rask made 27 saves in the win. Thomas, who took the entire 2012-2013 season off, made 37 saves in the losing effort and showed flashes that he did not miss a beat.
Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton both scored their first goals of the season in the first period (Hamiltons on the Power Play). Reilly Smith scored his first goal as a Bruins, beating Thomas with 59 seconds left to go in the game.
The Bruins scored early and never looked back as they blanked the Lightning behind Tuukka Rask’s 23 saves between the pipes. The shutout is his first of the season. David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, and Shawn Thornton all scored their first goals of the season. Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly added their second and third goals of the season respectively, just 55 seconds apart late in the second period. Milan Lucic added an assist and five hits in the win.
After coming out of the gates slow, the Bruins turned it on halfway through the second period to easily beat the lowly Buffalo Sabres. Milan Lucic scored the first goal of the game midway through the first period, and the second goal of the game 40 seconds into the second period for his fourth and fifth goals of the season. He also added an assist in the win. Dougie Hamilton scored a goal in between two second period Sabres goals to maintain a 3-2 Bruins lead into the third period. Torey Krug added two third period goals, his second and third of the season, to help lead a dominating Bruins third period, that resulted in them out shooting Buffalo 13-2.
Tuukka Rask made 38 saves against the first place San Jose Sharks to give the Bruins their biggest win of the season. Jarome Iginla scored his first goal as a Bruins with 12 seconds left in the second period. Patrick Marleau scored his eighth goal of the season, second in the league, in the opening minute of the third period. But David Krejci tipped an Adam McQuaid shot from the point that beat Sharks net minder Antti Niemi five hole with 0.8 seconds left in regulation to give Boston that dramatic win. Krejci also added an assist on Iginla’s goal. The Sharks out shot The Bruins 39-17 in the losing effort.
The Bruins Power Play is 2 for 12 during their four game winning streak. (12.9% for the season, 23rd in NHL). And their Penalty Kill is 8 for 9 during that stretch (87.5%, 3rd in NHL).