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After the Boston Bruins’ 4-3 shootout-come-from-behind victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday, a great deal of discussion was devoted to the momentum the team would carry into Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche and hopefully onward. Unfortunately for the B’s, the talk was all for naught as the Avs took away any momentum and beat them 4-3.
After a spell of chances early in the game for Boston, the Avalanche took a 1-0 lead on Milan Hejduk’s power play goal and made it 2-0 just 37 seconds later when goaltender Tuukka Rask, starting his second consecutive game in place of Tim Thomas, left a juicy rebound after an initial slapshot for Scott Hannan to easily net.
In the second period, the Bruins cut the Avalanche’s lead in half when Patrice Bergeron patiently held the puck behind the net in the offensive zone before passing to Mark Recchi, who scored. Less than three minutes later, the game was tied 2-2 after Blake Wheeler deflected Michael Ryder’s shot past Colorado goalie Craig Anderson. However, just over three minutes later, the Avalanche were back in the lead when Marek Svatos scored on yet another power play when the puck bounced off of Matt Hunwick’s stick straight to him. Colorado went up by two goals again when David Jones scored a shorthanded goal over Rask’s glove after three Bruins could not gain control of the puck in the neutral zone.
Six-and-a-half minutes into the third period, during which the Bruins held Colorado to just three shots, Michael Ryder brought some life back into the Bruins and the TD Garden when he scored a backhand goal after Milan Lucic had crashed the net and essentially tackled Anderson. Despite a late power play and pulling Rask for the extra skater for the final minute of play, the Bruins were unable to complete the second comeback of the afternoon.
The loss marks the end of the Bruins season-opening five-game homestand, during which Boston garnered half the number of losses in five games (three) than they did of all last season at home (six). The B’s next game is Friday against the Dallas Stars.
Krejci notched two assists and generated plenty of opportunities early and late in the game, including a clever pass to Ryder could’ve tied the game had Ryder’s shot not gone wide. Johnny Boychuk gets an honorable mention for impressive play at both ends of the ice.
Hunwick took a stupid hooking penalty, which set-up Hejduk’s opening goal, and later, while not completely his fault, also caused Svatos’s go-ahead goal. As far as the power play for the Bruins is concerned, they went 0-for-5 for the third time this season and now stand at 4-for-29 (13.8%) so far in 2009-10.
There were no fights, but there were a few scuffles, including one at the conclusion of the game. The Bruins haven’t taken a major penalty for fighting since their second game of the season, when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-2. I leave it to you to decide if it is simply a correlation or if there is a deeper connection.