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Bruins Still Scraping By After Shawn Thornton Incident, Other Injuries

David Krejci celebrates after a Bruin goal, canada.com

For the second straight game the Bruins were able to secure a victory while only outplaying their opponent for one 20 minute period. After narrowly escaping Calgary with a 2-1 victory, which they won in the third period with two goals, it was clear the Bruins weren’t playing their best hockey.

After winning in Toronto on Dec. 8 against a tough Leafs team it appeared as though the Bruins were ready to tear through their four game Canadian road trip. Unfortunately, a stomach bug started to run through the team, coupled with other injuries and a poor decision by Shawn Thornton, which left the team filling holes in a lot of key places.

For the next handful of games they would have to make do with names like Matt Fraser, Nick Johnson, and Ryan Spooner instead of stalwarts like Thornton, Daniel Paille, Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly among others. The lack of chemistry showed in Calgary but the Bruins still left with a win.

When they hit the ice in Edmonton it looked like the team had learned from the final period in Calgary and carried it with them. The first period was all Bruins. Dennis Seidenberg put one in the net to open the scoring and was followed by a Jarome Iginla goal later in the period.

With less than three minutes left in the period it appeared as though Edmonton would have a chance to get back in the game when they went on the power play. Brad Marchand dashed those hopes as he netted a shorthanded goal. The Bruins had a three goal lead to end the period.

Things took a turn for the worse in the second period. Boston reverted back to the team that nearly blew it in Calgary and allowed an early goal to David Perron. Boston on the other hand could not solve Jason LaBarbera who had come in to replace Devan Dubnyk for the Oilers. Perron would score his second of the game later in the period after fighting off Patrice Bergeron and curling one around the net.

The Bruins would have to fight hard in the third period to maintain their one goal lead. Chad, don’t call me Ochocinco, Johnson did his part as he contributed a career high 39 saves. Iginla would score an empty net goal with under a minute to play to seal the win and lead the team to their fifth straight victory.

The next and final game in the Canadian road trip will be the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. The last time the Bruins were in Vancouver they left with Lord Stanley’s Cup. This time around they look to add more separation to their Atlantic Division lead and continue their current winning streak.

Other Notes

This was the first time Andrew Ference, now a captain for the Oilers, played against his former team. With the win the Bruins extend their series winning streak against the Oilers to 11 games, dating back to 2001. This was Johnson’s fifth straight win. Shawn Thornton’s hearing for his hit on Brooks Orpik is scheduled for Friday. The Bruins were also missing injured defensemen Adam McQuaid and Dougie Hamilton.

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