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The Bruins got back on track and did what they do best (getting vengeance in the process), with a convincing 7-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, metaphorically giving them a Bill Bellichick t-shirt in return for last season’s playoff loss.
With visions of evil still in their heads, the Bruins started aggressively, scoring three times to take a 3-0 into the first intermission. The Bruins out-shot the Hurricanes 21-7 in the 1st period, getting more shots in the one period than they had in the entire game Thursday against Washington. The scoring was capped off in the period when Blake Wheeler got credit for a backhand goal that he actually missed; the puck bounced off his skate and into the net. This came just 26 seconds after an earlier power play goal.
In the 2nd period, the Bruins put up an additional three goals, and led 6-1 at the 2nd intermission. The first highlight came when Eric Staal of Carolina was in front of Boston’s net waiting for a scoring opportunity when a different Carolina shot hit him square in the face; Staal left the game bleeding, which would only serve as an omen of what was to come.
With 39.7 seconds left in the period, Milan Lucic got into a fight with Carolina’s Jay Harrison and quickly won the skirmish by drawing blood from Harrison’s forehead. Just 3.4 seconds later, everyone on the ice erupted into a massive war befitting a scene from the Coliseum with Caligula watching. Zdeno Chara and Tom Kostopoulos had a notable one-on-one encounter during the melee, which resulted in nine penalties, not including the two fighting majors from a few seconds before. Tension would spill over into the 3rd period with some hard shots.
So where was I? Oh yeah. There was a hockey game going on in between the fights. Carolina’s second goal would be a power play goal with 16:23 left to play, resulting from a “too many men on the ice” penalty, matching the same situation Boston scored their second goal on. Shawn Thornton would renew the violence with Andrew Alberts with 10:26 to play, when they both circled each other for a few tension riddled seconds before Thornton took a quick victory. And finally, Dennis Wideman delivered a vicious (but legal) check to Carolina’s Erik Cole with 2:55 to play. Their legs appeared to get tangled, and Cole left the game with a banged up left knee. Whew, that was a fun game.
The Bruins’ offensive lines were all very effective, putting up the seven total goals that they did. A special shout-out is due to Marc Savard, who got the party started.
It was a good game all around, though Tim Thomas deserves a mention here for a delay of game penalty precisely 10 minutes into the game when he hit the puck off his stick and over the board. These are the kind of mistakes (along with another “too many men on the ice”) that we can’t afford to make. Fortunately, Thomas’ penalty did not lead to a goal.
“… a good way to redeem ourselves and a solid effort all around.” – Coach Claude Julien on the Bruins’ performance.
So many great moments, such little time. For volume’s sake, let’s go with the fracas with 36.3 seconds left in the 2nd, that resulted in nine penalties. It almost makes you think someone would take off their skate and go after someone. Oh wait a minute, that sort of happened. Word is there was some friendly fire (or friendly cutting, as the case may be) when Carolina’s goalie accidentally nicked a downed teammate while skating around the action.